The Exterior Features That Are Making Your Home Look Old-Fashioned

When looking to remodel our homes, we often think of interiors like the bathroom and kitchen, leaving the exterior parts overlooked or on the bottom of the checklist. We shouldn't forget that our guests experience the outside of our home prior to entering. First impressions are made long before guests see those newly finished countertops, and a lot of us are living in outdated structures.

The National Association of Retailers (NAR) estimates that, in the U.S., the average age of a house is 39 years, meaning most homes were built before the turn of the 21st century. When Old House Web surveyed its readers, 45.5% reported living in a house built between 1900 and 1945, and 33.3% in a house built in the 1800s. There's certainly something charming about older homes, and vintage design has skyrocketed to the top of the trends chart over the last few years. However, there are certain parts of a house's exterior that should be updated because they don't fit in with that endearing rustic look. Here are some top exterior features the NAR believes are making your home look old-fashioned and outdated.

Red brick

Known as one of the world's oldest building methods, Brick Architecture dates the usage of brick back to 7,000 B.C and the ancient city of Jericho. After the Industrial Revolution in the U.S., the production of bricks soared, with over 10 billion bricks manufactured annually throughout the 19th century. In essence, red brick has been everywhere for millennia and is still alive today. But because we've had red brick buildings for as long as history books can remember, the NAR finds that it considerably dates modern homes with a worn and overused look.

A fresh coat of white paint can do wonders in freshening up your brick, or you could go bolder with dark colors like navy blue and emerald green to add a sophisticated and elegant tone that won't show as much dirt as white. Another popular option is lime washing; this alternative to paint leaves no room for trapped moisture and gives a natural stone finish. If you're someone who cannot part with your red brick or fancy it enough to buy a house that features it, consider at least giving it a good power wash and sprucing up surrounding trim, gutters, doors, and windows. Getting the brick back to its original color and touching up the finer details will breathe new life into the exterior of your home.

Angled bay windows

According to Scott James Windows, bay windows became mainstream after an adjustment to the Building Act in 1894. Previous to this, bay windows were usually only seen in the architecture of the elite. People took to this trend, loving the natural light that swept into a room and the window's prominent appearance on both the inside and outside. Now decades later, bay windows have become more trouble than many find them to be worth. Progressive Insulation and Windows outlines one of the cons found with these windows is their inability to regulate temperature as seasons change. They're expensive and require custom drapery, and the way they protrude from a house has lost its attraction, becoming more of an eyesore than anything. 

Some great alternatives to bay windows that won't sacrifice abundant natural light include three-lite slider windows, casement windows, and picture windows. Like a typical slider, the three-lite windows slide open and feature three panels rather than two. Casement windows are hinged on one side and swing open. As for picture windows, these offer an outside view that resembles a framed photo, but they're fixed in place and do not open. Suppose picture windows are grabbing your attention, but you don't like the idea of a permanently closed option. These can be paired with casement windows and others for added ventilation while maintaining a sleek appearance. With these alternatives, your home can have a contemporary design that features all the qualities we love about bay windows.

Ornate front doors

As one of the first things someone sees as they approach your house, the front door should be pleasing and easy on the eyes. Front doors that feature ornamental glass and patterns are busy in design and take us back to the 1990s. Many of these door designs go all out with frosted glass, ornate iron, and oval cutouts in the wood. Renovate With Character names dark wood from the '70s and clean lines from the '90s as the top door designs from the 1900s to present day that remain relevant.

The ways in which we can create a one-of-a-kind entryway into our homes are endless. Clean glass elements, bold colors, and smart technology add flair to front doors. You can create striking details by contrasting a dark door with light trim work, installing double doors that give a larger sense of welcoming, or by playing around with finishes like gloss or matte paint. Our front doors should be an introduction to our homes and can undoubtedly be bold in design, but keeping it clean will always be essential.