Adding Curb Appeal – Our Plans for Exterior Updates

Mar 20, 2019

Adding Curb Appeal – Our Plans for Exterior Updates

Mar 20, 2019

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This post contains affiliate links. This means I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Read my disclosure here.

Spring is right around the corner, and it’s time to get serious about our plans to add some curb appeal to our yellow brick house. I’ve been mapping out ideas for exterior updates, and I think we should be able to tackle most of them over the spring and summer. Based on what we learned about landscaping at our last house, we probably need to get moving on the plants pretty soon. Here is our game plan.

Our Starting Point for Curb Appeal

I think of this listing photo as the house in premium original condition, looking as sharp as possible in its current state. It shows potential for some pretty cute curb appeal. Green grass, roses in bloom, with the solar panels downplayed in the background.

listing photo view of front of house with curb appeal

Here is another angle, where you can see that there is a bit more to be cleaned up than the lovely photo above shows.

exterior original

First Up, Demo Day

When we bought the house, the listing agent told us that the solar hot water system was still functioning. That turned out to be false, but I can’t say that I’m sad to see these hideous solar panels bite the dust. Wyatt is gradually working on dismantling the system, and this summer, we plan to pull the panels off the roof.

At that point, we’ll assess the stained shingles. If you look at the shingles below the solar panels, you’ll see what appears to be a big oil stain splotch. Talk about curb appeal… yikes! We don’t know what it is, but we suspect it’s from a past fluid leak from the panels. It’s not an immediate threat, but it’s definitely a cosmetic defect at this point. We may have to replace the shingles in that section, or the entire roof. #hopingforahailstorm Check out these two enormous water heaters that are also headed for the dump.

solar panels and old hot water tanks

Also on the demo list: remove the roses, dig up the red rocks lining the side yard next to the driveway, replace the security door, and remove the old light post. Eventually, I also plan to repaint the trim and gutters a light, neutral color. I’m not a fan of the yellow brick, but I’ll never convince Wyatt to paint it, so that’s life. I think I’ll be able to downplay the yellow tone by updating the accessory colors and trim.

Curb Appeal on the Horizon

Here are my plans for the main future updates to this exterior. I’ve already changed out the house numbers on the short brick wall and added some colorful chairs to the little patio.

plans for future exterior updates

Next on the curb appeal list is prepping for a landscaping overhaul. I realize that digging out the patch of heirloom roses might seem appalling to those who love them. However, I have two little boys and the thorns on those things are beastly. Even the thorns have thorns. Exhibit A:

thorny thorns from old rose bushes

Also, Colorado is grappling with a very recent influx of Japanese beetles and they decimated the roses last summer. That is, the few roses that grew from this bramble, because it’s hard to get in there and weed. Remember those thorns?

rose patch and rusty light post

So, I’m moving on and ripping out this mess. I’m actually planning to advertise a “You Dig ‘Em, You Keep ‘Em” event pretty soon, hoping to get some rose lovers to do the hard work. I’ll report back, if that’s successful.

I’m also busy researching drought-resistant, zone 5 perennials. I love fast-growing decorative grasses and we had some luck with catmint and a few fescues at our old house. Stay tuned for a future post on great perennials for part-shade and sunny spots.

UPDATE February 2020 – The rose dig was successful, we’ve replaced the roof, and installed the first round of landscaping. Here’s what our house looks like now.

Any other ideas for curb appeal? I’d love to hear them!


Hi! I’m Erin, a Colorado-based home improvement blogger and lover of all things DIY. I aim to inspire creative folks to tackle home improvement with confidence and style. READ MORE

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