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So you live in a tract home neighborhood?

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Published On : 07-18-2005
Author : Steve Donegan
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Do you live in a suburb where all the neighboring homes are the same? Do you come home at night and pull into the wrong driveway because everyone's house plan is the same and the colors barely differ? Its frustrating isn't it? I like to see innovative production home builders that take the time and spend the money to give people more options within a subdivision. That's one of the reasons more and more people are wanting to build custom homes. Your home is an expression of yourself. It's nice to have a refuge that you really enjoy and is built to your tastes.

So what if you're stuck where you are for a while and want to give your home some character? Here are a few simple ideas that will help set your home apart.

- gable trim pieces (mounted in the peak of the gable) can give your home a victorian flare or just the right craftsman accent to set it apart. Just be sure you choose the appropriate trim for the style of your home.
- Many of the siding manufacturers also have window trim pieces that can be installed around the window to dress it up. Your siding installer can even build some trim pieces around your windows to make them look like they are cased. This gives your home a lot cleaner look and make the cheap look of vinyl siding look not so cheap.
- These days you can get vinyl shakes, vinyl vertical siding, scallops, etc. which are maintenance free. You can accent a gable end or around a garage door by replacing your plain siding with shakes, board and batten style siding or scallops.
- A well planned landscape can go a long way. Take some time to plan some nice looking flower beds, build some planter boxes, or do some paving stones to create a nice courtyard or quaint little path. Then plant some nice bushes, trees and flowers. A nice landscape can give your home a totally different feel. building a mound of dirt in front covered with grass or flowers just isn't enough. You don't want it to look like you just buried a cow in the front yard. Get creative. If you don'd know what to do - enlist some help from the local greenhouse.
- Garage doors. Many of the popular tract housing home plans have the garage located directly on the front of the house, often times (and unfortunately)the central focus of the architectural design. You can reaplace your plan garage door with some carraige doors, install a new panel with windows, or change its color.

There are many more things that can be done. Some cost more than others. But, giving your home a little character will make it more pleasant to live in, and if you do it right- easier to sell when the time comes.

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