curb appeal, please

When we bought our house, we knew that there were a bunch of areas that needed some love (understatement), but one of the areas that stood out was the exterior of the garage and the extra carport (aka winnie hole).  I know, it may seem crazy to focus on that part of the house for curb appeal, but it is the only part of the outside that most people see because we live on a corner where 99% of the traffic never comes past the front of our house.

Garage/Winnie Hole, 2003

Winnie Hole, 2003

To pretty up the garage-end of the house, we made improvements in steps.  Right out of the gate, we removed some of extra lattice from the winnie hole to make it a little less bajankity.  (I guess I should explan why we call that extra carport the “winnie hole”…  We began calling it that almost immediately upon looking at the house with the realtor — probably because the previous owners kept a Winnebago in that spot and well, I watched too many episodes of Road Rules back in the day — or maybe just because it was shorter than “extra carport” :))

(For some reason, I can’t find a picture of this first phase of improvement anywhere — strange since it was like that for a couple of years…  Anyway, all we really did in phase one was remove the lattice on the right side in the picture above and the little ceiling part attached to it — pretty much we removed the part that was hanging out of the main structure and all scraggly.)

Then, a few years later, we replaced the walls in the garage, added lanterns on the outside of the garage, and replaced the remaining winnie hole lattice with craftsman-style posts and added a ceiling and hanging lanterns to the winnie hole.   (O, and we also removed a big giant ugly yukka from right beside the driveway — side note: pretty sure nothing kills those things – trust me, we tried everything we could find on google — so we ended up digging the thing up!)

Garage/Winnie Hole, 2006Winnie Hole Columns, 2006

Then, after a few more years, we decided to add carriage-style garage doors.  The only problem was that the house had never had garage doors before and the opening was crazy-sized.  We ended up deciding to go with two single doors and have them build a little column in the middle.  Seemed like a great plan until they asked what I wanted the outside of the column to look like — I had spent all the time worried about what we wanted the doors to look like and had no idea on the column, so I said just to leave it plywood and I’d figure it out.

Garage Doors, 2010

I figured it out about a year and a half later — I found some thin bricks to add a brick facade to the post.  (The thin bricks we used are called Thinbrick by General Shale Brick — we used a mix of two colors to best match our existing brick: Englishpub and Smokestack.)  Much better.

Then, I started getting a hankering to add a pergola over the garage doors.  I mean, this is the first thing everyone sees of our house and the only section most people see at all.  Makes sense, right?  Now, I just needed to figure out exactly what I wanted it to look like…  Enter Pinterest and Houzz — I found a bunch of great pictures and started saving them all.  The main inspiration photo we used was from Houzz by RWA Architects.

Pergola Inspiration

Source: Houzz

Admittedly, the inspiration pergola isn’t over a garage, but I liked how simple it was compared to others I saw — I loved the plain edges and simple arch.

Anyway, without further ado, here is what Michael’s uncle built us :)  The stain color is Sherwin-Williams WoodScapes semi-transparent Charwood.  (We used 2 coats to get it that dark since we stained it about a week after it went up instead of waiting six months.)

Garage Pergola_2012

Now, I have to decide what to plant on the sides of the garage to climb over it…  Decisions, decisions.

Any ideas for what to plant?  (That side of the house faces south and has a decent amount of shade during the day.)  Have any house projects that have been done in steps over the course of almost ten years?  Or are there any other former Road Rules fans out there? :)

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5 thoughts on “curb appeal, please

  1. So creative. It all looks amazing. I have a few questions regarding the brick accent you added between the carriage doors. How long did it take to complete that? Were you able to do that by yourself or did it require some assistance or even ‘outsourcing’? I’ve been looking at thin brick-esque panels to accent a wall but they are just so pricy…your addition of the brick accent has got all kinda of ideas now running thru my head. Thanks!!

    • It took about 2 days to do altogether — a couple hours to add concrete backer board over the plywood and reverse the brick mould on the sides that had been previously installed with the thicker ends facing the wrong side, a couple of half-days to stick on the bricks with tile mastic, and another full day (a few days later – after the mastic was good and dry) to spread mortar into the spaces between the bricks to make it look real. Michael’s uncle did the work for us — he is in the building business, so I’m sure it would have taken us longer to do it ourselves.

      (We also used these thin bricks on our faux fireplace we just created in our new family room — it was much more tedious and included L-shaped thin bricks on the corners — the blog reveal of our design for turning our formal living room into a casual family room and so-far pictures will be posting soon!)

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