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What are the Best Tips for Remodeling a Split-Level Exterior?

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  • Written By: A. Roe
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2016
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A common complaint among split-level homeowners is that the front of the home is attractive but the sides of the home and the side of the garage are largely ignored. It doesn't have to be that way, though, because there are several ways to update the exterior look of a split-level home. When viewing a split-level exterior, look for opportunities to add windows, extend or add a porch, and incorporate the design elements on all sides of the home.

One can start updating a split-level exterior by examining it to determine if the facade needs painting or repair. Any home design appears fresher with a tidy coat of paint and loose or damaged siding repaired or replaced. Remove outdated items such as window awnings and trim trees, bushes or other overgrown vegetation.

Consider adding windows to the sides of the split-level exterior home and garage. Windows allow light to enter the home, which always increases the value of a property, and adding windows to the exterior home design breaks up the long expanse of paint or siding common in split-level home designs. Choose windows in the same style and size that are already installed or replace all of the windows during the remodeling process.

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When adding a window to the garage, remember to add draperies or a similar privacy covering. This is particularly important when remodeling a tri-level split, because visitors will pass that window as they approach the front entrance of the home. Displaying the clutter common in garages is not in any homeowner's best interest.

Finish the new windows with shutters. Just as draperies finish the look of windows on the interior of a home, shutters provide the finishing touch for windows on the exterior of a home. Trim the windows and consider trimming the front door, if possible.

Another suggestion is to add a porch or expand an existing porch on the split-level exterior. A porch adds to the living space of the home and provides the opportunity to add detail. From floor decking to balustrades, from a small but welcoming entrance porch to a large wrap-around porch with a gazebo on the corner, a porch is always a good addition to the exterior home design.

Another remodeling tip is to update the color of a split-level exterior with new paint or siding. Consider the color combinations in the immediate neighborhood. This step helps avoid choosing colors too similar or too different from the surrounding homes.

Next, choose timeless colors to avoid the need to repaint or reside in the next few years. Trendy colors may seem like a grand idea today but, when that trend has come and gone, repainting or purchasing new siding is an expense that could have been avoided. In most cases, select a light color for the body of the home, a lighter or brighter color for the trim, and a darker color for accents. Muted colors with white trim are always going to look good and allow for more accent color options. For example, a pale yellow body color with white trim will look equally good with black, dark red or muted green accents.

One last consideration in a split-level exterior remodel is not to forget the landscape, which is especially important on a split-level exterior because of the height of the home. Landscaping is another avenue for breaking up the large expanse of blank walls typical of a split-level exterior, and trellises or fast-growing shrubbery are ideal for this. Hang flower boxes filled with seasonal flowers to add dimension to the facade of the home. Remember, too, to keep the lawn trimmed and free of litter. Regardless of how nice the paint looks, the home is not going to look its best if the lawn is overgrown.

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