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Plain Jane Perk Up: Updating The Exterior Of A Minimal Traditional House

Construction & Contractors Articles

For two decades in the middle of the 20th century, the Minimal Traditional architectural style reigned as the perfect fit for young families on budget. The look was similar to more pricey homes, but without the embellishments and decorative features, the simpler version was both functional and financially feasible. If you purchase one of these older homes today, it's likely you'll find that it's still sturdy due to the careful workmanship and quality building materials that were a standard expectation during that era. Don't let the home's no-frills, plain-Jane exterior keep you from making a smart purchase for a small family. Instead, update the house with top-quality, modern materials that honor its Minimal Traditional heritage while giving it fresh, new visual appeal.

Siding That's Stylish

Typically rectangular and 1 to 1 ½ stories high, Minimal Traditional houses have a reputation for being boxy. The plain wood siding, typically mounted horizontally, tends to emphasize that box-like quality. But you can kick it up a notch by replacing the old, worn-out exterior cladding with beautiful, low-maintenance vinyl siding. In addition to it's soft-spoken beauty, this one change has several other advantages.

  • Color choices. Your siding contractor can offer a range of colors in tones that are modern, durable and that won't fade over the years. Chances are that the house you're making a home is plain white. Change that to one of the siding manufacturer's standard colors, or order a custom color in tones ranging from soft, creamy yellow to a rich, autumn red.
  • Value: The price of vinyl siding is highly competitive with traditional wood siding. Because you don't have to paint vinyl every few years and because it's not susceptible to rot or insect damage, the value will be even more noticeable over the years.
  • Installation Ease: Because the house is essentially rectangular without a lot of angles to work around, installing the overlapping, horizontal strips of siding is straightforward and speedy. Minimal Traditional houses do have one noticeable feature that can be played up – a gable at the front of the house. Siding on that section can be mounted with a vertical orientation, or it can be a slightly different color to add visual interest.

For advice on picking the best vinyl siding for your home, contact a company like Allstate Gutter & Siding.

Classy Enhancements

A few subtle enhancements make a big difference in giving a small, Minimal Traditional houses cozy, homelike appeal.

  • Windows. Replace plain, single-pane windows with double-hung, multi-pane windows that are Energy Star certified. This one enhancement is not only pretty – it can help reduce energy costs.
  • Front Door. Get rid of the plain door and put in a solid wood entry door with an etched glass window in it. In some Minimal Traditional layouts, there's also sufficient space at one or both sides of the door to also install a narrow side window.
  • Trim. Paint wood trim around the windows and doors in a color that complements the siding to give the structure a sense of visual dimension.
  • Shutters. Jazz up the front facade, and the sides of the house, too, with handsome wood shutters. These can be painted in a contrasting color to kick it up a notch, and years later the color can be changed to give the house a slightly different appearance.

Finishing Touches

Change the landscaping at the front of the house. Replace the usual foundation plantings with ornamental grass, clusters of flowering perennials, spring-blooming bulbs and low-growing evergreen shrubs to keep the view beautiful all through the year. Complete the look by changing the front walk from plain gray concrete to a lovely path made of pavers, natural stone, or decorative concrete for a welcoming entrance to your newly attractive Minimal Traditional home.

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25 July 2016