Re: REALLY need some input...
The first thing I'd budget for is a Tree Surgeon or Tree Trimming service. You need to get rid of the dead wood and get the overhanging branches removed from the house. Some of those trees are past their "prime" and you want to protect that newer roof and avoid critters. Most all of the foundation planting in the front is too close to the house, and under the eaves, promoting rot, decay, and WDIs. You may need to do some grading corrections.
I'd nix the idea of a circular drive in front of the home, it (the home) is close enough to the street already, a circular drive connecting to the street in more than one place is an invitation for everyone to use your drive as a turn-around, and you will want a buffer zone between autos and your home.
A wider walk with slight pitch to promote run-off and perhaps a natural stone with some more snaky path even with a branch to the street near the mailbox (if street parking is permitted) might increase the curb appeal and practical aspects - being forced to use the drive as your path to the street can be cumbersome, especially if cars are parked on the driveway. Perhaps the postmaster would allow you to move the mailbox closer to the driveway/walkway boarder at the curb instead of the middle of your lot? (couldn't hurt to ask/write a letter). I can see granite steppers, red, blue or buff grade (not flame or orange) or paver bricks instead of the concrete walkway; opening wider at the front perhaps flanking the sides of the porch slightly looking very inviting, and bringing it along side the drive and down to the street perhaps widening/flaring it at the street end as well.
Definately work out a landscaping (materials, colors both hardscape and softscape) plan before you begin the paint color selection process so you end up with a unified look, even if you do it over time year by year.
Draping the hose on the front of the house looks nasty. A self contained free-standing hose reel box on a swivel is more practical to use, looks better, and is easier to disguise (even if you have to use frequently).
If you're in an area of Texas that requires the foundation soil to be regularly moistened to protect it, and you don't have a slow soaker system in place that's the next I'd budget for.
The light colored roofing is good. You will need some serious blocking primer to cover the blue and prevent bleed through - blue tones are most difficult to block. From the deck pictures doesn't look like much scraping/sanding/feathering was done on the siding before it was painted blue. Prep might be a big project. Stick with lighter tones for the house as well. A light neutral with a hint of color that may be more apparent when natural light is less would be most flattering and hide dust splashes, stay away from pinky or peach tones/hues. Off white trim instead of stark white around entry doors, windows instead of dark colors will maximize light and minimize heat gain in summer. Front entry door pick a dramatic color you can also highlight other areas (such as exposed rafter tails, etc.), but avoid very dark (heat gain) if the door faces south.
The deck looks seriously neglected. I would also opt for a very different type of guardrail, more in keeping with the style of the home, and less like a containment for farm animals. What is that white board situation on the operable side of the back/deck entry? It looks hideous. If its enclosing a former window location that you don't wish to restore then piece in replacement siding. Walkout height and questionable flashing don't look right but the pictures don't reveal much detail, your home inspection report might reveal more problems with it and may need to be redesigned, torn out and replaced and installed as a step down deck.
Edit to add: Nix on the faux shutters: overhangs and placement of windows/doors with home style, would be out of place, and encourage insect/spider nesting, moisture, wood rot, etc.
Last edited by Gray Watson; 11-05-2009 at 10:48 AM.
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