Upgraded Garage for $291
Faux windows and a clever paint job give this garage a look more fitting for its turn-of-the-century Minneapolis neighborhood
Before: The detached garage was relatively new, so its bland white vinyl siding and aluminum doors were last on the homeowner’s list of renovation projects.
Nothing drags down a vintage house’s style faster than a nondescript, newly built garage. Even though Alison Allen’s detached garage was tucked in an alley behind her 1910 Minneapolis home, she was desperate to improve its curb appeal. Built in 2000, the garage’s aesthetic wasn’t in keeping with the architectural charm of the house, but springing for a pricey new set of doors wasn’t in the budget. So Alison came up with a clever plan to transform what was already there.
First, she painted four large brown squares on the aluminum door, mimicking the out-swinging wood doors seen on old carriage houses. Above them, she attached faux windows she found online, which use reflective plexiglass to fool the eye, then finished off the illusion by mounting coordinating faux latch and strap-hinge hardware. She flanked the door with planters she had on hand, filling them with colorful flowers, and hung an extra set of house numbers she had tucked away. Even though the finished product relies on some visual trickery, Alison, who blogs for , says she’s happy with the result. “The garage fits in better with the house, and looks much more welcoming overall,” she says. “Now I feel good about it every time I arrive home.”
After: With its eye-catching cosmetic makeover, the garage’s revamped facade makes the whole outbuilding look like less of an afterthought.
The Project Tally
Painted four brown panels to suggest individual carriage-style garage doors using exterior enamel in a flat finish $35
Added two sets of opaque plexiglass faux windows specially designed for garage doors $200
Dressed up the painted panels with two sets of decorative thumb latches and strap hinges made of lightweight automotive plastic $36
Softened the edges of the garage with two planters that the homeowner already owned, adding morning glories, impatiens, and petunias for color $20
Mounted a spare set of house numbers on a scrap of plywood to create a plaque $0