A Creative Solution for Your Home’s Ugly Exterior

August 23, 2018

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Need a new idea for your ugly exterior? This is the most unique idea you'll findThis might be a first for all you stock photo-loving Instagram people out there–I am going to show the internet the very ugly exterior of my house.

Do you ever look at “before” pictures on DIY blogs and think, “That’s already better than what I have!” I definitely do.

But you shouldn’t feel inferior about the home you are blessed to have.  It’s easy for me to be embarrassed about my house’s ugly exterior, but I am blessed to have a solid roof over my head.  So today I’m ignoring the embarrassment and showing you my creative solution for my ugly house!

As you read this, think about the weird or awkward parts of your home or your exterior. Knowing what you don’t like can help you improve it! 

The Ugly Exterior

So are you ready to see the ugliness?  Wait no longer…. here it is.

Does your house have an ugly exterior? Here's an idea to upgrade your curb appeal on the cheap!

Current Progress

First of all, I realized very recently that I never took an actual “before” picture of the front of the house, which is a REAL bummer.

Since that picture was taken, I’ve finished painting and attaching used shutters to the windows on the right, painted my front door, built the window boxes, then painted and attached them.

We also replaced the upper right window that was rotting, but I didn’t do that by myself! Or at all.

So here it is in the middle of that process, crawling baby head and all:

Does your house have an ugly exterior? Here's an idea to upgrade your curb appeal on the cheap!

The Problems

#1: Awkwardly Placed Addition

Here’s what makes the exterior so weird.  At some point, someone added a dining room onto the front of the house.  While that dining room is great to have, you can see very very clearly there is a big awkward protrusion on the outside.

This bothers me, but it’s something I can’t change unless you want to quick Venmo me like $100k for a renovation.  Yes? No? Okay, then I guess I won’t waste my energy freaking about that.

#2: Awkwardly Placed Windows

What REALLY gets to me is the placement of those windows.

I just googled “house with two windows,” and this came up.  Just look at those windows… centered equally.  Like they logically should be.

Such a great idea for your home's ugly exterior!

Now, look at mine again.

Are they equally placed?  Are they near the middle?  Not. even. a little bit.  They’re pushed all the way to the edge of the addition, making shutters impossible and this terribly awkward amount of empty siding right in the front.

HONESTLY.  WHO WOULD DO THIS?!

Does your house have an ugly exterior? Here's an idea to upgrade your curb appeal on the cheap!

#3: Very Depressed Landscaping

On top of that, the “landscaping” is so bad that I don’t think it actually deserves to be called landscaping.  This is not my area of expertise, but it is an important component of not having an ugly exterior with terrible curb appeal. 

Brainstorming Solutions

It took a long time to figure out the right solution for this, but I was constantly thinking of different ideas. 

If you are looking for a solution to some part of your interior or exterior that you hate, the first thing I suggest is utilizing Pinterest to brainstorm.

The second thing I suggest is checking out my Project Planning Printable, which is designed to help you plan and complete any DIY project even if you have young kids like I do.  Using this process is what helped me narrow down which ideas weren’t realistic.

One of my favorite ideas was this, but I wasn’t convinced it would look right.

A creative idea for your ugly exterior!

My Solution

Finally, I got creative (and maybe a tiny bit desperate) and bought this lattice for $15.

I wasn’t totally sure what I was going to do yet, but I felt like there was potential, and anything would be better than nothing!

Does your house have an ugly exterior? Here's an idea to upgrade your curb appeal on the cheap!

Step #1: Paint

So first, I spray painted it black to match the windows boxes and shutters.

I used the same kind of paint I used for those projects–is there a way to buy stock in spray paint?  If there was, I would have made enough to pay for a full renovation by now!

Does your house have an ugly exterior? Here's an idea to upgrade your curb appeal on the cheap!

Okay, so we’re getting places.  But I still felt like it looked unfinished, even if I were to attach it at this point.

I was right.

Step #2: Trim

Back to Home Depot I went, and I picked up some trim for somewhere around 80-90 cents a foot.  I was able to get a few scrap pieces and I did the math (miraculously it was correct) and had almost nothing leftover.

Does your house have an ugly exterior? Here's an idea to upgrade your curb appeal on the cheap!

I had to use my jigsaw, one of my favorite tools ever, to cut them down to exact size.  That took all of 3 minutes.  Jigsaws are awesome.

Then I used Elmer’s wood glue and 3/4 inch nails to attach the trim, and let it sit overnight.

Does your house have an ugly exterior? Here's an idea to upgrade your curb appeal on the cheap!

Doesn’t it already look a thousand times better?!  This is when I started getting really excited.

So guess what I did next?  Yep.  Let me tell you ’bout my beeeeeeest friieeeend…

Does your house have an ugly exterior? Here's an idea to upgrade your curb appeal on the cheap!

Step #3: Bonus Project!

The same night I attached the trim, I also found this big planter that had been left from the sellers when we bought the house.  I had my eye on this thing since the day we moved, but never found a purpose for it.

Does your house have an ugly exterior? Here's an idea to upgrade your curb appeal on the cheap!

Until today!

(PS, I’m trying to be really cool, but it’s my favorite thing EVER when I find something for cheap or free and am actually able to turn it into something I love.  MY FAVORITE THING EVER.  But I’m being cool about it, right?)

That first night I just taped off those black strips.  It’s a little ridiculous how long that took me.

Does your house have an ugly exterior? Here's an idea to upgrade your curb appeal on the cheap!

The next day I spray painted it white.  I was a little nervous to do white over the dark planter, but I actually didn’t even do a second coat.  It’s not 100% covered, but I liked the way it turned out.

Does your house have an ugly exterior? Here's an idea to upgrade your curb appeal on the cheap!

Oh, obviously I also finished tearing out the weeds in there.  Duh.  

Step #4: Back to the not-bonus steps

Okay, so now everything was ready.  Next, a few things happened at once:

1. I took the sweet potato vine out of my window boxes (I just didn’t like how they looked in there) and moved them to the planter.
2. I planted petunias in my window boxes.
3. Andrew held the lattice so I could attach it with some wood screws. Quick and easy.
4.. Andrew moved the planter to the front because it was RIDICULOUSLY heavy.

So after that day, the house looked like this…

Ahh!  We’re still not done, but it’s already an improvement!

Step #5: Decorate the Lattice

Finally, I got to do what I had been looking forward to since the beginning. All I used for the last part was $1 terra cotta pots from Walmart and a pack of S hooks.

First, I drilled holes in the pots, which is a little bit challenging. Then I just stuck S hooks through them and hung them right on the lattice!

Does your house have an ugly exterior? Here's an idea to upgrade your curb appeal on the cheap!

And yes, those are fake flowers.  I’m not going to be able to water these pots, plus I want to be able to change out what’s in them for the seasons.

Ugly Exterior No More!

Here’s a reminder of what the house looked like the day we bought it…

(This was actually our first showing.  This poor realtor, I’m so sorry I’m putting you on the internet.)

And what it looks like now…

I love the unique addition of the lattice, and the fact that I can change it for the seasons!

Now, if you change your mind about that $100k donation… I would probably tear out the whole front and completely renovate it.  But until then, this makes me pretty happy. 🙂

Now show me your ugly exterior and the awkward challenges you have!

UPDATE: We sold this house as of May 2019, and it sold significantly over asking price!  I absolutely believe this improvement helped with the curb appeal and attracting buyers. 

Related posts:
A Complete Kitchen Makeover for Under $400
Everything You Need To Know About Selling On Facebook Marketplace

Idea for your ugly exterior solution


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Hi! I’m Kaylee–a mom of 2, business owner, DIY addict, and so much more. You’ll find some fun DIY tutorials, totally honest reviews, and lots of tips for making your home fit YOU. Welcome to Mama and More!

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