How to Design Your New House’s Exterior

You want to have the kind of home that stops people in their tracks on the street to stare. One of the benefits of building a custom home is that you can design the exterior of your luxury home to be just as awe-worthy as the interior.

At Costa Homebuilders, we match our clients with a team of experts who can help design your home, inside and out. We help you with everything from color and material selections, to choosing your outdoor amenities.

Here are some ways you can make the outside of your new house visually appealing.

Follow Basic Exterior Design Principles

Throughout the entire home design process, adhere to design basics to ensure the final product comes out perfectly. At Costa, it’s important for us to make sure the exterior of your home is proportional, and serves its purpose.

Well proportioned home exterior


Composition means finding unity in the design of your home’s exterior. Designing is more than just taking the elements you want for your home’s exterior and throwing them together. There is thought behind the placement of every single element, and we use building best practices to guide our decisions. We place your windows, doors, fixtures and other elements in a way that is proportionate and balanced.

Form follows function

Louis Sullivan coined this phrase, and it means that the purpose of any building should be the starting point of its design. Why are you building this new house? Is it in the hopes of expanding your family? Is it, in part, for your at-home business? Let that purpose guide your decisions.

For example, if you are an artist, you will need large exterior windows to use natural light when you paint. Every decision you make throughout the construction of your new house should take your home’s purpose into consideration.

Decide on Materials and Texture

There is a plethora of options out there for home exterior materials. How do you choose?

First of all, it is often advisable to balance aesthetics with durability. The team at Costa Homebuilders will help you choose materials that are beautiful, but will also stand the test of time.

You should also choose materials that reflect your personal style. For example, if you enjoy very rustic styles, go for tumbled stone or exposed timber. On the other hand, sleek steel and simple panels would be the choice for a modern minimalist.

Here are some of the options you have for your home’s exterior materials:


Bricks are durable and need almost no maintenance. There is a wide variety of sizes, textures and colors. Bricks work well with elaborate landscaping, and look timeless and classic.

Every single one of Costa Homebuilders’ clients has 30 different colors of brick to choose from. Clients who are building a luxury Signature Series home also have additional color options. We’ll help you narrow down the colors based on your personal style and vision for your new house.


Stone is durable and is low maintenance, like bricks. It is also adaptable to any design style with different colors, textures, and sizes to boot.

Cement Board Siding

If you prefer the look of siding, cement board siding is the best material you can use. It comes in a variety of styles, so you can get creative with it. It’s also durable and weather-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about it warping or wearing.


Costa Homebuilders is the best timber frame home construction company in the Pittsburgh area. Timber frames use large wooden beams as part of your home’s construction. You have the option to leave some of this timber exposed both inside and outside of your home, which provides a natural and eye-catching design element.

Mixed Materials

Beautiful blue and stone home exterior

Don’t be afraid to mix materials for the exterior of your home! A blend of two materials creates a unique look, unlike any other home on the block.

For example, the exterior of your home could use brick, with timber elements surrounding a grand front entrance. If you’re interested in mixing materials, ask your builder for recommendations on what materials, colors and textures mesh cohesively.

Pick the Best Value, Always

You want the exterior of your new house to be gorgeous, because it’s the first thing people see. It’s the first impression your guests get of your dream home. So you have to do it right. Part of that means choosing the best materials for every piece of your exterior design. Work with your professional home builder to understand what materials, fixtures and products are the best quality at the best price

At Costa Homebuilders, we work with only the best vendors, so we will be able to make solid recommendations for you. For example, one of our trusted vendors is the R.I. Lampus Company. Lampus delivers superior outdoor living, hardscape and masonry products. We work with Lampus to create incredible outdoor living spaces for our clients.

Choose Exterior Color Combinations and Fixtures

Color plays a huge role in your home’s appeal. From the color of brick you choose, to the color you paint your back patio. Every color must tie together and complement the others. Color can also draw attention to focal points.

Besides choosing the right colors, you’ll also need to choose the right fixtures. These include lighting fixtures and hardware fixtures, such as doorknobs. The color and style of the fixtures you choose must fit with your overall design vision. Don’t use modern fixtures if you’re designing a country-esque home!

Lighting fixtures are especially important because they ensure your home is safe at night, while also enhancing nighttime appeal. You can place lighting all around the outside of your home, even using it to illuminate a garden.

Here are some of our best tips for finding the right exterior colors and fixtures:

Assess the personality of your home

The neighborhood and geographic location of your home, and your family lifestyle will influence the personality of your home. You will need to determine how you want your home exterior to look and feel. What do you want visitors to think when they walk up to ring your doorbell?

Use nature’s backdrop

You can always draw inspiration from nature. Use your lot to guide your design decisions. If a charming creek runs alongside your property, find ways to complement its natural beauty.

Imagine a theme

Try to create a theme that can support your design decisions. Maybe you once took a vacation and fell in love with the blues and creams of your beach house. Draw from your memories to create a color palette and use it as your inspiration.

Select Outdoor Amenities

You don’t want the outside of your home to just look nice. You want it to be a part of your family’s lifestyle. Outdoor amenities make the outside of your home a place where you can enjoy yourself.

Here are some outdoor amenities you may consider:

Swimming pool

A pool increases a home’s aesthetics as well as value. Today,  pools that appear to be part of the landscape by incorporating natural elements are very popular. On top of that, a swimming pool promises many good times to come for you, your family and your friends.

Outdoor kitchen

Love to cook and host parties? An outdoor kitchen lets you entertain on a level above the traditional backyard barbecue.

Outdoor screening rooms

Outdoor TVs or projector screens combine with outdoor sound systems to create the charm of a drive-in movie. A must for movie buffs!

Covered decks

Covered decks let you enjoy the outdoors, no matter the weather. Just imagine being able to sit with a book in hand and listen to the patter of rain on a spring afternoon.

There are many more outdoor amenities you can add to your home. What you select depends on your lifestyle and the feel you want to give your home. Tell your builder about how you and your family like to spend time outside, and they will be able to recommend outdoor amenities that suit you.

Pay Attention to Landscaping

Landscaping is not just planting a tree in your front yard. It involves research of local soils, plants, and requires a little patience too, if you want a truly incredibly landscape. After we finish your new dream home, we recommend working with a landscape architect to add the final touches to your masterpiece.

Designing the exterior of your home is sometimes filled with complex decisions and choices. Don’t worry — the team at Costa Homebuilders will help guide you step-by-step through every decision. We know that it’s important for you to have a home that’s beautiful from every possible angle. We’re excited to help bring your dream home to life!


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