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  • Writer's pictureSusan Wilson

Exterior home improvement projects for spring

Like many people, one routine I've established is taking myself out for a long walk every day, and I've found that in a nice quiet neighbourhood it's pretty easy to maintain the 2 metre bubble.

As an interior and exterior colour geek, one thing I always like to do on my walks is to check out the colours and finishing details of each home I pass, mentally assigning 'two thumbs up' in appreciation of a house well done, or one thumbs up plus some design notes if I see something that I would change. Weird? Maybe, but it occupies my mind and satisfies an impulse to 'help' people--without actually offering unsolicited advice all over town. That never wins any friends (although people would start giving me an even wider berth when they saw me coming, which could be a good thing these days)

Since exterior home improvement projects are something people could still be taking on during these strange times, I snapped some pics during my walk yesterday to illustrate some of the "do's". Small business owners like carpenters, painters, electricians have no doubt had lots of interior jobs cancelled lately, but outdoor work is something that could definitely carry on while still maintaining the recommended physical distancing. "Carrying on" as usual wherever we can is a way to perhaps help some businesses get through these times. So, that being said, I wanted to give you some things to think about if you'd like to use this down time to either do some exterior home improving yourself, or hire some people to take on some larger improvements for you. Today I thought I'd focus on windows.

So first up: shutters.

DIY: Paint them as a quick curb appeal pick-me-up

Skilled handyperson: Build new ones that complement the style of your home

Hire a local business owner: Replace with shutters that are not just builders grade.

Ideally shutters should be sized and hung so that they at least look like they could actually cover your windows when closed. Shutters were originally for function, not garnish.

You can see on this sweet and classic looking home that the shutters are wide enough to actually close over the windows they frame.

I'm not sure if the shutters on this historic home below function or not, but they appear as if they do, which is good enough for me!

historic home with black shutters functioning

If you look closely at the shutters on this sweet little cottage, you can see the hardware to hook them shut:

blue cottage with white functioning shutters, mississauga exterior colour consultant

I bet this place looks extra sweet when those window boxes are full of blooms, too.

Next up: Window Trim

DIY: I wouldn't recommend adding this yourself, unless you're a skilled handyperson, in which case, skip to line two!

Skilled handyperson: Add solid-looking trim that complements the style of your home

Hire a local business owner: Have a carpenter add trim and other architectural details

Make sure that the trim around your windows isn't skimpy or non-existent. The solid and harmonious feel of this home is partly due to the cream trim accenting all windows and doors:

stucco home with cream trim Oakville exterior colour consultant

I'm also loving the beautiful wood door and the pineapple finials on that one. Fabulousness is in the details! And I hope whoever posted that sign has found their doggie...

Here's another home I walked past that has nicely trimmed windows and doors:

The Muskoka rockers on the front porch, painted to match the trim, are a great finishing touch, and I love the address painted above the ground floor window too!

Lastly: Your interior window coverings are part of your exterior curb appeal!

If you scroll back up through these homes, you'll notice (zoom in if you're looking at these on a small screen) consistent window treatments across the front of the house, whether that means shutters on all, or drapery on the main floor and shutters on all upstairs windows. Making sure that all your drapery is lined with the same backing will give you consistency even if the draperies are actually different fabrics on the inside. It may seem like a small detail, but it keeps the front of your home looking unified and intentional in design.

I want to finish with the BEST look for windows these days: optimism and caring.

This Pikachu adorned window brought a smile to my face (and probably to the parent who got a few minutes of peace during "colouring time'):

That happy blue door is pretty sweet too!

The best thing I saw all day was this window filled with wishes of "Be happy" and "Be Safe" :)

The little gnome underneath the window is the perfect complement to those messages, am I right? And it looks like someone's starting seeds in that window--another great outdoor project coming up!

I hope this has given you a bit of guidance if you already have exterior improvement goals, and a bit of inspiration if you are wondering what the heck you're going to do with yourself for the next few weeks!

Next post, I'll continue with more neighbourhood pics to give you additional outdoor home improvement "do's" and examples.

Until then, my wish for you all is to "be happy" and "be safe", my friends!


P.S. If you're ready to tackle curb appeal, these previous posts will also be super helpful/inspirational:

1 Comment

Sue Chanko Actual Cell
Mar 26, 2020

Great suggestions & examples - I am motivated... I might start getting looking into some of these cool projects!! Thank you :)

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