For decades, realtors have talked about “curb appeal” when rating a house’s attractiveness to buyers when they first drive up to it. It’s a quality that can be seen from the street, and can either captivate potential buyers or discourage them from even setting foot in the house. Curb appeal is important not just for selling a house, but for welcoming guests to your home, and for making you feel good whenever you return to it. Following are some ideas to consider.
Siding : Repaint if paint is peeling, or if it’s a dated or inappropriate color for your home’s architectural style. Perhaps you only need to touch up the trim work. While you’re at it, make sure window casings are in good shape and free of rot.
Shutters and Gutters : Usually a purely decorative element, shutters can dress up a home, but in disrepair, they definitely take away from its appearance. The solution, sanding and repainting, is simple, if a bit time-consuming. This work goes better if you remove the shutters and work on them on a flat surface.
Porch : If your porch floor, railings, or trim are peeling, loose, or damaged, they’re detracting from the looks of your home. Like overgrown shrubs, a scruffy porch gives the impression that the house is not well cared for. Loose railings and rotted floorboards are also a safety hazard. Loose railings can sometimes be easily fixed by tightening their lag bolts. Railings that are screwed into brick may need to have the screws and their sheaths replaced.
Doors and Windows : Replace an old, worn, and uninspired door with an attractive new one in wood, steel, or fiberglass. You can also add sidelights or a transom window to bring more light into the house and make the entryway more interesting. If you’re happy with your existing door, you might freshen it up with a new coat of paint, which could also provide a color accent. Look around at other homes for color combinations that work well. If your windows are in poor condition, consider replacing them rather than performing major repairs. A new style or combination of windows can bring more light into the house and update the look from the outside. New thermal windows can also help pay for themselves in energy savings.
House numbers : These must be clearly visible from the street. If your house numbers are recessed into your home’s facade (e.g.,stone or brick), consider painting them to make them easier to read. Make sure your mailbox numbers are complete and clear as well. While house numbers are complete and clear as well. While house number are functional item, they can also be attractive, for example, mounted on a tile or stenciled on a glass transom window in a style that matches your house’s architecture.
Planters : Add a large pot, or a pair of planters, overflowing with seasonal flowers and greenery at or near the front door.
Driveway : This is one of your home’s largest features and has a definite impact on curb appeal. While it must be functional. there are ways to soften it and give it some character. Landscaping on either side of the driveway can distract from a straight rectangular shape. An arbor built over part of the driveway can add charm to the front of your house and can even provide shelter for an extra car. A curved driveway is a more natural shape if your yard is suited to it, and a circular drive makes it easy to come and go. You can also use a more natural paving material, like brick or gravel (in a number of colors), or various shapes of concrete pavers, rather than asphalt or concrete. To keep the cost down, you can stain an existing concrete driveway.
Lawn : If it has bare spots or is weed-infested, remove the weeds and re-seed or sod to bring it back to a respectable state. Trim around walkways, trees, and other features.
Flower Beds : Flowers can enhance curb appeal along the driveway, across the front of the house, clustered near pathways or the doorway, or at the street. Flower beds between properties help delineate your yard and, with some taller specimens, can give you and your neighbors some privacy. You can incorporate some interesting rocks or even make a rock garden.
Shrubs : Many homes are overwhelmed with shrubbery that has been allowed to grow way too large for the front of the house, obscuring windows, robbing the interior of natural light, and even making it difficult to walk down a pathway or get in the doors. Pruning is one of the quickest and least expensive way to add curb appeal. If shrubs have completely outgrown their shape and cannot be attractively pruned, take them out and replace them with well-proportioned foundation plantings that offer a variety of texture and color, and enhance your home’s architecture.
Walls and Fences : Stone walls add tremendous character to a property. They’re not inexpensive because of material cost and he considerable labor involved, but you can reduce the cost if you’re able to do the work yourself and have some help. Wood or brick walls can also enhance a yard by defining its borders and providing texture and a backdrop for landscaping.
Lighting : Landscape lighting can add warmth and highlight special architectural features, trees, or plantings. To enhance security.safety lighting, choose decorative fixtures (such as a post light or wall-mounted lanterns) that complement your house’s style in the daytime and after dark.