When discussing home renovation, it seems that interiors get all the love. But the exterior of your house can be just as important as your exterior, especially if you spend a lot of time outside. Whether you’re renovating your exterior or thinking about new construction and want to get creative with the outside of the house, there’s a lot to consider.
“To me the exterior is as important as the interior, today more than ever before. It is the business card of your home. That’s the first impression anyone will get of your home,” said David Malka. “When someone visits you, or you want to sell the house, or an investor that wants to buy it, or someone who wants to assess it. So the exterior always raises the value.”
Working with a professional and respected contractor is especially important when remodeling your exterior. There are lots of moving parts when it comes to ensuring your exterior is as you want it aesthetically, but also functionally and architecturally sound. Additionally, exterior construction can be very expensive.
“Planning the exterior is super important because the cost of a mistake is massive, and it will cost a lot of money,” said Malka. “Materials are expensive, labor is expensive, and replacing it will cost a lot of money.”
Before you get to planning exactly what your new exterior or the exterior of your new home will look like, you’ll have to decide what type of exterior you want.
The four styles below are some of the most popular in California, especially when it comes to new construction and remodeling.
Cape Cod/Modern Farmhouse
A Cape Cod style house, also called a Farmhouse or Modern Farmhouse, originated on the East Coast, as the name suggests. However, it’s getting more and more popular in California, especially when it comes to new construction. They typically only have one floor and feature steep rooflines.
While wood siding and board-and-batten are typical materials on the East Coast, using materials like stucco can help make a Cape Cod house feel more West Coast. There’s also typically a lot of wood inside the house, including the floors.
David Malka says he usually sees families interested in Cape Cod homes, gravitating towards the less modern look they provide. The homes feel warm, and are typically not very expensive to build or remodel.
Another popular type of home in California is the modern transitional style. Malka mainly sees this style in Bel-Air, West Hollywood, into the San Fernando Valley, and into the Los Angeles suburbs. These houses are characterized by their straight lines and a uniform look. Modern transitional houses use a lot of stone, especially marble and cement. Malka explains that the houses are typically monochromatic and opt for darker colors, and might use natural wood as an accent or contrast piece.
Modern houses also utilize a lot of glass, often opting for large windows that make a statement and let in plenty of light to the interior.
Spanish Villas or Mediterranean
Spanish Villas are a unique kind of home that are often historical, usually made with stucco and artistic elements. In certain areas of California, they’re densely concentrated. Some cities even require homes to maintain the Spanish Villa style to keep the history and culture alive.
While most Spanish Villas are older homes, some new home builders are opting for a modern take on this style instead of a strictly modern style.
“It is very artistic, with a lot of arches, niches, a lot of moldings, and beautiful details on the outside,” says Malka. “And when it’s been combined with modern trends, I think the result is just stunning.”
However, because the houses are so artistic and require by-hand craftsmanship, the cost can be much higher than other types of houses.
Craftsman style homes are characterized by their natural materials, like wood, stone, and brick. You’ll see lots of woodwork both outside and inside the house, such as in the low-pitched roofs, ceiling beams, or large front porches. The mix of materials creates a unique and hand-made look.
Craftsman styles are more affordable than Spanish Villas, and can be customized completely to your liking. The natural look is popular in certain areas of California, as well as other parts of the state, such as Sacramento.