Eastview’s most recent Burlington home renovation project exhibits many design elements that help improve the property’s curb appeal, which is another way of saying it looks great from the street. Curb appeal refers to the visual attractiveness of a house when viewed from the road. Having a comely home adds to its value because of what it represents to the homeowner, their family and the neighbourhood. The most appealing properties are tidy packages that appear efficient and stylish. Houses with curb appeal usually raise the value of neighbouring lots because they show what’s possible. Creating curb appeal requires both landscaping and hardscaping and it’s a noble artistic endeavour in a field where there are few masters.
Pictured below is the same Burlington residence in the summer of 2021. The change is remarkable.
This is how the property first appeared when our construction manager consulted with the homeowner. The rinky-dink front porch and windows were all shaded and the house appeared cozy but unkempt. It had no presence and looked a little dumpy.
Below is the same building last fall. From the roof dormers and soffits right down to the red subsoil, the house enjoyed a top-to-bottom face lift. We added a bold new front portico with four white pillars, new windows, and wood siding over a natural stone skirt.
The newly completed exterior renovation has several elements worth discussing, but five key ingredients are critical for increasing the property’s aesthetic presence, or curb appeal. These are the new windows, the portico and pillars, and the wood siding over the natural stone skirt with the same material being used again to form a half wall for the front walkway.
Everything you see from the front is carefully sculpted to impart a sense of strength and durability, while commanding respect and providing a comfortable perch where the property owners can sit and enjoy evenings in the neighbourhood.
From left to right, the house looks gentrified. The metal-capped front porch perfectly matches the roof colour and ties-in the steel latches and hinges on the garage doors, the new Kohler windows, and metal porchlights. Wood siding over a stone skirt is a classic show of strength. Some of the same quarried stone has also been used to make a half-wall in the front yard. This little aesthetic detail adds a new dimension to the property’s appearance. It works to suggest the existing house has been erected in the footprint of a larger and possibly historic structure which was removed to make way for a more compact and efficient descendant. It imbues modernity but also celebrates our heritage.
Stone Wainscoting or Exterior Stone Skirts Imbue Strength
One meter tall and twenty centimeters deep, the stone perimeter around the house is called skirting and is a throwback to early times when timber frame homes had stone foundations. The wilderness brown full bed natural stone was quarried locally and delivered in giant polystyrene bags on wooden pallets. This is real stone and not an engineered solution. It has more texture than veneers and is available in more colours. The material is used predominantly for covering exposed concrete foundations, turning unsightly cement into a stunning exterior feature.
A drain hidden under gravel keeps the basalt paving stones puddle-free. The walk looks fantastic beside the natural stone siding capped with Indiana limestone. The stone skirt is arranged with both the split-ends and bed-faces presented outwards which adds to the mosaic’s appearance and is inherently strong. Generally speaking, the split faced blocks show more of the stone’s overall color range compared to seam faces. Once installed, stone masonry will last a lifetime. Natural stone is incredibly strong and resistant to mold and insects and is low maintenance.
Wood Siding Naturally Begets Curb Appeal
Few building materials are as charming and beautiful as wooden clapboard. Prized for its warmth and workability, wood siding is a perfect choice for finishing upscale homes and home additions. Cape Cod Finished Wood Siding takes exteriors to another level, and their all-wood siding lets homeowners enjoy the benefits of natural wood with a low maintenance finish for decades. Wood siding adds prestige and increases a building’s value, and it makes houses look warm and friendly.
Eastview Homes prefers working with Cape Cod Finished Wood Siding which comes pretreated and ready to install. The coating is good for ten years and afterwards the colour can be refreshed with a single application of paint or stain. Coatings are multi-functional in that they are decorative but also protective. They reduce the effort needed to clean the sides of buildings and structures, and provide protection against moisture and rot which extends the life of wood
Foot-wide Porch Pillars, Painted White
Porch columns serve the practical function of holding up the roof over front entries and covered porches, but Eastview Homes also uses them as decorative elements to enhance a home’s curb appeal.
Four stately wooden pillars grace this Burlington renovation and increase its strength. This stately entrance adds value of the house. The columns channel classical notions from Ancient Greek architecture. They support the roof overhang, but also impart order, strength, and balance.
These pillars are formed using medium-density fiberboard (MDF), a hybrid wood product composed of wood fibers bound with wax and resin. The wood paste is formed into 4×8 panels by applying heat and pressure in a factory setting. The result is a really strong building product that’s much denser than particle board, and even denser than some types of plywood, although it doesn’t have the tensile strength of plywood. MDF is commonly painted to mimic other substances like iron and stone, yet one of the most significant drawbacks of MDF has always been its vulnerability to water. We’ve written about porch pillars previously on the blog: We Used Extira To Construct Exterior Columns.
Replacement Windows Sharpen the House
Modern windows have sleek and slender frames and are manufactured with uPVC, aluminum or specially treated timber. These thin frames bring a contemporary charm to any home because they look great and are incredibly efficient.
Kohler windows are made with more expensive Borosilicate glass which reduces their breakability and lengthens their lifespan. They are basically shatterproof which means baseballs thrown or hit from bats are more likely to bounce off the panes than break them. Almost all new exterior windows are double-paned and sandwich a thin layer of Argon gas, which becomes an invisible insulation and noise barrier. The units look sharp because of the pronounced muntins and mullions which reinforces the strength and stability suggested by the porch pillars and stone skirt. It all works together to make a beautiful residence.
The property was transformed. It once appeared rather modest.
Now it looks exceptional.
The hardscaped elements, the windows, stately columns and natural wood siding over a stone skirt all combine with landscaped elements like grass, flowers, and trees to yield an impressive curb appeal.