Best Split Level House Exterior Makeover {before & after}

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Do you own a split level house from the 1970’s era and want to update it? Today I am sharing the best split level house exterior and how to modernize a split level home exterior. You are not going to believe the dramatic difference! We had big plans for this house and we couldn’t be more happier with how it came out! Split level house exteriors are traditionally pretty boring so we added black windows, white board and batten siding, an accent roof above the front door and an oversized Craftsman style front door with a transom and sidelights. This cute little house came out amazing!

How to modernize a split level home exterior

1970s split level house exterior makeover before and after white board and batten siding

Split Level House Exterior Ideas

split level house with white board and batten siding black windows and brown front door

Front Door Lantern | Modern Black Front Door Handle | Gooseneck barn garage door lighting

I must have searched Pinterest and Google for DAYS looking for split level home exterior ideas! Split level homes were very popular in the 1970’s and are known for being multi level homes. One of the best ideas we came up with to modernize this split level was to enlarge the front entryway with a bigger door and add an accent roof above. There are so many options when remodeling a split level!

Isn’t is amazing the amount of curb appeal that this split level house has now?

Here is the house before with very old brown siding and white single pane windows.

brown 1970 split level home with white door

The white board and batten siding really looks gorgeous and gives this house the modern farmhouse feel we were going after. 

Split Level Exterior Remodel Before and After

The white board and batten siding is by James Hardie and it’s beautiful! There were a handful of siding options that we considered but ultimately, we wanted a modern farmhouse look and neither Jim nor I had ever done a modern farmhouse project on a split level house so the timing was perfect!

split level house with white board and batten siding black windows and brown front door

Ironically, the family that bought this house was visiting their family (Jim’s personal house he sold in 2020 before he moved in with me) right next door and they approached Jim to purchase this house. Jim had just started working on this house (he bought this house in 2020 the same day he sold his personal home) and it was not on the market yet but we had already picked out all the windows, doors, exterior siding, kitchen, ceiling planks, flooring ect. so thankfully, they wanted a modern farmhouse look too! So yes, Jim sold his personal house to one sister and her sister bought this house! Isn’t that crazy!? 

Here is another image of the house before.

1970s brown split level with old trees in front yard

Modern Split Level House exterior

As you can see below, we removed a lot of dead trees from the front yard and opted to leave two for shade. 

The side yard was also cleared to make room for the 2 car detached garage and second driveway.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get the house exterior complete until late October 2020 so I don’t have any pictures with the leaves on the trees but I will definitely get some this Spring once Mother Nature returns warmth and happiness to New England! 

split level house with white board and batten siding black windows and brown front door

The increased curb appeal on this property is 110 times better and I love how it turned out. 

The new wider front entry featuring the Horner Millwork Craftsman style front door by Masonite creates a beautiful focal point for the home. 

Here is another angle of the house which shows how many old dead trees really were covering this house. The house looked so small and dwarfed. It’s actually a miracle one of the dead trees or limbs never fell and crushed the house. 

The house was original to when it was first built, I believe in the early 1970’s and needed significant updating inside and out.

1970s split level with old trees in front yard

Split Level Farmhouse Exterior

Jim replaced the roof, exterior siding, exterior doors and windows making this split level modern farmhouse show piece. The house is part of an established very cute area which has many adjoining culdesac neighborhoods. Most of the homes are split level or ranch style. Very indicative of what was built in the 1960’s and 70’s.

It would have been so much cheaper to install basic horizontal vinyl siding as board and batten is running over double the cost of traditional siding (the installation cost is also a lot more as it’s much more involved) but we wanted a different look for this house and didn’t want the home to look like every other house in the neighborhood.

Needless to say, this is the only modern farmhouse exterior split level home on the block! 

Here is the split level house after from the same angle. 

white board and batten split level house exterior makeover 

It’s amazing what clearing trees and updating your home with siding, doors and windows can do for the curb appeal aspect of your home!

The buyer wanted a detached 2 car garage with a walk up loft inside. Man cave? Workshop? Both I think! ha. The exterior lights on the barn are from Amazon and great quality. 

So Jim cleared a space off to the side of the house, added a second driveway and built this gorgeous oversized 2 car garage with walk up loft. I think this is the cutest barn style garage ever and I love the faux wood tone garage doors with gooseneck exterior lighting. 

The buyers have two little kids and pup so the vinyl fencing was installed prior to the closing so it would be ready once they moved in. Kids and dogs need to be contained! 🙂 

white board and batten detached garage with brown wood garage doors and loft bump out

You can buy the Goose Neck black exterior lights on Amazon. 

As I mentioned earlier, the family who purchased this home moved in right before Christmas last year. They wanted wood looking garage doors so the buyer actually did a two part staining process (he’s good at painting projects!) on the garage doors and front door to create a faux wood look about a month before we closed on the property.

Here are a few side by side before and after pictures of the exterior remodel. split level house exterior before and after with white board and batten

I think the angle above is my favorite because you can see the drastic change of removing trees.

split level house exterior before and after with white board and batten

split level house exterior before and after with white board and batten

I think he plans on tackling the sidelights the same color as the front door too but when I took these pictures right before we closed, the sidelights were still white. I think the sidelights will look beautiful painted the faux wood look color.

Want to see all the split level house projects in this house? Click the links below.

You can see them all here by clicking each link –> (1) Split Level House Tour (before), (2) opening a load bearing wall between kitchen and living room , (3) Adding a beam to a load bearing wall , (4) Installing shiplap on vaulted ceiling , (5) Quality Wolf kitchen cabinet review and installation, (6) Why we love the vinyl plank flooring basement makeover, (7) why we picked prehung solid core interior doors by Masonite, (8) Split level exterior remodel before and after , (9) Split Level Kitchen Remodel before and after

Stay tuned, I will be sharing a full tour of this remodeled split level & inside renovation soon featuring the kitchen remodel (update – see kitchen here). If you would like to see all of the remodeling projects we completed on this home, be sure to check out the “split level house renovation” page dedicated to all the before and afters of this home. 

About The Author

What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.

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One Comment

  1. This remodel is beautiful! Did you go with the smooth or rustic grain batten boards?
    Thank you!