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How To Create Great Curb Appeal

Mountain House Plan 699-00050

Last Updated on

rustic house plans, house plansOne of the first things people see when visiting a home is the front elevation.  This view from the street can make a huge first impression with friends, family and potential buyers.  So how can we make the front elevation of your new home stand out?  Let’s take a look at some of the methods for creating street appeal.

Cladding Choices

Cladding is a fancy architectural term for the materials covering the outside walls of your new dream home.  Some people refer to cladding as “siding” as a generic term for cladding.  By adding various types of cladding to the front elevation of the home, we can totally transform the look from the street.  Some of the more popular choices today include shake, brick, stucco and stone.  And becoming even more popular, is the design trend of adding multiple types of cladding to create texture and street appeal.  This can add additional cost to the construction budget and add complexity to the bidding and work flow, but it can really create a special look.

So what are the typical costs for the various types of cladding?  Here are some average costs including labor and material: (keep in mind, these can vary quite a bit based on location and materials chosen)

  • Shake Siding (vinyl) = $3 per sq. ft.
  • Brick = $6-$10 per sq. ft.
  • Stone = $20-$25 per sq. ft.

One of the great things about choosing various types of cladding is that you can still use the more expensive stone option for some of the key areas without totally blowing the budget.

Columns

Many of the home plans out today incorporate columns into the front elevation or street view.  And the best part is, there are so many different styles of columns to choose from.  Of course the carpenter can make them on site out of various trim pieces.  In this case the “sky is the limit” when it comes to what can be done.  From dimensions to trim details, the options are endless when the columns are built onsite.  There’s also a whole bunch of prefabricated columns that come directly from the manufacturer ready to install.  Some of the benefits of going with the prefab columns include quick installation (to expedite your schedule) and low maintenance. 

Trim

A lot of folks outside of the building industry look at the front of a home and know they like it but they’re not sure why.  In many cases, the trim used on the home is the deciding factor as to whether the street view is appealing or not.  So what types of trim can be added to the front of a home to improve its look?

  • Crown Molding – commonly used on porches or below eaves
  • Window Trim – Instead of just running the cladding straight up to the window, we can really draw attention it by adding some trim around it.  This can give the impression that a window is bigger than it actually is.
  • Frieze – The trim located below the eave can be built up with various materials to create an interesting look. 
  • Corbels – These are those “bracket looking” things on the front of a home that create a certain look.  Typically not structural, these decorative items can totally enhance the street appeal of any home.  See the photo above for examples of a non-structural corbel used to increase street appeal.

So as you look through home plans, realize that claddings, columns, and trim can be added relatively easily during the planning process to really transform and enhance the look.  An increase in street appeal might cost a little extra upfront, but when done right, it will increase the market value of your home.

Michael Luckado

Michael Luckado has built, remodeled, and repaired thousands of homes across the U.S. He co-founded ArmchairBuilder.com to help people save money and time creating their dream home.

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