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4 Easy Ways to Add Instant Curb Appeal

Here's how to create a lasting impression with your log or timber home:

Written by Charles Bevier
You’ve likely spent months walking your building site, finalizing your floor plan and analyzing window placement to make the most of the views from the inside. But have you considered the outward appearance of your home? Curb appeal is like the cover of a book; it sets the tone and the expectations of what’s inside.

There are expensive and inexpensive ways to create curb appeal with log and timber elements, architects and designers say. We explore four of their top tips to creating a lasting impression.

1. The Essential Front Entrance

“It all starts with the front porch and the front door,” declares Remington Brown, design manager at StoneMill Log & Timber Homes who has 15 years’ experience designing houses and commercial structures. “The goal is to make the home look cozy and inviting.” Investing in a covered porch and an elegant front door is a good place to start.
Falling into the more expensive category is to craft a varied roofline. Incorporating multiple rooflines can make even the most basic of designs visually appealing, even stunning.
“There are a lot of interesting design opportunities,” Remington says. “There are eyebrow dormers, contemporary cantilevered shed roofs or cascading gables. These features can add depth to the home’s curb appeal.”
Designer Molly Cooper of Cooper & Co., a division of Honest Abe Log Homes, takes it a step further, suggesting that incorporating different colors for the roofing can be a way to add dramatic curb appeal. “A lot of our clients are opting for standing-seam metal roofs and you can choose a different color for dormers that will really make them pop,” Molly shares.

2. Mix Building Materials

Having a blend of different building materials and textures on the outside of the home is another way to boost curb appeal. This can include brick, rock and stone veneers — and log homes have the perfect place to add them: “Rock typically can be added to the foundation to really add some character,” Molly says.
To help counter the horizontal lines of the logs and chinking in StoneMill’s Appalachian style log homes, they will often recommend vertical board and batten siding on gable ends, to add a different texture to the home’s overall appeal. Care must be taken not to overdo it though. “You don’t want to get too crazy,” Remington cautions. “It should blend with the style of the home. Don’t want to get too outside the style you are going for, otherwise that can be off-putting.”

3. Incorporate Lots of Lighting

Wiring is inexpensive. So the time to plan for ample lighting for the exterior is before construction. Designers recommend general lighting for security and accent lighting for style, to draw attention to timber frame trusses or accentuate logwork, by way of example. You may elect to illuminate the edge of walkways, for safety and ambiance.

4. Simple Additions Add Style

Diana Allen, architect and design director at Woodhouse: The Timber Frame Company, says heavy timber elements can be added to the exterior of the home and won’t add much extra cost to the budget. “Curb appeal from a timber frame home perspective can range from simple to the elaborate by simply changing the accents,” she says. “Something as easy as adding timber brackets at a roof overhang can warm up a front elevation and make it more inviting. Including a timber element at the front door, like a small covered entry, also adds warmth and offers a hint of what’s waiting inside once they enter.”
According to Diana, a covered entry can be simple (two brackets with a roof overhang) to enhanced (a full timber truss and posts set on stone piers) to the most elaborate (a porte-cochere). “Ultimately, it’s an opportunity to incorporate extra character to your exterior,” she says.
“One other element I like to add is a small shed roof supported by timber brackets over the garage doors,” Diana continues. “It isn’t expensive and adds just one more little measure of detail to the entry.  Though normally found on upper-end homes, it’s really not a costly element.  But it can transform the garage door from an eyesore to an intentional design feature very quickly.”

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