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Exterior Design

Why decorating the outside of your house matters

Peeling paint on a front door can be weirdly appealing… we’re here to tell you that the place for it is romantically framed Instagram pictures (some below from our travels!)… but not your own home.

Green door with peeling paint, terracotta floor tiles and potted plants - seen on travels by Absolute Project Management
Yellow Ochre Wall with wooden shutters and peeling paint - seen on travels by Absolute Project Management
Wall with paint layers in cream, sky blue and pale terracotta - seen by APM on Travels

Why it matters

The exterior decoration of your home plays a very important role in weatherproofing it.

  • Wooden doors, doorframes, window-frame and sills will rot if they are not suitably protected from rain by paint (or other finish). Replacing the woodwork (and making good the internal water damage from a leaking frame) is usually more expensive than keeping your paintwork up to scratch.
  • Cracks or gaps in your pointing (the mortar between your bricks) or render can let in water (and allow plants to take root – which will in turn cause more damage).

It is also an important part of your property’s ‘kerb appeal’ – and the view that you see every time you come home – so you want it to be as lovely as the inside of your home.

Things to consider

Conservation area rules

If your home is in a conservation area, there will likely be rules that dictate permittable colours and finishes of your external decoration – and that specify your responsibility for maintaining the exterior. For example, external decoration of Brunswick Terrace in Brighton & Hove is required to happen every five years (but not permitted in between):

How often to redecorate

This will depend on your location, and the orientation of your house. You can maximise the time needed between redecorations by careful preparation and decorating, and using good quality paint suitable for the surface/ environment. If you live near the coast (where the salty, windy air will make your paintwork work hard) you should budget for a regular re-paint. In general, keep an eye out, and when you start to notice signs of weathering, start planning to redecorate.

The pale yellow paintwork on the outside of a property in Brunswick Terrace, Brighton and Hove. Photo by Absolute Project Management.


Working at height is one of the most common causes of accidents in the construction industry. Safely decorating or repointing an external wall is a job that requires some sort of scaffolding – it isn’t something you should be doing yourself armed only with a ladder and a long roller. That will add to the cost… so think about what other work it might make sense to do at the same time, such as clearing or repairing gutters.

Some exterior looks we love;

A North London townhouse with freshly pointed brickwork and a pink door - by Absolute Project Management
A dreamy pink door and beautiful windows in North London
Yellow painted brick house with curved front wall and sloping roof - renovation designed by Absolute Project Management
This property neighbours a pastel-coloured conservation area street near Earl’s Court. This bold yellow with white window frames suits the modern building while staying sympathetic to the look of the neighbouring properties.
A smart black front door with traditional black and white mosaic tiling on the front step - by Absolute Project Management
Re-pointed brickwork and a traditional mosaic front step.
Lilac and duck-egg painted houses in Brighton.
The brightly painted houses of Brighton’s Kemptown make for excellent outfit matching opportunities…
A pale blue door and blue, black and yellow tiled front step - tiling by Martin Mosaic. Renovation by Absolute Project Management.
Gleaming white and blue paintwork and delightful front step tiling.
Traditional tiled front step in black, white, yellow and blue
A detail of that beautiful front step!

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