A Curb Appeal Upgrade in Manchester-by-the-Sea

With a few changes, the exterior of a Cape-style home gets a complete makeover.

The home before the renovation. Photo provided.

Homeowner Jen Migonis and her husband, AJ, purchased a Cape-style home in Manchester-by-the-Sea nearly five years ago. Before, the home looked drab and overgrown, and many updates were needed. “We knew we needed to remove the small existing porch on the front of the house—it was rotting and the bricks were falling out of the stairway,” says Jen.

The couple planned to replace the porch with one of a similar size, but they reconsidered and settled on the idea of a large farmers porch. “AJ and I both adore the way they look and loved the idea of extending our living area outdoors.”

In addition to remodeling the porch and reimagining the roofline, the couple added energy-efficient windows and shutters, and they included an additional window on the second floor.

The Result:

The updated home. Photo provided.

Project Length:

“Adding the porch took about five to six weeks. Adding the new windows to the front and side of the house took one day. Over time, we designed and built shutters for the front of the house, added new outdoor lights, removed the outer screen door, painted our house number on the door, and furnished the porch,” says Jen.

Project Cost:

“Adding the porch cost $11,000. We were able to keep the costs down because AJ was able to completely demo the former porch himself, which allowed us to more substantial posts. The shutters were about $20 per shutter to build. The porch lights were $30 each from Home Depot. The rockers are $150 each from the Mill Stores. Including product, installation, and construction, each window cost between $500 and $700.”

Project Vendors: 

Boyd Builders LLC did the project for us. Nate Boyd was great to work with and talked us through our detailed wish-list and worked within our budget. Coastal Windows & Exteriors replaced the windows and added an additional one to the second floor. AJ did all of the landscaping. We just planted all the bushes this past summer so we are still waiting for them to mature.”

Learn more about the renovation at migonishome.com.