Before and After: Home Exteriors

home exterior
Maximize curb appeal with an exterior makeover. See how these facades went from ordinary to unforgettable.

Before: Dreary Ranch

A hodgepodge of brick and crumbling concrete gave this ranch a dated appearance that buried its potential. See how an upgraded exterior color changed the whole look of the home without putting a dent in the wallet. This makeover proves what a little bit of brick paint can do.

After: Warmer Welcome

Painting the exterior a warm white and coating the shutters in khaki, just a few shades darker than the house, was a budget-friendly move with big impact. Blue slate steps and stacked stone risers carve a clear path to the entrance, where new a portico defines the entry and creates a transition between the inside and out.


Before: A Work in Progress

A small lot didn't hinder this charming exterior makeover. Thoughtful updates, such as a cedar shake roof, an expansive dormer, and a glass-panel front door, transform this home's lackluster exterior. Plus, see the difference a fresh coat of exterior paint can make. 

After: Worth the Work

Designer and homeowner Hillary Rondero admits that her neighbors weren't always so sure of her exterior makeover vision. Ripping off gables and a pretty arch to the right of the home was a big risk, but it certainly paid off. This adorable modern farmhouse home, painted a crisp shade of white with black trim details, looks like storybook magic! A new paver pathway, planters, and landscaping add curb appeal.

Before: Bare and Bulky

This home’s architectural style was charming but bland. Its small front porch and large bay window weren't ideal for outdoor family time. The large front yard didn't boast much curb appeal, either, with minimal landscaping.

After: Welcoming Front Porch

The homeowners expanded the front porch, which suits the family-friendly historic neighborhood and allows for outdoor entertaining and relaxing. It's large enough to host a group of friends. Iconic Craftsman details, such as painted corbels and cased tapered porch columns, were added as architectural features. A new walkway and updated landscaping greet visitors with style.

The exterior of this Cape Cod-style home went from drab to fab, thanks to an improved facade and fresh landscaping. Use the tips from its transformation to boost your home's curb appeal.

Before and After: Cape Cod Charmer

Underneath overgrown landscape and dull colors, this Cape Cod home was a stunner waiting to happen. Watch and see how it was transformed into an inviting facade. These Cape Cod home remodeling tips are ones to remember!

Before: Easily Overlooked

Surrounded by rose-filled lanes, historical architecture, and picturesque harbors, this vacation cottage in Nova Scotia has enjoyed scenic views since 1875—but along the way, the house itself lost some of its charm. A fresh coat of paint and porch decor details changed that. See how this home exterior design looks now.

After: Village Charmer

Without sacrificing historical character, gray-blue paint and cream-color trim offer a sophisticated palette for the Gothic Revival-style home. A pediment and brackets lend architectural presence to the front door, while new benches and planters enhance the home's welcoming atmosphere.

A non-descript ranch home gets a complete overhaul thanks to creative changes that worked with the existing facade, while giving the home a personality all its own and a major boost in curb appeal.

Before and After: Ranch Redo

See how a humble ranch received a major boost in the curb appeal department. Easy entryway ideas, including a renovated front porch, fresh landscaping, and a new walkway, add interest to the ranch home exterior remodel.

Before: Rundown Cottage

A quirky facade with cottage charm had deteriorated over the years, leaving the home in shambles. Boarded up windows, a crumbling front stoop, and a barren yard signaled a cry for help. See what curb appeal tips they employed to give this home a brand new look. 

After: Star Attraction

Even with a new exterior color, portico, and a few changes to the floor plan, the 1907 home looks virtually unaltered. New garden beds enhance the property's cottage charm and welcome guests to step in through the front door. Not a bit of character was sacrificed with these amazing entryway ideas. 

Is your home's exterior looking a little drab? These homes were too, until character-boosting updates completely transformed their dull facades. Take a cue from their makeovers and you too can refresh your exterior.

Why Your Home Exterior Needs Better Character

See how these homes gained style and character with a few exterior upgrades. Architectural enhancements, door and hardware replacements, and fresh exterior colors are all easy ways to up your home's character and curb appeal. Plus, there are a variety of affordable options available.

Before: Scrunched Living Space

The only eye-catching feature of this split-level home was its jarring combination of blue-painted siding and Santa-red brick. The entry was scrunched into a cramped alcove and upstaged by the garage. You won't even recognize the finished look after this brick house exterior makeover. 

After: Splendid Split-Level

A sophisticated Prairie-style makeover took this split-level from blah to beautiful. Stucco replaced cedar siding and the brickwork below was painted to match. The entry was pulled from the shadows and centered in a tall, gabled bump-out. Sidelights and a three-part transom dramatize the door. Pedestals were added to the revamped stoop, which leads into a colored-concrete walkway. Raised stucco trim surrounds new casement windows on the upper level. A band of slate tile strengthens horizontal lines, while a period light fixture adds a finishing touch.

Before: Not-So-Classic

This small Cape Cod home presented a less-than-friendly facade. The cedar-shingle siding had been blackened by pollution and oxidation. The dormers looked puny and out of place and the white garage door detracted from the rest of the home's architecture. See what kind of Cape Code home remodeling tricks changed the look of this home. 

After: Classic Cape Cod

An arched portico above a new brick stoop and an adjoining pergola-topped porch give this Cape Cod home a more welcoming entry. A new, rich-looking cedar garage door harmonizes with the cedar siding and it's surrounded by arched trim to echo the portico's arch. Additional upgrades include a larger front window, bigger dormers, fresh roofing, and a gracious walkway with brick paving the emphasizes the green lawn.

Transform the look of your home's exterior with ideas from the amazing makeover.

Curb Appeal Tips: Home Exterior Makeover

Upgrades such as new siding, a fresh coat of paint, and eye-catching shutters restore the character to this 1885 home. The owners also did some impressive work with the landscaping that took it from overgrown to lush. Transform the look of your home's exterior with ideas from this amazing makeover. 

Before: Out of Place

With a mismatch of materials and awkward facade, this odd-looking 1950s Colonial became a romantic chateau drawn straight from the French countryside. It was in need of an upgrade that could give it new life without removing its strong character. 

After: French Twist

A neighborhood misfit turned old-world charmer, this country French-styled home is now a visual masterpiece. Rough stucco slathered over pinkish brick added several inches in thickness to the walls. A new slate roof received a gentle sweep on the ends. Lower windows were swapped for slender exterior French doors with arched tops, paneled bottoms, and iron hardware. The main entry now features an arched, solid-wood door flanked by sidelights that continue its curve. A rustic stone arch crowns the entry. A cut-stone terrace across the front of the house, a rustic flagstone walk, and a low stucco wall that servces as a DIY fence add to the French-country romance.

Before: Run-Down Rowhouse

This classic Victorian rowhouse was in serious need of a rescue with its decaying exterior, old windows, and overgrown landscaping. Wait until you see what a fresh paint job and smart window coverings ideas can do. Quality exterior paint will be this home's lifesaver. 

After: Restored Rowhouse

The rowhouse revival began with the replacement of every window, a new coat of gray paint on the siding, cream on the trim, and darker green on the accents. New wooden railings and balustrades ascend the concrete and terrazzo steps and two new sets of columns support the portico. To perk up the lower level, a new garage was installed as well as an attractive garage door—featuring inset panels and arch-top windows that echo the curve of the classic bay windows. Overgrown bushes were removed and stacked-stone retaining walls keep the new yard tidy.

Before: Ordinary Exterior

Odd window configurations, plain clapboard siding, and a nondescript porch gave the front exterior of this 1920s cottage very little personality. The owners were able to fix that with a curb appeal renovation you'll love. See the home exterior design now. 

After: Crafty Revival

A renovation that boasts strong Arts and Crafts design elements gives this home plenty of personality. A new pitched-roof portico echoes the roofline of the main gable and two striking pairs of square columns support the portico's pleasing arch. A custom mahogany door and leaded-glass sidelights draw the eye in.

Before: Shy and Subtle

Once upon a time—1927, to be exact—this Nashville home exuded English Tudor style. Then the gables disappeared in an attempt to give the architecture a French twist. These clever entryway ideas made all the difference. This updated exterior brick house is restored to its natural beauty. 

After: Undeniably Tudor

The first order of business was restoring the stone-clad entry gable, a hallmark of Tudor style. New double doors enhance the drama: Framed by a stone arch the heavy wood doors complete a curve when closed. Restoring the peak of the large cross-gable and adding a matching roof dormer and decorative half-timbering provides another layer of Tudor style. Fresh paint, pale gray roofing, and fine details—from window boxes to salvaged copper lanterns—round out the list of improvements.

Before: Run-Down Cottage

This neglected and not-so-attractive home, built in 1933, needed a dramatic makeover to become livable again. And extreme makeover did just that with the help of some serious upgrades. You won't believe your eyes when you see the new home exterior design. 

After: Restored Beauty

A new door, siding, and windows plus extensive landscaping made this cottage livable and lovely. For a focal point, the new entry features a portico supported by triple Tuscan-style columns and built-in benches. Wide orchard-stone steps and a charcoal-dyed driveway give it an upscale touch.

Before: Unflattering Facade

This small 1940s Cape Cod was almost overtaken by shrubs that crowded the home and encroached the front steps. The uninviting entry offered zero dimension and little character. After this makeover, boring is the last work we'd use to describe this home. 

After: From Flat to Fabulous

Clearing out the overgrowth of shrubs, adding plants for shade, and building an entryway bump-out with a peaking portico over the front door gave this home much needed dimension and personality. Low rock walls flank wide steps accented with stone, beefing up the front door's presence. New shingle siding in a soft gray hue and low-to-the-ground shade plants give the exterior a soft, carefree look.

Before: Bland Brick Home

The wooded lot, solid foundation, and full basement attracted the homeowners to this ordinary 1950s three-bedroom brick ranch, and they were willing to put the work into a home exterior worth noticing. See how exterior masonry paint brought this ranch to the next level. 

After: Captivating Conversion

An upper-level addition creates more living space and a spectacular new face. Architectural elements, including two gables and a shed dormer, add visual interest to the front exterior. The shed dormer breaks up the roofline and fills the home with natural sunlight. The home's brick, originally a patchwork of colors, is painted historical gray to match the shingles on the facade of the new upper floor, and white trim draws attention to the handsome divided windows.

Before: Not-So-Cute Cottage

The off-center front door threw off the balance of the otherwise symmetrical facade, and a covered porch spanning the home's front blocked natural light. Striped awnings on the upper windows made the upstairs equally dark and dreary. The 'after' image is hardly recognizable. 

After: Happy Home

Removing the slope-roofed porch, then centering the front door and surrounding it with a smaller, flat-roofed porch with side panels and pillars gives this home a happier exterior. Low-maintenance vinyl siding in ocean blue contrasts nicely with the wood door and white trim.

Before: Cramped Cape Cod

With a new baby on the way, the homeowners had an excuse to add on to this one-bedroom 1922 cottage and improve the less-than-friendly exterior. The new addition brought with it an exterior makeover that will last for years to come. See what this ranch home exterior remodel looks like now. 

After: Cape Cod Charmer

A new upper floor with dormers, a gable over the front entry, and a main-level bay window that brings symmetry to the entry, create a distinct Cape Cod style. Cedar shakes and white trim make the addition look seamless. A new walkway is gorgeous and even more defined than it was. 

Before: Cold and Uninviting

Diagonal cedar siding gave the home a dated look, while a solarium over the entry made the facade feel cold, closed-off, and uninviting. This old '70s house exterior makeover is one you have to see. 

After: Warm and Welcoming

Removing the solarium makes room for a pretty porch with custom-built columns that improved the entry's function and provide the curb appeal this lakeside home needed. A handsome wooden door with sidelights serves as a focal point. New cedar shake siding gives the exterior a traditional look.

Before: Reason to Remodel

An infestation of mold—which led to the removal of all windows, stucco, sheeting, and insulation—created an exciting opportunity for the owners of this mid-1990s home: a chance to transform their plain, contemporary exterior. See what they did with their unique opportunity. 

After: Classic Conversion

A new portico, wood-shingle siding, crisp arched details, larger grid windows, and stunning stonework take this once-contemporary home from boring to traditionally charming. The white trim around the windows really stands out ona clear-sky, sunny day. 

Before: Less Than Charming

The interior of this 1893 Victorian was full of details, but the exterior had lost these classic touches when the porch was removed because of rotting wood and the house was re-sided. The updated home exterior design changes the look of the home completely. 

After: Wrapped in Charm

The homeowners have restored their Victorian's original grandeur by adding half-round decorative panels on the highest parts of the facade and white trim, which provides a crisp contrast to the red-painted vinyl siding. A porch addition softens the entry and creates an inviting outdoor living space.

Before: Generic Two-Story Home

With a bland exterior, sparse landscaping, and a blank white garage door, this vacation home was as bland as its lakeside setting was beautiful. The before and after pictures really don't to its results justice. 

After: Enviable Vacation Home

With new rooflines, natural cedar siding, and accents of rough-hewn stone, this weekend retreat gets the Arts and Crafts character it was lacking. A cross-gable roof extension, supported by a post-and-beam scissor truss perched atop two hefty stone pillars, gives the entry a whole new status.

Before: Dreary Ranch

Basic siding and heavy overhangs left this 1957 ranch looking dated and dark. Luckily, a ranch home exterior remodel was in the plans.  The result of its extreme makeover will leave you speechless. 

After: Glowing Update

Pergolas over the front door and garage add architectural interest, and carriage-style garage doors replace the generic ones to create a Craftsman look. New horizontal-bevel cedar siding spruces up the facade, and a new color scheme gives the exterior a much-needed pop of color. Removed brick was reused for porch columns and planters in the front of the home.

Before: Brand-New but Boring

This Georgian-style home failed to inspire and lacked the character of its namesake architectural style. The brand-new home needed an exterior boost to keep it from blending in with the rest of the homes in the development. See how a touch of exterior paint and a large addition gave this home a show-stopping exterior.

After: Noteworthy New Home

The addition of a front porch, dormers, and several styles of trim combine to create a custom appearance that brings the home to life. Low-maintenance fiberglass columns and molded polymer millwork, along with charming white rocking chairs, frame the new entrance. A sunroom addition visually balances the garage.

Before: Boxy and Boring

A beach home should be bright and breezy but that wasn't the case with this 1960s beach home. The overall appearance was weighed down by the two black-hole carports, topped by a screen porch. The porch's screens, which blocked sunlight from entering the home, reiterated the boxy shape of the space below, creating an unappealing stacked effect.

After: Better Beach Home

To give the beach home a lighter appearance, the exterior was painted a pale yellow with crisp white trim. The porch was transformed into an open-air retreat enclosed only by horizontal white railings. French doors along the back wall of the porch allow more light to enter into the living room. Swinging pressure-treated louvered pine panels painted an olive green camouflage the parking spaces below.

Before: Stuck in 1950s

Tiny windows, a small and uninteresting entry, and no front porch left the homeowners of this 1950s ranch feeling trapped in the past. See what you can learn from this extreme makeover that left their home looking gorgeous. 

After: Fanciful Country Cottage

The new double-gabled entry—its combination of two-tone brick cladding and cedar siding—serves as a focal point and frames the enlarged foyer of the revived ranch. Stone forms the walks and stairs, and larger windows supply cottage charm.

Before: Lost in Translation

A mix of Eastern and Western elements were successfully showcased inside the home but this failed to translate on the outside. A poorly designed front porch and overgrown bushes and trees created a not-so-welcoming entry. The new home exterior design is one to behold. 

After: East Meets West

The porch was replaced with a more traditional Arts and Crafts-style entry that stayed true to the home's Asian roots. The lantern, door, wood posts, and shape of the roof—constructed of a lightweight slate-look rubber-and-fiberglass material—complement the home's style. Overgrown bushes and trees were removed and the yard was razed to allow for an expanse of concrete pavers. Tidy trees and plantings were planted along the home's foundation.

Before: In Need of Repair

Yellow-beige paint with brown trim, too-small windows, and a low concrete-block wall that cordoned off the front yard left this bungalow in need of a serious facelift. See what exterior paint ideas they employed to work around strick neightborhood remodeling rules. 

After: Better Bungalow

Because the house was located in a historical district, rules required that the front windows, doors, and facade remain the same. Despite these limitations, the homeowner successfully improved the home's function and appeal. The home's stucco was redone in a natural color, the trim was painted white, and wide stone steps replaced the narrow concrete stairs.

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