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Thread: Curb Appeal

  1. #1
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    Curb Appeal

    Well, I lived out my very own Curb Appeal(a la HGTV) episode this week. As many of you know, I have moved and have a house to get ready for selling. Yes, this started in October. It was listed then we took it off the market for the holidays and good thing because the remodeling in the other house went slower than expected. ANYWAY, more than one realtor wanted us to remove the Eastern Red Cedar tree right outside our front door that rose above the house. They said "it wasn't in proportion". We just figured they were whiney tree haters who didn't know how to take a good photo of the front of the house. Well, we finally threw in the towel and had it cut down. I hate to say it but it opened up the front of the house very nicely. You can see the window in the front, the brickwork underneath and the front door. But now it was bare in front. I had bought 3 end of season arborvitae for other purposes and had them in the garage. I decided to contribute them to the cause and we planted the 3 under the window. Now, do not try this at home but..now don't tell anyone.. they are Emerald Green Arborvitae which means that while they are small now they could grow huge! They are actually the wrong kind of aborvitae for the application but I needed winter color and it was an act of desperation. Then we stretched a wooden border in front of them, threw in some big white rocks and two big flat stones that are the same color as the house(tanish). Today we planted some low spreading junipers that I have had in pots for at least 3 years after digging them up and not knowing what to do with them. So they are spread out in front of the arborvitae.
    Add lots of cedar mulch and volia. I also took my nice heavy varnished grapevine wreath that was INSIDE the front door and hooked in on the OUTSIDE. I have colorful faux autumn leaves woven into it, so it really adds a splash of color!

    The rest of the story is now the walkway being pitched(though positive drainage) is more apparent. And, heaven help us, we are having it changed out. We swear that this is the LAST thing we will do to sell this house !
    Last edited by Dazed_Lily; 01-15-2006 at 07:05 PM.
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  2. #2
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    Sounds like you done a good job! So what if they aren't the right sort of shrub for the area, new owners are likely to move them anyway, sooner or later!

    I've got 2 Blue Rug Junipers that have been growing inpots for several years now. They are two of three nearly dead ones I rescued from the W-M dumpster 4 years ago or so. They are in need of being re-potted come spring but they must be happy plantssince they formed their little "juniper berries" last summer. The third plant was just too far gone to be saved, but it did try to come back.

    You know, when I stop to think about it, I've got a lot of dumpster rescue plants that are flourishing now and to think they were trashed because they weren't taken care of properly to begin with (or were torn up by a hail storm). Darned shame they got rid of the open dumpster and now toss all the plants they give up on into the trash compactor. What a waste.

    You must take a picture of your "Curb Appeal" renovation so we can see it too!

    How's the rest of the plant moving coming along?


    Rebecca
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    Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.
    - R. Buckminster Fuller

  3. #3
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    Where was Rick Spence in all this? You know you have to paint the trim and the front door a different color, don't you? Also put on different house numbers. Let's see, what else? Oh yes, you need an art object somewhere!!

    I'm just kidding, of course. I've always wondered about those art objects, anyway--especially the one's in SanFran. Many would be stolen within a week. Oh well.

    Congrats on being in the new house. You'll get settled soon--you really will! Just don't do as I have and still have boxes from the move five years ago. SIGH......
    Sandi
    SE PA, zone 6b

  4. #4
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    Well, our realtor was positively bubbly over the changes that we made. She had an Open House yesterday and said even when people indicated they were looking for something else(probably neighbors from around the block), they were complimentary about the house ! Had a showing prior to the OH and 2 showings tonite.
    Here's a bit of irony from the 'you do one thing and have to do another' category: We changed out the concrete walkway to the front door and discovered after the check was paid and cashed that the concrete people had whacked a hole and cracked 2 strips in our vinyl siding. We didn't have the time or patience to chase after them. We failed to see it because they had placed concrete blankets over the concrete(they help it cure right in low temps) and strategically draped one upside the siding. I discovered it as I was praising the fine job they did on the walkway after they had gone. For $85 bucks the people who originally installed the siding changed out a panel(thank goodness the hole and crack were on one piece). So even though I'd like to clean the gutters, I just know that chances are high that they will chip a roof shingle or damage the roof somehow or some crazy thing that doesn't even come to mind. LOL!
    When things settle down I promise a before and after Curb Appeal picture !
    Last edited by Dazed_Lily; 01-23-2006 at 08:33 PM.
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  5. #5
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    Duh! What was I thinking. Here is the before and after. The before was taken in October and the after in January. The biggest diff is that the huge Eastern Red Cedar tree is gone ! It was right next to the front door steps. You can see the little arborvitae in the after. There are white stones under them and two big flat tan stones between them and a wood border in front. Along the walkway(new concrete), are 4 solar lights and next to them are the junipers. I know it is hard to see all that detail. You can see the wreath on the door(I had had that inside). Also, have a frog bristle shoe cleaner at the front door. On top of the tree stump I placed a decorative stone that reads 'Tranquilty'(yes, I am into subliminal advertising)

    BEFORE
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    Last edited by Dazed_Lily; 01-23-2006 at 08:52 PM.
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  6. #6
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    AFTER(No other trees were harmed; the trees to the right are stil there but just not in the pic plus they dropped their leaves).
    Attached Images  
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  7. #7
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    Gasp! There's a front door!

    Someone's gonna love this house. Ya done good, Cathy.
    Sandi
    SE PA, zone 6b

  8. #8
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    A Picture tells it ALL!

    Thanks, Cathy!

    The picture helps and sets the minds rolling.

    Have you thought about perhaps putting a statue in a small, irregularly shaped bed to the right of the sidewalk leading to the front door. Either that or a bird bath or water fall feature of some type?

    That would lead the eye away from the garage and to the front door.

    Also, my mother needed hand rails on the steps to the front door of her new house, so my brother built them. I couldn't believe how much architectual interest that added to her house. ALL the red brick was sort of plane, but the addition of those rails (painted white) added a difference in color and drew the eye more to the entrance and toward her really beautiful entry door.

    The triangular brick area over the garage would be a great place to add some interests. Since I have a little one, I can tell you that if my garage had that much area over the top, there would be a basketball whatever you call it. Instead, we have an expensive standalone one that is sort of in the way when I back up out of the driveway and doesn't look that great. You don't have to install one, just remind the potential buyers that may have kids that it is a feature.

    I agree with Sandi! So very much potential.... Just remember that shrub plantings, etc. needs to be in groups of 3 or 5 (odd number) and more triangular shaped. Groups fo 2 make for a straight line. Groups of 4 make for a square, but odd groups makes for interesting shapes that have an easier to the eye flow.

    I say that realizing that most daylilies are planted in rectangular beds, and they are pretty no matter what shape.

    Okay, it's been a long day and I needed that break away from school and after school tutoring, so I thank you for letting me share my thougts and set my creative thoughts to a dreaming mode...
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  9. #9
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    Oh Ann ! I am so tickled that you noticed what is so prevalent among houses, of ALL price ranges, in Wichita. And that is the dang garage jutting out so far in front that the whole house looks like a garage ! I tried to have the realtor take a shot more to the side , and I even tried(I even stood behind my neighbors fence which runs to the curb) but then tree branches got in the way !
    Most people here are used to that garage thing but I know how distracting it is ! I'll have to show hubby your post because I was still saying the pic could be better AND you made my second point about the triangular BRICK area. It is all vinyl siding.The only brick is under the front window. I told hubby that the pic made the siding look like it's falling off but now I'll have to tell him it could be interpreted as brick(which isn't a bad thing!). I think the good news is that it looks better 'in person' ! And most folks working with realtors who pull up the listings on a search really aren't looking at photos. But we do have those little real estate mags and the pic would look that way in there. Maybe I'll experiment withour digital camera this w/e and see if I can get a better shot. I'll also see if something of interest could be economically added. At first the realtor suggested a park bench..you should have heard hubby on the phone with me hours after they cut the tree telling me that he couldn't find benches anywhere because they were 'out of season' ! LOL! But we got creative !
    P.S. I remember those b-ball hoops; the big thing here are those free-standing ones that people put on the sides of their driveways or in the street in a cul de sac.
    Thanks for the impressions and ideas !
    Last edited by Dazed_Lily; 01-26-2006 at 05:35 PM.
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  10. #10
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    Okay, you have me on the roll... I used to have a real estate license and too bad my degrees are in math and computer science, huh?

    If it were me, I would plant an evergreen shrub in the center of that lawn to the right of your driveway. That will draw the eye away from the garage and more toward the front door entrance. Like Sandi says, people love the front door.

    Perhaps, a planting of smaller evergreens near the left side of the garage- odd number of plants. Again, to distract from the garage as being pre-dominate in the pic and when the customer rides by to view...

    You have a tremendous potential, and you simply need to give the prospective customer the idea of potential and what can be done.

    Just remember that it is hard to sell a house in the middle of the winter. Not only are so many shrubs and trees dormant, but people with children tend to avoid moving during the school year.

    I wouldn't spend money on expensive benches. Benches do not appeal to everyone. Add things that are not expensive and give the prospective buyer ideas as to what they can do after they move in.

    Gosh! It's fun to think of all that you could do to attract buyers. I miss the 'sales' career that I used to have, I suppose.
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  11. #11
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    P.S.

    Look at the garden architecture section of the main pages of www.landspro.com . You will get some ideas of how to use 'junk' to spice up those plain areas of exterior walls without so much expense.

    I will find the link and edit this post with it. It's amazing what you can do...

    Look at all the pages and all the images. They were taken with a video camera, but even so, they give lots of ideas.

    Here ya go...

    http://www.landspro.com/architecture/ga001.htm
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  12. #12
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    IT HAS SOLD !!!!!!!


    Got an offer today-went back once and got a deal made--signing contract tomorrow and close Feb. 17th.

    Now that means..I gotta get the rest of my babies(mostly bulbs) out of there fast ! (and hope they don't kvetch!). The 2 rose bushes were noted in the contract as 'to be removed'.
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  13. #13
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    WOO-HOO!!

    Way to go, kiddo! I am pleased as punch for you (both). Yeah! One less headache to lose sleep over!



    Rebecca
    Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.
    - R. Buckminster Fuller

  14. #14
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    Way to GO!

    Cathy,

    I cannot imagine the stress of seling a home, buying a home and moving a garden and your prized items as well, but isn't it exciting when it finally starts to work for you?

    Just think... You will get settled in your new home. The plants and garden items will find their favorite place. You can settle down and make all your gardening dreams come true.

    I am so very proud for you. You and others on Landspro have become such great friends, and I sometimes feel like I do not give enough back, even though I want to do so. This teaching adventure has really taking a toll on me, but I am starting to see it pay off, not in dollars, but in ways that are hard to explain. Maybe I will be able to explain one day, but right now, I don't have the words. Just know that what I have tried so hard to make happen is starting to happen, and know that what you are going through will start happening, too.

    God bless you, and keep your faith!

    Good things happen to good people. Maybe not as fast as we want, but if your heart is in the right place, so will your life be.

    Congrats, my friend!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  15. #15
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    Oh Ann--you are such a treasured friend !
    ((((HUGS))))
    Cathy
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




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