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​Pretoria architect: 5 House exterior design tips you should know

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
by homify
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First impressions definitely count, but if you think that means your work only starts with your home’s front entryway or that the responsibility for a beautiful house lies solely with your architects, then think again. Even from the street, people can already judge your house’s exterior, whether it’s the colour of your exterior walls or the condition of the front yard – and take a tip from us: if what they see on the outside is dull, neglected and lacking in style, then they don’t have much hope for what lies behind that front door. 

Yes, kerb appeal is crucial, whether you plan on selling your house in the future or are very happy staying there forever. Think of your house’s exterior façade as a hint to the outside worlds as to what your personal style and dedication to visual beauty is like. 

But don’t worry if you feel like you’ve hit a brick wall when it comes to styling up your house on the outside. That’s what these house exterior design tips are for…

1. House exterior design tips: A welcoming entryway

House Pinto by homify

House Pinto


When it comes to house exterior design tips for an entryway, there is a wealth of factors to consider: the colour of your front door, the door knob(s), a welcome mat, a clean porch, good lighting, etc. 

Make this entire process easier by starting with the single question of how to paint your front door. Choose two tints that are from the same colour family (i.e. brown or beige) for your house’s façade, but welcome in a third colour for the door (such as charcoal black). 

Our recommendation is to make it a darker shade than the rest of the house. But if you’re up for experimenting with colours, opt for a contrasting colour (like cranberry red for a striking look).

2. House exterior design tips: Seasonal flowers in your front garden

house masia by homify

house masia


Never just choose plants and flowers based solely on their looks and colours – do your research before venturing out to nurseries. 

Find out what flowers are the best for the given time of year, as well as their particular soil types. Even here in South Africa we have an amazing range of florals and plants that are perfect for every season. 

Should you struggle with this, talk to a professional at your local nursery, or see where a seasoned gardener or landscape architect can offer some assistance.

3. House exterior design tips: Choose the right materials

House langa by homify

House langa


The best way to pick the proper materials for your house’s façade is to go with materials that have both aesthetics and longevity values. Fortunately, a wide range of options exists (brick, wood, steel, aluminium, etc.), but to narrow your options, decide on the style of your house (traditional, modern, rustic, etc.). 

While cedar shingles and stone are more fitting with traditional homes, sleek steel and wood panels could be great for something more modern and minimalistic.

4. House exterior design tips: Put emphasis on your roof

house kambula by homify

house kambula


Just like your home’s walls, its roof is not only about beauty – it needs to be functional, too. 

In terms of popularity, asphalt shingles can be spotted on a lot of roofs, and not only here in South Africa. The reason is that they are easy to install and quite cost effective. However, wood is also a very popular choice due to its great durability. And should you want to go for metal or slate, keep in mind that it could cost more, and is only relevant with certain designs due to the weight factor.

5. House exterior design tips: Pick the right windows

house mathebula by homify

house mathebula


Similar to the roof, your house’s windows need to be visually pleasing and durable. But keep in mind that they should also reflect your house’s style and character. 

Living in a more traditional-type house? Symmetrical rectangular windows is the better option. For a more modern structure, rather go with large windows from floor to ceiling. 

And don’t overlook the importance of ventilation, UV rating, maintenance (i.e. how easy they are to clean), the views that they offer, etc. 

Interested in the architectural evolution of shipping containers? Take note of these 9 things you should know before building a container home.

What other design tips can you add to ensure a better look for your house’s façade?
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