Keep it or Change It – New Build Exterior

Are you building a new home or remodeling your current home? When we began the process, I started with the kitchen, and Ben started with the exterior. We knew we wanted a craftsman-style home with a big porch and stone. From there, we had fun with the front elevation, and our builder made everything happen!

Somewhat far along in the process ( The day my builder said, “ok, this week we are ordering siding”), I had the idea to have the wood on the accent areas instead of board and batten. SOOOO HAPPY we went in this direction bc it changed the exterior completely.

I really need to put those mums in the ground 😂🙈

When designing your exterior, think outside the standard box, go to the next town over, and drive around your favorite subdivisions to get ideas.

Speaking of the siding. When choosing a color for your siding, go ahead and paint samples directly on it on multiple sides of the home! This way, you can see what effects the sun or the shade have on the colors.

Here is a link to the video for this week’s keep-change tour. It’s still so embarrassing to talk on camera! Does anyone else feel this way? SEE THE VIDEO HERE

In the video, I promised to have everything linked that I could find! If you are looking for something in particular, don’t hesitate to comment below!


Stone: Canyon Stone is the brand, and Canyon Ledge is the style. The color is Mountain Mist. We dry stacked these, meaning no mortar in between them. This is a stone veneer.

Siding Material and Color: Our siding is made from LP siding & Diamond Kote. Our LP is “smooth” lap siding. As you can see in the video, it still has a slight grain, which I think adds some texture overall! A plus for LP over other brands of engineered wood siding is they come in 16ft length, which means fewer seams. They have a great warranty and come in, I think, 16 pre-finished colors (this would save on labor costs), or you can purchase them unfinished and choose your paint color. This type of siding is highly durable, which is needed in Missouri! The color we went with is Kendall Charcoal by Benjamin Moore.

The wood accents from Diamond Kote are FAUX wood!! How great is that? That means that they will not have to be stained ever! The color is Canyon. They have a 30-year no-fade warranty. I would recommend both products to everyone I know.

Windows: Andersen Windows – 100 series – Black and a grid. The nice thing about Andersen is the black did not cost extra. Most of our windows are casement or picture. “Our budget-friendly 100 Series product line is engineered with Fibrex® composite material for durability, sustainability, and energy efficiency. It’s twice as strong as vinyl and provides low-maintenance exteriors with clean corners for a refined look.” You can even customize a grid, meaning you can make up what you want on your window.

Andersen Renewal is not for new builds, just an FYI when you are looking. One day, we went up to the city to look at a showroom and found that out the hard way. LOL So, for my girls who are replacing their windows in their current house, look up Andersen Renewal.

Big Sliding Doors: They are from Andersen windows also! They are 12ft wide gliding patio doors. The narrow-line 200 series. When the two doors are open, it feels like an extension of the living room.

Water Bibs: One really cool idea that my father-in-law had was to add a hot water spigot to the water bibs outside. We have one on the back porch for washing the dogs’ feet and etc., and one by the garage.

The garage doors: They are beautiful!! I had my heart set on real wood doors…. until I found out the price 😳 We found these that are faux wood for a fraction of one of the real doors. You have tons of options when choosing garage doors. How many panels, what style, windows, hardware, carriage house, contemporary, full view… The brand is lift master ( I THINK that’s both the door brand and the actual mechanics. They are wifi enabled. Meaning we have an app that lets us know a lot of information. We thought it would work with our Alexa… it does not. You have to pay a monthly service to get it to work with her. I believe they have since changed this.

Our front door: I chat about this baby A LOT! The double doors are perfect for moving furniture, and the windows that actually open have screens in them. The brand is DSA doors, and she’s solid Mahogany.

The big cedar posts on the porch: When I started looking at porches with craftsman-style posts, I realized I wanted something a little more substantial for the size of our home. Usually, you will see 6-inch cedar posts; we went with 8-inch solid posts. When they showed up on the front porch, I remember Ben and I saying, “OMG, what have we done? These are HUGE”. But as soon as they were up, everything looked normal.


The Concrete on the porches: The day they poured the porches… a giant storm changed course and hit the house instead of going the other way. On lunch break, we ran over there (here) to see the damage. ( I feel like when you are building, it’s all you can think of, and you are often “worrying” over the details ) The builder had covered the porches, and everything was ok! When it cured, there were spots and some texture damage to it. Our builder is fantastic and said he would take care of it. Although I want to fix it ourselves, it was an unfortunate accident. SOOOO I am actually really excited to show you guys what we are going to do with it! It’s going to be a DIY project in the spring.


We added a composite decking to the front porch this week. Click here to see the details.

Click here to shop the decking material I used.


The siding color – I would have made it a little darker. I see blue in it bc of have a lot of green surrounding us. Ben doesn’t see this, though; it’s really not a big deal.

Questions from Instagram:

Do you get dust build-up on the black windows outside? Nope! I wonder if this is because they are a composite material and not wood?

What kind of maintenance do you have with your siding? The painted LP siding will need to be repainted in 10-15 years. This siding is TOUGH, so we are hoping for not a lot of maintenance. The prepainted siding has a more extended warranty, I believe.

What are your porch materials? Our posts and beams are solid cedar, stained with PPG TEAK. The ceilings are pine car siding, stained the same color. Here is a link (below) to our exterior lighting on the front porch! Click here to shop stain.

Exterior lighting choices? Here is a list of all the other lights we used!

Gable bracket source? Our builder bought these from his favorite lumber yard and stained and built them himself. They are huge!

How did you choose a roof color? We knew we wanted a black. Not solid, but not camo. We told our builder we wanted the look of another house he built but a darker shade. He brought us a couple of samples, and that was it! If you do not have this option, I would consider going to your local hardware store or even box stores like Menards to check out what they have.

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