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How to Renovate the Exterior of a 70's Style Home

Exterior renovations can go from simple to elaborate. More complex renovations should not be attempted without professional help on design and construction. But there are many things that the do-it-yourself homeowner can do to get a big result. Windows make one of the biggest differences, turning the two-dimensional look of a 70’s exterior into a three-dimensional updated design with depth and interest. And don’t limit exterior design elements to the front, as was done in the 70s; give your home a 360-degree makeover allowing a smooth transition from the different elevations.

Replace aluminium sliding windows with contemporary, paned, energy-efficient windows. These are available in all price ranges but should be installed by a professional.

Replace sliding glass doors with French doors.

Paint the exterior with an updated colour.

Install wide moulding around each window. This can be very simple, such as a wooden frame or more elaborate with ready-made mouldings consistent with the style you want to create.

Install shutters around each window. Shutters also come in a wide range of prices, styles and materials. The least expensive are made of plastic and you can easily install them yourself. Be sure to choose a style that is consistent with the style you want to achieve.

Attach window flower boxes and plant with flowers that complement the colour of your house. Flowering plants that also have interesting foliage give the treatment more depth and interest.

Cover cement slab patio and entrance porch with stone veneers. This isn’t any more difficult than laying ceramic tile. Veneers are available in brick, cobblestones, slate and many other styles.

Replace exterior doors with contemporary doors that suit the style you want to achieve. Double doors can be converted to a single, extra wide door with side windows for an elegant look.

Update exterior lighting fixtures by replacing them with fixtures that are compatible with your home’s new look.

Replace the dated garage door with a contemporary door. They now come in a wide variety of styles.

Add dormers to the roof to create height and interest.

Cover or replace 4 x 4 posts on patio and porch coverings with architectural columns. (Some columns are made to encase existing supports). If your patio covering is a plain or just isn’t compatible with the new style, replace it with a pergola or multi-level decking, extending the living space outdoors.

Create a landscape design that adds dimension to the house. Use large, curving beds with a variety of textures and shades of green foliage and accent with colourful flowers that complement the colour of your home. There is no need to demolish the brick planters, just integrate them into your design by planting in front of parts of it, leaving some of the brick exposed.

Things You'll Need

  • Windows
  • French doors
  • Paint
  • Shutters
  • Moulding
  • Flower boxes
  • Stone veneers
  • Garage door
  • Exterior doors
  • Exterior lighting
  • Plants
  • Architectural columns
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About the Author

Lisa Dorward was a corporate financial executive and business consultant for more than 15 years before becoming a writer in 2003. She has B.A. degrees in both history and creative writing and earned her M.F.A. in creative writing in 2008, specializing in novel-length historical fiction.