Maximizing Curb Appeal

On every episode of Curb Appeal: The Block, a so-so house gets a major makeover, and a couple of others in the neighborhood get spiffed up too. See how fresh landscaping and a facelift can take a home from blah to bedazzling.

Before: A Bare Front

A weedy front yard and an architecturally stark house make this the ugliest property of the block. The gable seems enormous with just one small window and no detail. Curb Appeal: The Block host John Gidding thinks the house is the perfect candidate for a folk-Victorian touchup.

After: Ultra-Charming Cottage

The symmetry of the house, combined with a steep roof and large gable, gave Curb Appeal: The Block host John Gidding the inspiration to add folk-Victorian architectural elements. Window boxes, Victorian spandrels, bracket work and filigree details — along with new brick-detail walkway and loads of beautiful plantings — have completely transformed the home.

After: Picture-Perfect Porch

A closeup of the porch reveals the folk-Victorian details that give the Craftsman house so much appeal. The circular trim, milled out of PVC, holds decorative spandrels in the upper corners. The trim around the supports is also made of PVC, which retains its good looks a long time.

Before: Gateway to Blah

Brent and Ronnie love the size of their yard; they just don't know how to landscape it. And, unfortunately, theirs is the first property you see when entering the neighborhood. The drab front gives this home a worst-of-the-block look. The couple would love a modern upgrade for this traditional brick ranch.

After: Welcome to the Neighborhood

Beautiful planting beds curve toward the house, pointing the way to a wow of an upgraded entrance. Designer John Gidding built an expanded deck to encompass much more of the house and give it a modern profile, then painted the brick a soothing green. Arching walkways help anchor the home into the landscape and give people somewhere to walk besides the driveway.

Before: Micro Porch

The steep stairs lead to a tiny landing area.

After: Spacious Front Deck

The layer and details of the deck are linear and graphic, giving the space a modern feel. A new pergola shades the sitting area. A wood wall at the base of the deck helps tie the house to the yard.

Before: Scary Place

Daniel and Christel recently bought Daniel's grandfather's home. Once very well known with the locals for its unique beauty, the house has now become a blight in the neighborhood. Daniel's grandfather had converted the house to its present Spanish style in the 1970s, but the Gothic-shaped windows and the empty front courtyard make the house look foreboding.

After: History, Updated

The stucco overlay that had given the windows their Gothic shape is also history, allowing more light inside the home. Intricate trellis work adds Spanish-style detail to the home. Well-planted window boxes will provide color to this Southern home throughout the seasons.

Before: Plenty of Potential

When Gerlinda bought this house, she'd envisioned being able to turn it into a charmer, but it's a sleeper. Aside from its bright yellow dormer, the house and yard present a drab, uninviting picture.

After: Storybook Cottage

In this amazing transformation, John Gidding tripled the size of the porch, added a small second-floor balcony and designed a dreamy front-yard, complete with a picket fence. One of the best new details: The eaves are extended on the roof to add more architectural detail.

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