Home Exteriors. From exterior palettes to painting. Everything you need to know.

13 October 2020

Thomas Archer's tips on designing home exteriors

Thomas Archer's tips on designing home exteriors

Thomas Archer's tips on designing home exteriors

Thomas Archer's tips on designing home exteriors

When it comes to the exterior of your home, choosing the right colour palette and materials from the start can produce both timeless appeal and long-term benefits. How you choose and use colours will have an impact on maintenance and in particular painting.

Have a look at our tips below on choosing exterior colours for your home and what to expect when it comes to painting.

Consider the orientation

The orientation of a home should play an important role in the decision-making process when choosing your external colour palette. If you are after a home with minimal maintenance, avoid using dark colours on North and West facing elevations. If you have your heart set on a darker colour on these orientations, expect to repaint every 2-5 years.

An alternative option is to choose smaller areas to highlight in darker colours to achieve the same look, while reducing the amount of maintenance required in the long term.

Natural timbers will move a lot in the direct sunlight of North and Westerly orientations. In these cases, we suggest considering a paint colour that will disguise natural movement. Lighter colours are generally more forgiving.

If you intend it to be a forever home, or plan to live in it for a long time, it is a good idea to consider the overall neighbourhood character when selecting external colours. While there are no legal regulations on colour schemes (unless you build in an estate), it’s a general courtesy to consider a complementary colour palette that is in keeping with the streetscape.

Think long-term

The joys of building or renovating mean a beautiful new home at the end of all the hard work. Minimising the maintenance on the home should be a consideration from the start so you can spend more time enjoying your home rather than working on it.

Using dark colours can increase the maintenance on a home as it’s subjected to the natural elements. They can also make the inside of the home quite hot, especially on a first floor, and increase your running costs significantly.

While dark colours are on trend now, consider the timeless appeal of your colour scheme in the long term. As circumstances can change, it is best to consider a colour scheme that has broad appeal.

Consider the colours of permanent features

Think about permanent fixtures before you choose your new colour scheme. It’s relatively easy to change a paint colour on cladding, but it’s not so easy to change the colour of your roof tiles or windows. It’s important that external features like windows and roofing work with the overall colour scheme and look like they have been chosen with purpose.

Gather up samples of your materials including permanent fixtures and lay them all out together. It’s a good idea to gather some inspirational images from other homes with a similar colour scheme. Make a physical mood board to bring to your home and see whether you still love it in the natural light on site. Ask yourself, can you live with this long term? Opting for a timeless appeal will ensure that you will still love the colours five years down the road.

Watch the weather

When painting the exterior of your home, it’s always best to paint in mild conditions to reduce any changes in materials due to the weather or other seasonal elements. Timber products naturally have a bit of movement in them so avoid painting in wet, cold conditions and also in the extreme heat. Check the weather before your start painting to give your new paint job the best chance to stand up to changes in the environment.

Be prepared

Before commencing a paint job, have all your equipment ready and accessible. Remember to invest in the right ladders or scaffold for the job, as safety should always be paramount. Spend the time on the prep work so you can start with a great base.

There’s no point investing time and money into new exterior paint if you haven’t prepared the home first. If existing render or brickwork is damaged or needs repairs, get it right before starting. Make sure you buy enough paint! Consider the surface you’re painting on and how absorbent it is. Fences can be a real trap for sucking up more paint than you bargained for, so buy a little extra to avoid a last minute (and messy) trip to the paint shop.

At Thomas Archer we know the importance of making smart decisions when it comes to the exterior design of your home. We carefully consider your home’s orientation, your style and the best colours to use, creating facades with a distinctly different edge with an aim to minimise future maintenance.

View our Expressions Series range of homes to see our facades and talk to us if you’d like to discuss how we can personalise one of our home designs for you.