House Exterior Fails and Fixes

wrong shape, size shutter

Have you fallen victim to these simple house exterior fails?  Maybe it’s too much House Beautiful or wine with the neighbor… Whatever the reason, you’re smarter than that!  Take a step back.  Evaluate.  And let’s get to work on fixing these house fails with simple changes.  

House Fail #1:

If it doesn’t fit, don’t wear it… With SHUTTERS that is!

First, this home is precious with tons of curb appeal.  Look at that inviting door and rockers!   What happened to the shutters?  At brick&batten we have two trains of thought.  Shutters should either be functioning or at least appear to be functioning with correct size and hardware.  Or, remove the shutters!  Not every house needs shutters and it’s completely appropriate to say goodbye if you know they aren’t architecturally correct.  If you really love your shutters and would rather keep them, be sure to invest in shutter hardware.  This little detail will go a long way!

shutter fail

shutter fail 

shutter FIX

shutter FIX


House Fail  #2:

They are like wingmen.  You only need one good one… With WINDOW style that is!

Windows are a huge part of your home’s exterior; however, your house may appear sloppy with several different shapes and styles of windows.  Muntins (the grid pattern of little pieces that separate glass panes) can also be a problem if not done consistently.  Different muntin styles are appropriate for certain house styles.  You don’t often see busy muntins on a contemporary or diamond muntins on a colonial house. Thank God! 

window style fail

window style fail

window style FIX

window style FIX


House Fail #3:

Whoever said size doesn’t matter was lying… With COLUMNS that is!

Most of the time we see exterior house columns that look wimpy, as though they can hardly hold up the porch or portico. Size matters!  The original purpose of a column was to hold something up, so just like shutters, they should appear to be able to hold the weight of what’s above them.  They are also used to make a statement and for decorative purposes.  So, if size matters, make a statement!  If you have fallen victim to this facade fail, it’s an easy fix.  There are simple ways to wrap your existing columns without replacing the entire piece. 

column fail

column fail

column FIX

column FIX


House Fail #4:

Unruly bush.  No way…With LANDSCAPE that is!

No one likes an unruly bush!  You may think that beautiful English Ivy is the way to go for ground cover; however, it becomes invasive very quickly.  Taking over your garden, drowning out native plants, harboring ants and other critters, climbing up the walls of your home, and suffocating the life out of your stucco and brick.  Beautiful in moderation and well trimmed, YES!  Taking over your house and yard, NO!   If you keep your ivy and other bushes trimmed they add beauty to any exterior. Mother Nature has made these invasive plants heartier than your perennials.  Trust me!  Check out this link for other ground cover and plants to stay away from.

ivy landscape fail

ivy landscape fail

ivy landscape FIX

ivy landscape FIX


House Fail #5:

Too much of a good thing is deadly….With CLADDING that is!

What is cladding?  It is the exterior covering of your home that protects you.  We love brick and rock and stucco, and of course, we love batten and wood.  However,  we don’t love a paint by number house with a mixture of brick, rock, stucco, batten, and wood.  All the different cladding is far too busy and creates chaos on the facade of your home.  Homes that are too busy are difficult to match with paint and architectural style.  Choose two or three exterior surfaces that you like and stick with them.  If you DO have the chaos going on, it’s important to choose a paint color to tie in the different shades competing with one another.  The homes with multiple surfaces and textures are quickly becoming dated and overdone.

too much cladding fail

too much cladding fail

brick cladding FIX

brick cladding FIX


House Fail #6:

I’ll take farmhouse, with a little more farmhouse, and top it off with farmhouse… With STYLE that is!

Whoa!  I like Joanna Gaines but she may be the only one that can continue to get away with farmhouse style on every house she touches.  Consequently, the rest of us need to remember while the farmhouse style is beautiful, it doesn’t work for every style home.  I love a farmhouse, but my 1920’s bungalow or my sister’s contemporary are never going to be one….even if I add wood columns and white paint. The farmhouse exterior is a trend but in 10 years we will all look back and know that your house was built between 2010-2019.  Embrace your style!

mid-century trying to be farmhouse fail

farmhouse FIX

Have you fallen victim to some of these house exterior fails?  Do you have shutter shame, a landscape disaster, or live and breathe farmhouse?  No worries.  Take a deep breath.  Sit on your front porch.  Look at our before&afters to become totally inspired.  Simple changes can make a big impact.  We would love to partner with you to make these simple changes.  Contact us today for a free consultation.