L-House Exterior

My friend’s husband gifted her with a new hobby.  He and their kids made raised garden beds filled with organic soil for her to fill up with whatever she wanted to plant.  I thought that was such a great idea for a present and “hinted” at E to come up with something similar for my birthday.

And boy did he deliver.  Since we bought our home 8 years ago, I’ve really enjoyed the home renovation process and have always wanted to try my hand at renovating and selling a house.  I wondered if anyone would like my aesthetic and be willing to buy a place that I “designed.”  E gave me the L-House, the first house he bought out of college for  his family to live in which has been rented out for the last 8 years, to renovate and sell.   This dear old house has been a workhorse for us, generating rental income and providing a pool of equity for us to dig into when needed to buy and renovate our current home. Throughout the years, it’s gone through quite a bit of wear and tear and was in pretty bad shape.  Being that this home was bought over 15 years ago, it’s appreciated quite a bit and I knew I couldn’t lose money on it.  What I wanted to see is whether my renovations on the home would increase its value beyond the renovation costs and also allow for a quicker sale.  We’ll get into those details in a future post but first, below is our Lincoln House.

Front_removed number

It’s a ~1600 sq ft tract home on a ~10,000 sq ft lot with a pool.  The front double doors were painted a red “lucky” color and the the bushes/trees in front of the window were quite overgrown. The eaves were rotting and the roof shingles were old and coming off.

Now take a look at the new house.  Can you tell what we did?


  • New roof – gray shingles
  • All new windows
  • Removed all of the overgrown bushes/trees in the front to show the large picture window in the living room and brighten the space.
  • New front door with one canned light above the entry – the house seemed too small to have a double door. Instead, we added a front door with two side panels to let in more light.
  • New garage door with added sconces on each side.
  • E must take credit for this but he came up with the idea of tearing out the old fencing and building the horizontal planked fencing which we stained a coffee color which I think gives the house a clean, more modern look.
  • Repainted the exterior stucco with Behr Marquis paint in Park Avenue with the trim painted white.  The bar above the garage and below the front window was painted a darker gray/beige color which I thought looked much better as an accent than painting it white.
  • Repaved the asphalt driveway with concrete and widened it to line up with the side fence doors.  Squared off the front path with pebbles to make it look cleaner and give some interest.  After this picture was taken, the grass had grown in greener and we also planted some bushes (that will not grow more than 3ft tall) in front of the porch.
  • We also put in a new simple black mailbox that is not pictured.


What do you think?  I was originally considering a much darker paint (like a dark gray) for a more modern look but felt it contrasted too much with the other homes in the area.  I ended up really liking this lighter look.  I feel it looks clean and non offensive, which was what I was trying to go for in general.  Since the house is relatively small, I wanted to give it a modern, “cottage-y” feel.

A few other things we considered, but did not make economic sense:

  • Adding hardy plank paneling to the front.
  • Pulling out the foyer to line it up with the left wall (you may not be able to tell that the front door is recessed.
  • Adding some design to the concrete driveway by building concrete molds and adding accent rocks in between (a more modern look).