Lindsey Clouse and Jamie Stauffer Give Advice for Upping Your Home's Curb Appeal

If the exterior of your home feels dated, there are ways you can update and enhance it. Three homeowners, including one who is a contractor, share their experiences and their tips for a successful home renovation.

By Juliana Goodwin

Mar 2020

Curb Appeal - West Plains - After - CO Jamie Stauffer

A Bright White Exterior in West Plains

When Jamie Stauffer bought her home in West Plains in April 2018, she intended to fully renovate it. “The biggest issues to address were where to take out walls and how the outside was going to be painted,” she says. Stauffer had never painted the exterior of a home before, so the first task was to find a reliable source. “There is a man at the local hardware store, and I would trust him with my life,” she says with a laugh. “He eats, sleeps and drinks paint.” There’s a plethora of advice on the internet, but that doesn’t mean it’s reliable, so Stauffer says a homeowner should find an expert they can trust in the community. For example, she had read that paint could only be applied if the temperatures were in the 50s, but after talking to her source, she learned there are new paints that can be applied in colder weather. 

The goal was to brighten up the exterior. “I wanted something more polished, slick and contemporary,” she says. For the renovation, she had the brick painted, the dated shutters taken out and the landscaping, which was from the 1980s, ripped out. Stauffer added riverbed rock and new flower beds but overall opted for minimal landscaping. The key to the exterior was brightening up the brick with fresh paint, which transformed the look of her home.

Curb Appeal - Rountree - After - CO Lindsey Clouse

Rountree Renovation

When Keith and Lindsey Clouse were house-hunting, they wanted an older home with character in the Rountree neighborhood. On a budget, they opted for a fixer-upper. “We heard that the house was going up for auction, and after doing a quick run-through, we won as the highest bidder,” Lindsey says. “Ready or not, it was ours.” 

The home had been vacant for almost 10 years and had been used for storage. The structure was in great shape, but it needed cosmetic work, Keith says. They repainted and repaired the exterior, added a second bathroom, restored and added new flooring and installed a new HVAC system. The goal was to maintain the historical integrity of the home but modernize and personalize it for their family. 

Challenges included time, staying on budget and selecting color for the exterior. They liked yellow and mint green. A neighbor’s house was already yellow, so that made the decision for them. “The day the paint went on, we drove up in shock; it was so bright,” Lindsey says. “But after we really started talking about it, I think we were focused more on what others would think rather than if we really liked it. Once it was all done, driving up to it felt fun and happy, and it still does today.”

Their advice? Homeowners should consider the design culture of their neighborhood, but make the decisions based on what you like, and don’t get too caught up in the opinion of others. A renovation is not easy, but the stress and headaches are worth it, the Clouses say.

Do It Yourself

Want to try your hand at remodeling and re-invigorating your home? Follow these steps.

1. A splash of color can enhance a home. Consider a red or teal door, or colorful furniture on the porch.

2. Painted brick can completely change your look and freshen up any exterior.

3. Contrast works. On a white house, black accents on window trims or the roof grab your attention.

4. When it comes to landscaping, mix colors and texture, such as dark and light mulch.

5. Instead of plain gravel, add some texture with larger 4-inch rocks.

6. Tall and slender plants like cypress, pine and evergreens are popular picks that stay green all year.

7. Stain the driveway or create a border of tile or flagstone to add character to front porches and steps.