The Intrinsic Value of a Beautiful Home Exterior
There’s something special about a house that’s had some love put into it. It’s not just that it’s well-maintained – it’s the little touches and attention to detail that make the difference between a house and a home.Carole B. of Wyckoff, NJ knows this difference well.
Even surrounded by newer builds, Carole’s house stands out. And she has a theory as to why that might be.
“We have some builders in the area who do very beautiful, high-end homes, but,” she paused with a laugh, “they don’t put Timberlane Shutters on; they just use the basic vinyl. And it looks good...until you see working shutters with the right hardware. There’s just nothing like it.”
Now, it can’t be denied that the important differences go beyond this. A home that’s been inhabited by the same family for 26 years has a gravity to it. The energy of every holiday, first day of school, and “welcome home” just can’t be simulated. Not to mention, it’s truly a beautiful house. But catching the attention of passers-by is about the exterior details, too. And Carole’s found that, despite all the big, brand-new housing in her neighborhood, she has fielded many inquiries of interest in hers – particularly when she and her husband are doing work on the house.
“We’ve had neighbors and people passing by say, ‘Are you getting ready to sell?’ and we say, ‘No, we’re getting ready to stay,’ – you know? We love the house.”
It’s a funny thing that improvements lead onlookers to the conclusion that they are preparing to stage it for sale. The whole reason that curb appeal helps to sell a house is because the buyer hopes to enjoy it. Why shouldn’t a current homeowner get to enjoy a beautiful exterior, as well?
Carole’s home is a handsome Cape Cod that was built in 1929 by the East Coast distributor of Ballantine Beer. The original owner added many bells and whistles that were quite uncommon for the time. Things like a heated garage with a bathroom and a working artesian well that even has a secret room inside it.
“The house has a lot of unique features itself, but I always say to my husband that, if we were going to move – I would take my shutters with me!” she said. “We actually ordered them in two phases. Fifteen years ago, we did the front of the house, and then we loved them so much, we ended up doing the whole house.”
The windows are dressed in Timberlane’s SH2: Shaker Panel with Quarter-Round Trim, painted in a deep green-black. The shutters are hung with functional hardware and details such as pull rings, locks, and English Rat Tail tiebacks.
“We fell in love with the quality and the options,” said Carole. “It’s not like this little surface feature. You can see the shadows and the hardware, and they’re just beautiful. We had the shutters down while they were painting the body of the house – and it just looked like something was missing. It’s a great feature. It really is.”
Functional Shutters: A Distinctive Difference
“There are a lot of homes being bought up and turned into... sort of McMansions. Still, done very well, very high-end,” said Carole. “But nobody puts on shutters like these.”
Carole notes that, since installing genuine, functional shutters, she can’t help but notice the improper sizing and comparatively lackluster appearance of most vinyl shutters.
“Of course, it makes perfect sense that the shutters should be half the width of the window – because when you close them, you want your entire window covered,” said Carole. “And now, you see these beautiful, big, huge homes with these skinny little shutters on either side of the windows, and it’s really done as an afterthought. If these were meant to be functional, they wouldn’t even work, because the window is so big, and the shutters are so skinny.”
“It’s like having a beautiful designer dress, and then putting cheap jewelry on,” she said. “Our shutters are just so substantial and so beautiful. They really make the outside of the house. And they’re part of its character, too. I think they add value, I really do.”
And when a homeowner is in it for the long-haul, why not cozy up and beautify the exterior as well as the interior? It makes sense to enjoy the space you inhabit, both inside and out.
“This house – really, honestly – it’s like a member of our family. We have so many holidays here, and my children are all grown and out, but everybody comes back for every single holiday. It’s a very active house.” said Carol. “We’re not going anywhere.”