Flip #4 · Uncategorized

Flip 4: Exterior Details

As a Realtor, I can tell you that often times a buyer has made up their mind about a house before they ever cross the threshold. An often overlooked element, especially by flippers, is curb appeal. So much time and money is spent indoors that it’s easy to forget or ignore the exterior.

But let me tell you, there was no ignoring the elephant in the room…or outside the room in this case.


The wood siding needed patched and reattached. The red paint was faded. The windows were fogged. The door was dirty & scratched. The porch railings were detached and strewn across the yard. There was no landscaping. The lawn was overgrown. Decaying & torn indoor/outdoor carpet. Tree limbs were everywhere. And that is just a cursory list of the countless items.

So, like I said, there was no ignoring the exterior at Flip 4!


Obviously I’m not your average buyer, so while the exterior should have made me run for the hills. I proceeded.

But I never want my buyers to feel like they should run for the hills!


The barn red was just so…well, barnish. I think there’s potential in red, but muted, soft colors tend to statistically appeal more. So with that knowledge, the red had to go! Along with the decaying green indoor/outdoor carpet. I mean with the red and green it was like Christmas on the front porch year round!


And before it ever got better, it got worse. A large portion of the yard and driveway had to be ripped up for the new sewer lines. So the curb appeal had to wait until all of that chaos was addressed.


There’s nothing like a torn up yard and driveway to send your anxiety through the roof! But, fortunately, it only lasted a few days and then the chaos stopped.

One of the few true things that you see on reality TV is that curb appeal always waits until the last minute. I don’t want to landscape when I still have workers tramping everywhere!


The chief project for the exterior was updating the paint color. That barn red just wasn’t going to do! I wanted to soften up the exterior, so I chose a soft gray and accented with white trim.  I chose Benjamin Moore’s Stonington Gray for the exterior paint color. It did turn out slightly lighter than I expected, but I do love the color!


Painting the exterior of this home was not an easy task. Since it’s a 2 story home, it required a painter that wasn’t afraid of heights! That’s definitely not me. It took about 1/2 week to paint. We dodged thunderstorms for a while and finally got some sunny days to get it done.

MLS 27

I love the dramatic difference paint can do! From barn red to farmhouse chic with just paint!


And one of my favorite aspects of the exterior is when I make the trip to the mulch farm. It’s my favorite because that means the end is near! We have a local mulch farm that has a large variety of mulch, rocks, soil, etc. The prices vary and are much, much more affordable than if you buy by the bag at Lowe’s. They have mix lot mulch that is not as fine as the more expensive ones, and I get that for flips. It varies from $5-$7 per tractor scoop!

We ended up making 3 trips to get more mulch. There’s LOTS of ground that this house. We also got a few scoops of landscape pebbles for the backyard.



Landscaping can get expensive fast, so I was tickled when I found these beautiful yellow perennial flowers for $5 each at Walmart of all places. I wish I remembered their names! They’ll grow taller and wider. I added several of these around the new sewer system to hide the ugly clean-out and then along the driveway. I love the bold pop of color!


And OF COURSE you have to paint a door to enhance curb appeal! I actually loved the existing front door, and I had some leftover paint from Mac’s exterior paint job. The dark Almost Charcoal paint was a good contrast against the light gray. I also hired a welder to weld the railings back in place. And since they were rusty and gross, I used High Heat Paint to give them a new fresh look!

My favorite little addition were the planter boxes. Do they add value? No. Do they increase sellability? Yes (I’ll do a post about the difference in the near future!). These boxes were such a hit that the buyers even wrote in the contract that they wanted to make sure they conveyed!


But of all the details for the exterior, the gable project takes the list as one of the best accents and curb appeal projects! If you recall from the before pic, the peak of the front of the house was plain. And if you’ve watched Joanna Gaines and Fixer Upper for even a minute, you know architectural accents are huge right now! So when I had the opportunity to partner with Nu-Wood to promote custom gables, I jumped at the chance!

In mere minutes, I turned a plain, dime-a-dozen area of a home into something fun, and different, and interesting…the perfect combo for selling a home!


Adding accents, both inside and outside, that create interest and appeal are essential when trying to set your home apart. Most homes don’t have charming millwork accents, which I don’t understand when they’re so affordable & easy!

Whether you’re planning to stay in your home 20 more years and enjoy it for years to come or prepping to put yours on the market, you should peruse Nu-Wood’s options. Since I’ve received interest about this project, I thought I’d address a few questions and my thoughts about this easy, easy project:

  • Their millwork is created from low-maintenance polyurethane.
  • You can choose the style that best accents your home. I chose clean & simple
  • You can customize projects– like I did my gable– to fit your project!
  • Since these particular pieces are designed for the exterior, they are created to resist moisture, insects, impact & rotting!
  • One of the things I was so surprised by was how lightweight the gable was which greatly helped in the installation!
  • Easy, unique & affordable!
  • And if you thought they only created gables, they actually offer several other products: columns, faux panels, millwork accents. With the variety, price point, and ease, it makes transitioning a blah house into a beautiful show stopper!

Like I’ve mentioned before, just because I have the opportunity to partner with a company to promote a product doesn’t mean I will. I have to genuinely believe in the product and think it would serve my readers well to invest in such a company. I was SOLD on Nu-Wood. I’ve already starting imagining so many future projects for more flips!


From big projects to little projects, the exterior took a lot of work. Giving an exterior some TLC is one of the best ways to improve value and sellability in a home! My ugly, faded barn red house that most people overlooked transformed into a charming HOME!



17 thoughts on “Flip 4: Exterior Details

  1. Just wondering – I saw you wrote that you used high heat paint for the railings. Was that what you had on hand, or do you recommend using the high heat paint for re-painting railings? Thanks!

  2. Tim here – “Marketing Guy” from Nu-Wood. THANK you so much for the mention. yes, we have over 600 standard (and can easily make custom) parts for homes that are just as easy to install as the gable you put up…it does make a nice touch! You can check out all our products at http://www.nu-wood.com/

  3. The $3 perennials are Coreopsis, commonly called tickweed. They are easy to grow and have a long bloom season. Good choice

  4. Paint worked its special magic and turned your ugly duckling into a beautiful swan ! I’ve really enjoyed reading your notes about this flip, which was a HUGE challenge, and I look forward to your next endeavor. You hit a home run with this flip, kiddo! Congratulations and kudos for a job well done.

  5. Paint? Wow. Porch lighting? Yes. Cute little gable? Worth it. Planted window boxes and blooming flowers in the yard? Excellent. The whole makeover? Show me the contract!

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