House Exterior Makeover Plan – Planning Stages

Sharing My House Exterior Makeover Plans that will be done on a small budget.

Now that spring will be arriving for real in a few weeks, I have to get myself in gear and create a plan on how I want to tweak a few things on the front exterior of my house. Spring and early summer will be the perfect time to paint before the heat of July and August set in.

If you have been following me for a while, then you know I have already been making small tweaks in the way of adding new exterior lighting, painting the front doors, removing shrubs, and on the back side of the house, adding shutters.

house exterior makeover plans on a budget

My plan for the spring is to paint the front trim of the house a neutral color and the garage door the same way I painted the front doors.

Stone ranch home exterior

I found this photo over on Southern Hospitality and it hit all the right buttons in regard to what I am looking for color wise and the large rock landscaping.

My house has brick and painted plank paneling on the back and sides of the house, not stone, but the brick is a similar color. The roof on my house is black and when it is time to get it redone, we will choose a much lighter color.

1970's ranch style home before exterior makeover on a budget using paint and landscaping.

This photo was taken when we were in the process of removing holly bushes from the front of the peak and windows. The area in front of the windows is now cleared and I think this is where I would like to add some rocks and ground cover of some kind. We may end up removing more holly, but only time will tell if that will be needed.

I think once the green peak is painted a soft neutral, the house will look a bit more updated.  Of course I wish I could have Chip and Joanna do their magic on the exterior, but no budget for that so it is up to me to come up with a plan and choose the color.

One of you mentioned the last time I posted this photo that I should consider painting the green above each window a dark black/grey to mimic glass so that the window look like the go all the way to the top of the peak. I will have to experiment.

Modern home and landscaping


Here is another home exterior I like. I like the big rocks and boulders in front of this home and the modern vibe.

How to paint exterior front doors to look like wood

For the front entrance, I plan to paint all the green in a soft neutral. This alone will brighten the area up. If money was no object, I would like to…

Exterior house makeover ideas for entry porches

Photoshop Redo Craftsman Exterior

…add a small peaked roof over the entrance, but that probably won’t happen and will have to reside in my dreams for now.

UPDATE:  Since posting this post, I have made some changes to the house. You can view what I did in this post: Before and After Exterior House Makeover

Lots more searching, thinking and planning ahead for me.

Have you ever done a house exterior makeover on the facade of your home? Would love to read what you did and any tips you want to share.

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  1. Jenna LeVasseur says:

    Please post updates! This is almost the EXACT home that my parent live in, and I plan to buy my siblings out when the time is right. I have so many ideas for updating this home and I am thrilled to find your page.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jenna –

      Thanks for reading. I have an update to the post about making over my 1970’s home that you mentioned was like your parents. You can read it here:

  2. Becky in 'Bama says:

    Cannot wait to see what you come up with this summer. Personally – it is difficult for me to rip out mature shrubs/trees, but we need to do that for our outdoors. I looked the other way last year when my husband took down five trees from one side of the yard. Yes, they were too close to the house and a dreadful species – but it still hurt my heart. This 2018 autumn we plan to rip up an entire row of shrubs and replant (the proper time for our climate) and that is going to be a major pain.

    I agree with the recommendation of getting an expert opinion for colors of trim paint. A friend of mine went totally against color advice and regretted it up until she had it repainted!

    I know yours is going to be remarkable!

  3. Lisa Ronan says:

    Oh how I love seeing pictures with the lake photobombing the house? We have an orangey 90s brick on a small section out front and inside on our floor to ceiling fire place. I’ve been doing a lot of research on how to update it and found something at Home Depot that you might like. It’s called Romabio Classico Limewash. They have quite a few color choices. Maybe it’ll work for your place!

  4. One thing we did (finally) last year was paint our brick, which was just a not so nice orangish color. We have a red door and I like pink/red flowers so when we painted it a kind of putty color, it made a huge difference in the way our home looked. We only have brick on the front so it wasn’t too big of a job.

  5. Yes, we did a small cosmetic makeover on our home over the course of a couple years.

    Here’s what the “before” had when we bought the home:
    Pale green vinyl siding
    White trim
    Red door (A particular red that didn’t go well at all with the pale green!!)
    Light grayish-white shingles
    Orange-y brown cedar privacy fence that encloses the back yard. (It can be seen from the street because we’re on a corner lot.)
    Pinky-beige paint on garden shed
    Very few plants in the landscaping

    The “afters” in progress:
    Step 1. Immediately when weather allowed, we painted the garden shed to match the siding of the house and garage. A HUGE improvement though is was small.

    Step 2. Next we jack-hammered off the slanting, cement front step and we built a larger step/porch and a pergola. The step, pergola and front door (which we painted to match) were initially a color that mimicked the cedar fence but I truly hated it! —-At least the fence and step/pergola & door had something in common at this point ;-)

    Step 3. A damaging hail storm gave us the opportunity to pick new shingle color. I chose a dark, dark gray shingle that has specks of green it in. Along with the new shingles, we then painted the porch, pergola and front door in a dark, dark gray that works really well with the shingle color. The whole look now says “upscale” .

    4. Last summer we stained the cedar privacy fence (which is on the back and side of the house) the same color as the dark gray porch, pergola and front door. Throughout it all, we kept the white trim. Finally! Everything looks like it was designed that way from the start :-)

    In summer especially, the yard is quite pretty. We planted Russian sage all around the house giving it a pretty soft lavender accent color. There are also some annuals and other perennials in pinks and purples. Previously there were only a few daylilies and some faltering miniature roses. It looked very stark…especially since I’d moved from a yard that I’d turned into an English cottage style garden. ;-)

    While we’ve been out working on the yard, people have stopped their cars while driving by, to tell us how pretty the house and yard look. One man said “I’ve been watching your progress since you moved in. You’ve done this house and yard a great service.” That’s wonderful to hear since we also heard the former owners didn’t take very good care of things. ;-)

    Can’t wait to see how your re-do progresses, Diane. You make the prettiest choices for your home.

    1. Diane
      I would love to see pics. Would you share?

      I love all your ideas…I need to refresh my front as well. Love Russian sage

  6. Lynne Kummer says:

    Hi Diane,
    fyi regarding your roof – last August, many people in my neighborhood were replacing their roofs by submitting a claim for hail damage and it only cost the homeowner their deductible so I looked into it and contacted one of the roofing companies being used. Sure enough, we had them inspect our 23 yr old roof, we did hail damage. We used a recent hail storm date that the roofing company was using, submitted claim to our insurance company, they sent an adjuster and our roofer sent his inspector** to point out the marked hail damages (**important to do this step because ins. adjusters and their “3rd party” )people that go onto the roof for the adjuster) and not well trained at all in this subject matter, just a brief “certification” class, the adjuster agreed, processed payment and we only had to pay the $1,000 hail deductible. Because hail is an “Act of God” insurance does not go up. One note, is to be sure the roofer will accept what the ins. co pays so you don’t have to pay overage and there was an adjustment up for materials after roof was completed because they had to use materials up to code, they submitted that additionally to insurance company and ins. co sent the additional money. So be watchful for hail storm, hail damage cannot be seen from the ground and then look into it, get an inspection….

    1. Jeanine Fish says:

      In Texas your insurance can go up due to any claim and you can even be dropped from your insurance company renewing your policy because you filed a claim. We have lots of hail damage claims here and other weather related claims. it must vary from state to state.

      1. Lynne Kummer says:

        I live in Maryland, we get occasional hail storms every year. Obviously, people should know enough to check their own policy and coverage. I had no idea about it until neighbors spoke about it and we checked our policy coverage with our personal local insurance agent before signing a contract with the roofer and submitting the claim. Our insurance company considers it “Act of God” and it was covered and did not affect our coverage at all. State regulations and even each individual insurance company is different. The roofer said some insurance companies were more difficult to deal with, our ins company was very accommodating. IF someone has hail coverage and it applies as Act of God and their insurance agent verifies it would not affect their policy nor rates then it is well worth looking into it, we got a $15,000 new roof on a 23 yr old house for $1,000.

  7. Oooh…love your plans. Our front entry needs a spruce up this year too…front door paint, railing needs to be painted too. Right now…just waiting for spring to arrive…still very cold here. I like the rectangular planters you choose…they fit the house. And they are nice enough to stand on their own if need be. Bet you can’t wait to get started! Enjoy your weekend! ;)

  8. Hi Diane: I know this could be out of your budget but…
    The first thing I would do would be fill the windows (both sides of front door) in with brick. Then i would put two windows where one door is and compliment it with one new door and paint colour. The landscaping would give a fresh look also…just remember the “up and down thing” with landscaping materials.

    I think this is the look you really want.

    1. Yes – I agree. The windows could also be left as is. A door with glass side glass panels added into the space now occupied with double doors would make it like a wall of windows. I also agree on the modern planters. They definitely fit the house and wouldn’t give it a jarring multiple-architectural style vibe – a pet peeve of mine, anyway.

  9. Our house is a 1958 bungalow (ranch-style). The bottom half is light-coloured brick, top half white siding, bright blue front door…after 13 years of indecision, I went for it – painted the white siding and honestly should have done it years before. I took my time choosing a colour over several times of the day to ensure a good match with the brick, the colour I eventually chose is CIL (Canadian brand) Courtyard Stone. It’s perfect, instantly modernized this old beauty AND started a trend in our neighbourhood, lots of same-era houses now sport painted siding. I also painted the front door and surround with a colour called amphibian (sombre grey with a hint of green). Recycled the house numbers and letterbox by painting glossy black, sleek black planters with seasonal blooms and hostas, got rid of an overgrown and intimidating cedar….

    1. Hi Denise – did you paint the siding or hire out? We have the same setup… bottom half brick and top half siding. My house is a mid century rancher and the siding/gutters/garage are all the same beige. I’d rather they be a crisp white. I’ve had the idea in the back of my mind but have no idea what it would entail as a DIY or the costs to contract it out. Thanks!

      1. HI Sarah – I hired out to a student organization. They took two days to complete it; first day was washing down everything to prep it for the paint, then painting the siding in the chosen colour and the window wells in white. It was pricey regardless ($1200) but they did it way quicker than I could on my own.

  10. Your landscaping plans sounds really nice. I think the modern planters would be gorgeous outside your house. Look forward to seeing how it turns out.

  11. Finding the right trim color is a challenge. I like your landscape ideas, good luck with getting them done.

  12. Bettsi Ledesma says:

    Diane, I like your ideas! I will look forward to seeing what you do this spring. I’ve never done a major exterior renovation, but I do like to dream about what I would do. Step 1: Find a magic wand!

  13. I think the landscape updates that you are considering are the way to go, especially if you go big with the boulders. 20 years from now, they still won’t need pruning : )
    Your front doors still make me say “wow”.

  14. LOve all the ideas for your home. I know the house is more modern but I like the traditional style planters

  15. When we first moved into our house in the early 70s our garage was detached and there was a big old tree between the house and the garage. My late husband and a friend cut down the tree and then we had a big renovation with tearing down the old garage, building a four car attached garage, extending the soffit in front and making a soffit at the back of the house, installing a small porch in front, and a patio in back. Whew! Thank goodness my husband was an engineer and he drew the plans for all of it. It made such a difference on the look of our house. My son is a landscaper so when he was first starting out he did the front of our house, many years later I think it’s in need of some updating. This summer I will be working on that. Oh, I should mention we changed out windows on the house too. Even our neighbors were impressed with the transformation. Good luck with your project. I’m sure it will turn out terrific and I look forward to seeing the updates.

  16. I would take several photos of the roof and close ups of the brick to a good paint store for their best expert to help select the trim color. The photos you like of stone and beige trim are in the creamy family. Your brick is in the gray family to my eye. You will probably need several coats to color the current color.

    Love seeing what you have done with your lovely home.


    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Nancy –

      Good idea. I have to make sure to get a really good shot so the color is true. My bricks are almost a peachy tan. The mortar is creamy with a slight gray cast. I have a few swatches up on the house, but none are quite right yet. Will keep testing colors until I find just the right one. Enjoy your weekend.