Exterior Home Curb Appeal


This post is sponsored by James Hardie®. 

For as long as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed looking at houses.  The exterior of houses is just as appealing to me as the interior.  A charming exterior gets me every time and it’s a combination of things that create a beautiful home environment.  Exterior curb appeal, lighting, landscaping, all of it combines to create that welcoming “I’m home” feeling that we all want in a home.

Whenever I’m on vacation or anywhere, Mark and I drive by and look at homes and most of them are older with beautiful architectural features and we comment on what we love about that particular style of home.  It might be the board and batten, or style of shutters, the way the materials are mixed in a pleasing way.

There’s a shared architectural heritage that connects a farmhouse in the Great Plains to a mid-century modern home in the Pacific Northwest. It’s a design aesthetic that honors the history of the surrounding community while celebrating individuality. — James Hardie.com

What makes a home unique and charming to look at?  Let’s talk about a few of those today.  

Curb Appeal

This can mean much more than just landscaping, although that’s a huge part too.  Curb appeal is the overall feeling a house exudes when you drive up to see it.  It’s a mixture of all the materials and textures, from lighting, to landscaping, to the finishes on the house.  All of those create a unique look to your home, one that sets you apart from the neighbors.  If you live in a neighborhood that’s a bit cookie cutter, this is your chance to shine.

That’s what is so nice about older neighborhoods. The streets usually have houses that don’t all look alike and their character and features are each unique.  Now more than ever, we can add those beautiful historic features and character to a new home.

When Mark and I were house hunting, we saw so many houses that were 30+ years old with terrible siding. There is such a thing as good siding and bad siding and unfortunately, there was a lot of bad siding used years ago and I couldn’t believe the condition of some of the siding we saw.  It was rotting and falling apart.  It would have had to be completely replaced and there were several homes we passed over because of the siding issues.  Don’t even get me started on vinyl siding.   I know it has its place over the years and my parents even have it, but I’m just not a fan.  We saw plenty of that too.

One of the things I’ve learned about James Hardie® siding is they have what’s called ColorPlus® Technology, where multiple coats of color are baked onto the board for a long lasting brilliant finish and a strong bond that resist chipping, peeling, cracking and fading for years to come.

Material Mixing:  Textures and Colors

One thing that always catches my eye is a good mix of materials on a house.  See that beadboard ceiling, mixed with the plank siding and those gorgeous glass doors?  Such a charming entry and the lighting totally sets the mood.  You have to love a blue ceiling!

We must have looked at 50 houses at least when we were house hunting to find the perfect house for us.  We wanted an exerior that wasn’t in sad shape.  Something that we could maintain and keep looking beautiful and fiber cement siding was on the top of the list for siding material that we knew would be the best material for us as far as maintenance and longevity in a home we owned.

Who else has been noticing James Hardie® siding?  Well, it’s backed by the Good Housekeeping seal and has been chosen every year as Brand Leader by builders in Builder Magazine since 2009.


Beautiful plantings and boxes of flowers and window boxes spilling over with gorgeous color is a wonderful way to add curb appeal to a house.  Of course, the landscaping highlights but the star is always the house itself.  How does it look and in what condition is the siding and trim?

I love a crisp exterior with a bold color and white trim.  My last house was painted a deep gray with white trim and our current house we chose a dark taupe with cream trim against our brick tones.

I’ve always known about fiber cement siding and James Hardie® siding in particular.  The brand is the pinnacle of fiber cement siding here in the South and I’ve known that for years.

Another thing I’ve learned is that they have materials for every part of a house, from lap siding, to trim boards, HardieShingle® siding, fascia boards, almost everything you need for a whole entire house.  See that HardieShingle® siding above mixed with the board and batten, such a great look. Those window boxes are pretty cute too!

The home above is a great example of using a mix of materials for such a pleasing exterior look.  This home has the feel of an older historic home, but it’s wrapped up with Jame Hardie® materials, from the siding, to the shingle siding, to the trim boards, all the way around.  With their curated collection of colors, profiles, textures and widths, you can give your old home authentic character which lends a feeling of architectural tradition.

And honestly, the only new homes that are appealing to me these days are those with a mix of materials and interesting profiles with unique features that draw in my eye.  Most of them look old, even if they are new.  Older houses have appeal for a reason.

{Top to bottom:  Aged Pewter, Boothbay Blue, Pearl Gray}

Why Choose James Hardie®?

If I was building a new home today, you can bet James Hardie® siding would be at the top of my list for how I would want my home to be finished.  With all the materials they offer and how durable the products are, that goes a long ways toward a long lasting maintenance to a house exterior.  Plus, they are North America’s #1 brand of siding.

Just for fun, I ordered 3 samples from their website, they will send them out to you for free. I’ve never had the luxury of having a siding with a baked on color finish like this, but I love the sound of it.  Their ColorPlus® Technology has a 15-year limited finish warranty.  James Hardie® stands behind its siding 100% for 30 years and behind its trim 100% for 15 years.

I’d love to not paint my house for 15 years!

Only James Hardie® siding and trim are specifically Engineered for Climate® to withstand the climate where the products are used.  That way your home will maintain the look you love for years to come.

How about you?  Have you used James Hardie® siding?  I have heard of Hardie siding my entire life and know the reputation of the brand and the durability of their products.

Get inspired to update your own home by checking out their Inspiration Guide HERE.

And if you’re in the market to update your home, order your free samples HERE!

What do you love the most about house features and curb appeal?  








- Rhoda


  1. I love this post! We are currently building a new home and selected a beautiful green Hardie Plank. I can’t wait to see how it turns out! I love the outdoor lighting features and this gave me some ideas as well.

  2. Hi Rhoda,

    Great post. We replaced the old “80’s” siding and trim with James Hardie Color Plus siding, trim, and shutters 5 years ago. Boy, what a game changer. Nothing has to be painted on the outside, which is awesome, and our 33 year old Virginia Colonial looks fantastic. We also redesigned the front porch. . So many people driving through or walking in our neighborhood stop and comment on the beauty of our house and want to know the color of the “paint job”. One day I pulled into our driveway and someone was holding up paint chips against the house! Of course, I shared the color and told her all about James Hardie products, James Hardie products are the only way to go, in my opinion. And always have a certified James Hardie installer do the work.

  3. Curb appeal is in the .eye of the beholder. There is probably a good reason why someone is living with damaged siding. The same reason that people wouldn’t buy an older home because of of the damaged siding.

    • Hi, I do know that and am just expressing our experience with house hunting. Everyone has budgets to work with, I totally get that. I had concrete siding on my very first house I built back in the 80’s so I know it’s been around for years and I just don’t understand why more of it isn’t used.

  4. Hardie Board is a great choice, if you can afford it. Where I live, vinyl siding is the norm for new construction and residing. It has also come a long way in terms of look, colors and features. We have a mix of styles including shingles on ours. We built our home four years ago and while we would have loved to do Hardie siding, it was just not possible with our budget. I guarantee you would not say yuck as you pass our home. In fact, our curb appeal was significant enough to earn us a beautification award two years ago.

    • HI, I figured my comment about vinyl siding might get some reactions. Not meant to be disparaging, as I said my parents have vinyl siding. It’s just not my favorite but I’m sure you are right in that it’s been improved on over the years. And I’m sure your home is beautiful. I would take vinyl siding over some of the falling apart fiber siding we saw on many houses while house hunting. Everything has improved over the years including vinyl flooring. I took out the yuck word since I’m not trying to stir up anything.

    • Dear kcbutsch:

      I can relate to almost everything you said in your response to Rhoda and am impressed that you received a beautification award. As I am currently in the process of trying to redo the exterior of my home and also have some budget constraints, I would love to see a picture of your home, especially how you used the shingles. I would also love to know the brand and color of siding you chose. If you could send these items directly to my email address, I would be immensely grateful.

      Many thanks,

  5. I think it’s so important to have an interesting looking exterior on a home and also really nice landscaping. I often wonder why some homeowners seem to own expensive homes and don’t do anything to keep the curb appeal nice. That is one of my pet peeves. I like how you described how different finishes really make the exterior of a home so interesting. That is very true.

  6. When we were house hunting we saw several Hardie sided houses. We loved the material….as long as it was applied correctly. Must be a trick to applying it it, because on some house we looked at, the siding was wavy or gapping. Properly applied it looks awesome. But we found a home we adored with the dreaded vinyl siding in a light neutral. Not our first choice, but it looks great, we do a careful low pressure wash on it, never need to worry about painting, and a manicured yard and shrubs give the house lots of curb appeal. Thanks for an interesting post.

    • HI, Jae, that’s great that you found something you loved. We too considered houses with vinyl siding, but were happy that the house we eneded up with had concrete siding. It can look bad if applied improperly.

  7. The colors are nice, but that siding honestly looks like the old asbestos shingle siding used in the last century. I’m sure Hardi siding is not a cancer causing agent like asbestos.

    • HI, Susanne, you can be sure that Hardie siding is nothing like asbestos materials, even though they have a lot of historical charm.

  8. Kate@CentsationalStyle says:

    Looks like we’re talking about the same thing today my friend! I love JH products too, great post!

  9. Some people just don’t care about curb appeal. My darling perfect husband does not care. Honest to God, we got a letter from a realtor looking for a tear down, even after all my landscaping efforts. It was hysterical.

    The interior of his home (we met 7 years ago) is beautiful. He’s great with color. The back yard is very nice. People are always shocked at how nice his house is and part of it is because the curb appeal is so zero. We have our house on the market soon and it’s coming back to bite. The realtor is wondering, out loud, how will the photographer shoot the front of the house and what will they use for the first picture and this is after painting the house, the front door and installing beautiful Schlage hardware. It really is like jewelry for your home.
    Anway, the nicest house I ever owned was built in 1984 with antique brick and Hardie board. Beautiful and very minimal upkeep.

    • HI, Nancy, you’re right that curb appeal means different things to different people. Myself, I like for the outside of the house to go with the inside, with both areas reflecting homeowners and their personalities. It all depends on where you want to put your time, it is hard to do it all, but a pretty yard and keeping up a house is part of owning a home. So we do both around here. Your other 1984 house sounds charming!

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