We had the house painted a couple months ago and I actually remembered to take some before and after photos!
The house hadn't been painted in ages and it really really showed! I think the previous coat was put on badly too, with only one coat in places and I bet they used cheap paint to boot. Luckily our painter Les takes great pride in doing a good job and was very much into proper preparation so while it cost us a bit more than it would have if we'd done it 8 or 9 years ago (when, naturally, we didn't have the money!) we've got a paint job that will last for ages if we maintain it.
The front was seriously unappealing - with huge big camellias on either side of the steps (why did we plant such big ones?), really cheap and dodgy steps that were incredibly slippery in the winter, a trellis sort of thing between the two pillars on the right, and the remains of an old and rusted alarm box to the left of the window on the right. The house was shifted onto the section in the 80s as a spec job I think, so has lost the original front steps, fireplace and chimney (sadly). You can see some interior shots here.
Need I say how pleased I am with it now? The steps are still too narrow and ugly, but they blend in with the porch and the whole thing looks smart and more upmarket. Mat and Les were a bit uncertain about painting the deck and stairs but I had this image in my mind and it ended up looking even better than I'd hoped. Les mixed in non-slip stuff with the paint on the steps we don't need to fear slipping down them to get the mail!
The hardest part of the job was finding colours that went with the rather odd reddish-brown of the roof tiles. The red on the window sills really made the whole scheme though, when it went on the whole house just sang. Someone told us that different coloured sills are 'out' now, but I don't really care, it just wouldn't have looked the same without them! In the garden we're going to get some smaller camellias to replace the big ones, and the garden will fill in a bit along the bottom too, it looks a bit scrappy at the moment!