HGTV's Erin And Ben Napier ID Two Simple Fixes To Update An Old Home's Exterior

Older homes, particularly ranches with brick exteriors, can easily have a dated or old-fashioned look, even if they are maintained. Homes built in the 1970s, for example, may be a turn-off to some buyers simply due to the design trends of that time — darker brick, lots of hedges, solid front doors, and little detailing. These homes often have clean lines and larger windows up front without a lot of exterior ornamentation. There are a few simple ways to update this type of exterior to create a more attractive and less dingy look, and while they will maintain their classic charm, they can fit more of the modern aesthetics many people desire.

In an episode of "Home Town" on HGTV, married design couple Erin and Ben Napier take on a project just like this, helping home buyer Harley to improve the exterior look of a midcentury modern home in the city of Laurel, Mississippi. The home buyer has a $100,000 renovation budget, which is plenty to renovate and make the four-bedroom home more functional and to address the dated exterior as well. You can apply the same design tips to your own exterior by focusing on two key aspects: the brick and the front door.

Don't paint the brick

Though the Napiers share that painting a brick exterior seems to be back in style, they shy away from doing so. Many people buying these older brick homes want to paint them to get rid of the darker look of the siding, sometimes adding a bright white color to transform the exterior. Instead, Erin says it's better to avoid painting the brick, even if it's a darker color, per

Instead of doing so, they transform this home with more subtle changes. That starts with cleaning the brick, which removes much of the mildew and built-up grime that created the dingy look. After that, they add a few updates to the landscaping, pulling out the row of hedges that spans the entire front of the home and replacing it with more ornamental pieces. They also update the shutters by painting them forest green; this better ties into the landscaping and natural brick coloring than the white that stood out before. The entire process helps give the exterior the nice appearance of brightness it had been heavily lacking.

Replacing the front door

One of the easiest ways to make a big impact on a home's first impression is to change out the front door. Older homes often have solid wood doors designed for privacy. They could be ornate with panels or quite simplistic. These doors, though, impact not just the way the exterior of the home looks but they limit the amount of natural light flowing into the home, contributing to that dark and foreboding feeling.

In this project, the design team removes the existing solid white doors and replaces them with doors that have big window panes. The large glass openings are sure to add more light into the home. The Napiers also choose a wood tone for the doors that better accentuates the look of the brick and shutters, helping the door to feel like a natural element within an overall design. This instantly contributes to the exterior of the home and may also help improve the way the entryway feels when stepping inside. While these are smaller budget-friendly changes to the home, they have a big impact on the way it feels and looks from the curb.