While curb appeal is typically associated with putting a house on the market and the home’s resale value, many homeowners are discovering that it is important in general to have their property always looking its best. It goes beyond your property lines. A neighborhood of well-kept homes will be a safe and attractive place to live. To boost feelings of well-being and increase homeowner pride, here are some things you can do for instant curb appeal this summer.
The Entrance to Your Home
The entrance to your home should be eye-catching while friendly and inviting at the same time. A crack in one of the treads of the front steps, worn door trim and/or a grimy front door, or outdated light fixtures might seem like minor concerns, but they can make your home appear uncared for. To ramp up curb appeal, try one or a combination of any of the following:
- repaint the trim and wash the front door
- replace the front door with one in a bolder color
- replace outdated front door lights with new ones
- repair or replace steps
- replace a plain cement pathway with pavers
- swap out old, worn hardware – door handles, house numbers, door knocker – for something shiny
- add a wreath to the entry door or place planters on either side of the front door
- add a doormat
Cleaning Your Home’s Exterior
Talk about instant curb appeal, nothing improves a home’s exterior like a thorough cleaning. Before you get out the garden hose or pressure washer, inspect windows, siding, and the gutters for anything that is worn, broken or missing. Do the necessary repairs first. You don’t want water seeping in through windows, behind siding panels, etc. For siding or gutters that are older than 10 years, use a garden hose or a pressure washer on the lowest setting.
Pay Attention to the Front Porch
An empty porch is a missed curb appeal opportunity. Give this outdoor living space a “purpose” by adding patio furniture. Two wicker chairs with a table in between says, “Let’s chat over lemonade.” A porch swing is an invitation to sit for a while and enjoy the view. Add metal chairs or decorative pots with plants for pops of color.
Get the most out of Your Windows
Cleaning the windows definitely amps up curb appeal. But there’s more you can do. Put the focus on the windows with window boxes full of seasonal flowering plants. Another way to shine the spotlight on your exterior windows is to install shutters – non-functioning shutters are decorative while functioning shutters provide protection from the sun and severe weather.
Landscaping for Visual Impact
Negative curb appeal is not only due to the unkempt appearance of a property. Landscaping that doesn’t provide variation in size, color, texture, and the type of vegetation (plants, flowering shrubs, etc.) isn’t good for your curb appeal, regardless of tidiness.
Choose plants for their “wow” factor, but select perennials and low-maintenance ones for a yard that will require less work. Garden edging visually separates a flowerbed from the grass, adding texture to your landscaping.
If flowerbeds sound like too much of a commitment, consider container gardens – they don’t need as much tending as a traditional garden. Or plant smaller flowerbeds around trees: a flower bed at the base of a tree creates a colorful focal point.
Keep hedges and trees trimmed, especially those growing near siding, the roof, or the gutters and the lawn mowed. Remove any trees that are sick, dying, or dead.
Rethink the fence. If it needs repainting, select a different color that will complement your home’s exterior. If it needs replacing, select a new fence with a solid bottom half and a lattice top for visual interest.
Get the most out of Your Lawn
Don’t just let your lawn “sit” there. Instantly boost curb appeal with a birdbath, water feature, or sculpture. If you don’t have a porch, add another type of front yard gathering area such as a patio.