A Contemporary Exterior Update

Exteriors are the area where I tend to struggle most when updating our flips (ahem).  That’s why I’m always so inspired when I come across an exterior renovation that absolutely transforms the curb appeal and vibe of a home.

Take this little 1950s ranch, for example.  It’s bland, beige and boring, and the carport is just stuck on the front of the house like an afterthought.

Contemporary Exterior Upgrade

But take a look at the same little ranch just 4 years later:

Contemporary Exterior Upgrade

I know, right?!?

Obviously this wasn’t a quick, easy or cheap transformation – but now this little ranch has me swooning.

While there are too many updates to mention, the biggest changes are:

– the addition of a master suite to the front facade of the home, which balances out the carport

– utilitizing the narrow corridor between the addition and the carport as a defined entry and private courtyard

– a snazzy metal roof

– horizontal wood accents to emphasize the contemporary lines of the home

Contemporary Exterior Upgrade

I don’t know why but I’ve really been wanting a courtyard lately.  We actually hang out in our front yard a decent amount, and the thought of having a little extra privacy while you’re watching the world go by sounds appealing to me.  And who couldn’t enjoy a courtyard like this?

Contemporary Exterior Upgrade

What do you think of this renovation?

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  1. christy says:

    Absolutely fabulous!

  2. deb says:

    Love it!

  3. aimee says:

    Quite a wonderful transformation!

  4. Terry says:

    Holly cow! I love that reno you did! I’m hearing a lot about the metal roofs and how beneficial they are.

  5. Josh says:

    I think I may love this renovation just as much as you! This is fantastic. The dark roof to the light brick and than the wood accents. Plus the courtyard was totally the cherry on top if you like cherries. Awesome.

  6. Shane says:

    Kudos to a job well done! Absolutely fantastic! The courtyard is to die for! The accents of that courtyard give off a relax and rustic ambiance. Stunning! Looking forward to your next creation.

  7. I also think that bringing the brick all the way up and painting it one color, in this case white, unified the entire front facade. Even if they hadn’t added on, painting everything one color including the carport posts would have done a significant amount in altering the impression. I have always been a fane of standing seamed metal roofs, and am excited to see it being used a lot more in residential applications now.

  8. Tara Dawn says:

    That’s a wonderful exterior transformation! It undoubtedly adds curb appeal, and I love the choice of a metal roof! Very nice job.

  9. Ashly says:

    That renovation is the inspiration for our reno! I have photos printed from Houzz (I think?) and plastered to the wall in the office like old Eddie Furlong centerfolds from Teen Beat.

  10. Felicita says:

    Great Inspiration about Exterior Transformation. Good Job !

  11. looking up says:

    First of all, CONGRATULATIONS on the new little blessing to your family! Very excited for you :-)
    As far as that house reno -WOW, what a difference! Since beginning reading this blog I’ve been inspired to update the front of my outdated tan home. Budget was low but we just took our time to find great deals. Things updated were: the front light fixtures, 2 doors w/ modern windows & door knob sets, painted the old house numbers, added 2 lg modern planters on either side of the garage door. All for under $500- including paint & flowers for the planters ;-)
    Thanks for the inspiration to do this.

  12. With all those trees around the property, you probably have to clean the gutters a lot? When gutters get blocked it causes water to spill over onto the pathways or even worse into your roofing space. If you have lots of trees around your home, you should clean the gutters every few months, especially before the rainy seasons start to come.

  13. Wait….did you come across the renovation, or was this something you did? I ask because that would be strange for you to have a before pic from 4 years ago…wouldn’t it be? Either way, the house looks great.

    • Liz - It's Great To Be Home says:

      Sorry if there’s any confusion – nope, this is not my renovation, just one that I admire. I’m always so impressed when someone has a vision for exteriors!

  14. FrenchIMMO says:

    Magnifique, superbe rénovation, bravo !!

  15. yes this is a well done renovation i like the lights that made a big change to the look.

  16. Nick Tedesco says:

    The best contemporary exterior update would be solar panels now that they are cost effective. Although, in this case it looks like you have too much shading.

  17. I love that interior courtyard…what a great use of space! I’m curious, what did you use there with the grass? Is that rock?

    Anyway, glad to find your blog here….lot’s of inspiration.


  18. acm says:

    I *really* like the way that moving the pillars allowed them to define an entryway path to the front door. Only so-so on the courtyard, but only because the fussy arrangement of sand (?) and grass seems like hell to maintain for very little benefit. Would prefer simple flagstones or pavers.

  19. Chris says:

    Wow! These transformation photos are amazing! I love what you’ve done with the exterior of the remodel! Awesome job!

  20. Ernie says:

    Well done and those are great pics

  21. Farook says:

    Nicely done Liz. The evening shots really make the work come to life.

  22. Eleonor says:

    Wow, amazing job! I love the courtyard :)

  23. bridget_b@623Designs says:

    How amazing! I would love a little courtyard like that. I’ve been noticing front courtyards in a lot of new constructions lately. They did a really great job of updating that house.

  24. Tom Collins says:

    Love the idea of utilitizing the narrow, it totally modifies the image of the house. Also by adding the wood accents just uberly good thought!

  25. Rick says:

    I think the metal roof will save money in the long run by not having to replace the shingles ever. I love the new carport with the wooden doors, it gives it the ranch house feel but also gives it the modern look as you drive by. I also like the lights around the exterior under the eaves, it illuminates the walls of the house showing off its glamour!

  26. Wow, what an incredible home makeover! That little courtyard is beautiful. Great job!

  27. jenn says:

    Can you share the source of this reno or did you take those pics? I’d love to read more about this home. I’m trying to come up with some ways to update the exterior of my own house: http://jennnash.typepad.com/blog/2013/05/casa-california-exterior-inspiration.html


    • Liz - It's Great To Be Home says:

      Unfortunately I don’t know who did the renovation, I stumbled across this home on the MLS. Sorry!

  28. Wow, what a big difference. Those horizontal wood accents really set things off, they turn what would otherwise be a boring if not unattractive carport wall into something that really add to the house’s curb appeal.