Split-level homes gained popularity in the mid-twentieth century after World War II as an affordable option for growing families moving to the suburbs. And ever since the 70s, the split-level’s popularity hasn’t dwindled.
It’s no wonder why! These homes have high ceilings and efficient use of space. Unfortunately, they can feel like a relic of the past with outdated finishes and exteriors. Here we’ll outline ways you can modernize your beloved split-level to a look that matches your design aesthetic.
Your split-level is most likely from the 70s, seeing that’s when they reached peak popularity. It wasn’t uncommon then to have stone and brick exteriors painted brown, or even orange! Whether that is or isn’t the case with your home, updating the siding can breathe new life into your place.
An extremely popular option is vinyl siding because it’s inexpensive and relatively durable. The average cost of vinyl siding is $2.50 to $10.75 per sq. ft. installed, while brick is $11 to $27. Another reason why vinyl siding has become so popular is because of its multiple color and style options. It’s formed in molds, so it can mimic the look of wood lap, brick, and stone siding, as well as shingles, shakes, and even log-look. If you are considering it, you can use HOVER’s newest siding estimates feature to gauge costs.
Wood siding is another inexpensive option that’ll give your home a timeless look. But before you decide on wood siding, make sure it’s allowed in your county and you understand the regular maintenance and repair. While caring for your wood siding takes some work, if you maintain it regularly, you’ll enjoy this beautiful siding for many years to come.
A split level’s defining features are its, well, split levels. So why not accentuate them? Leave the lower level stucco and add vinyl everywhere else. Or give one section a dramatic stone facade. Take a look at Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater design. While not a traditional split-level home, there sure are a lot of levels and he played with texture to make its exterior unique and timeless.
Paint is another option to accentuate the different levels. If you have a tri-level home, try painting the middle section a bold color, like a barn red or indigo. Go crazy! It’s your home and your aesthetic after all.
This could be as simple as giving it a fresh coat of paint to match the rest of the updated exterior, or maybe just restaining the floor.
Getting a new front door is a larger update, but it’ll certainly boost curb appeal. Try swapping your current front door with a more modern one that features a stack of horizontal windows. Another way to give your front porch a lift is to add pillars or columns.
Rather than repainting or residing your whole home, you can add a boost of color with your home’s trim. Adding corner boards around your home in a complementary color is an instant update. Corner boards are the pieces of shingle that cover each corner of your home, so you can choose a bold color without it going over the top.
Adding trim under the soffit is another easy way to add color. The soffit is the roof overhang. When you add trim and paint it a color that contrasts with your current or new siding, it has a distinctive highlighting effect.
Think of your garage doors as design elements. If you’ve repainted your front door, use that same paint for your garage door. It will add another pop of color and provide continuity. More often than not, modernizing a home means adding bigger and better windows. So, if your garage has outdated or no windows, consider getting doors that have them. Or take it a step further and have your garage door completely glass for an ultra-modern look.
Use HOVER to visualize what your home could look like with a modern update! HOVER’s application allows you to see what different types of siding will look like on a 3D model of your existing home. HOVER lets you experiment with different colors and styles, so you can show your contractor exactly what you want.
Contractors can also provide you with an accurate estimate based on HOVER’s measurements, so you can make your home improvement dreams become a reality.