12 Tips to Increasing Curb Appeal
Curb appeal is essential to a good home. It doesn’t matter if you plan to sell in the near future or just want to be proud of your exterior appearance, curb appeal adds value and self-satisfaction to a residence.
A good way to think of curb appeal is like the cover of a book. It is the factor that initially catches the interest of the readers. Sure, the interior serves as the actual story of the book and needs to get opened up and read, but if it wasn’t for an inviting curb appeal then people may never progress forward.
Great curb appeal can help you sell your home not only sooner but for the actual value that you seek. Additionally, it helps create self-fulfillment and satisfaction for stationary residences not planning to move any time soon.
Are you looking to improve the appearance of your exterior? Here are 12 tips for increasing curb appeal.
1. Make Landscaping a Priority
Landscaping. Some people love it, some people absolutely hate it. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, the bottom line is you need a clean, pleasing landscape if you want to make the curb appeal a priority.
You may have a turf lawn and need to water the grass, fertilize, aerate, and mow often. It comes with the territory of having a property with a lawn. If you stay up on it, you can prevent weeds and other nuisances from becoming an issue.
Another solution is to change your landscape to xeriscape. Xeriscape is defined as a design that requires little to no irrigation or other maintenance. For example, replacing turf with rock or mulch. It is a great alternative to keeping your landscape looking great without requiring much time or energy on your part.
2. Improve the Entry Door
The door is the literal and symbolic gateway to the rest of the home. Consequently, after the appearance of the lawn, siding, and windows the next thing that visitors are prone to notice is the door.
The key is to make the front door stand out, not just blend in. Did you know that you can paint or stain an existing door for under $100? If you have the budget then investing in a new door is always a great alternative too.
Bold colors work really well on doors so don’t be afraid to work with something that accents the exterior instead of just conforms to the rest of it.
3. Invest in Replacement Windows
Replacement windows are not cheap which is why some homeowners avoid paying for new ones yet it is generally one of the most noticeable qualities of a home that has poor curb appeal.
New replacement windows are one of the best methods to improve curb appeal. It is not only a huge incentive for people looking to sell a home, but also for people that are not looking to leave. The long-term positives of investing in new windows greatly outweigh the cons.
4. Become Eco-Friendly
The stylish new trend in home improvement is to make your home more eco-friendly, or to “go green”. A lot of people don’t realize it but making improvements like a new door or adding replacement windows actually helps out the environment because it subsequently lowers energy costs.
Furthermore, there are numerous other ways you can design a home to serve the environment, and not the other way around. No, it doesn’t always mean investing in costly features like solar panel energy but rather simple tips like adding more vegetation such as window planter boxes.
5. After-Hours Curb Appeal
There are many homeowners that focus on curb appeal involving the daylight hours yet fail to address issues that involve the dark. For example, a dark entryway that lacks enough lighting puts off the appearance of being mysterious or dangerous.
Address the problems of the dark such as more lighting, removing cobwebs and debris from light fixtures, and other simple solutions.
6. Symmetry Offers Stability
What are some of the best adjectives to describe a welcoming home? How about stability?
We love our homes and invest countless dollars in them because it’s a place of refuge, shelter, and safety. Consequently, symmetrical patterns establish a pleasant balance and stability that’s comforting to the mind.
There are several ways to achieve the exterior design technique from installing matching wall lanterns on each side of the front door or equally placed planters below windows.
7. Replace the Mailbox
There are a ton of homeowners that scoff at this suggestion. However, giving the mailbox a makeover is actually something realtors suggest for improving curb appeal.
What is fantastic about mailbox replacements is they are cost-effective and also a DIY home improvement project. It takes little time and money to upgrade the mailbox that’s likely sunburned and damaged for years of abuse.
8. Clean the Gutters
The fact of the matter is very few homeowners putting a place on the market can afford to make multiple costly improvements such as window replacements, new roofing, and doors. You may have to pick or choose.
Let’s say you decide to replace your windows finding them more important to curb appeal than the shingles. There is nothing wrong with the approach. But instead of ignoring the roofing altogether why not spend a little time (and no money) to clean out the gutters?
9. Power Wash the Siding
Siding is an obvious factor in curb appeal because it plays such a central role on the exterior. Whether it’s vinyl siding or brick or stone (or a combination), this area of the home takes up a dominant portion. As a result, some homeowners get turned off by the poor presentation.
In certain cases, yes, the siding is worn and needs to be replaced or at least a new coat of paint or stain. However, that’s not the only solution available.
Power washing the exterior, especially types of siding like vinyl, can be the best means to improve the presentation and it costs close to nothing to rent a power washer from Home Depot or Lowe’s for the day.
10. Develop a Clear Path
When you think about it how many homes have you visited with a messy path leading up to the front door, if one even exists? Most pathways are covered with overgrown bushes, trees, or just toys from around the yard. It also doesn’t help curb appeal when you keep a garage door open 24/7 with a ton of clutter inside it.
Consequently, take the means to design a clear path leading to and from the front door and garage. If you don’t have a designated path, why not get a little creative and build a new one out of brick or stone?
11. Make Basic Repairs
While the focus should primarily get targeted to major repairs or replacements like windows, doors, and roofing, also make sure that you address the little things.
Damaged screens, burned-out light bulbs, and chipped paint are all examples of simple repairs you can make in an hour or two combined and do the little things to make your home stand out from the competition.
The best technique is to do an eye-level assessment while focusing on high traffic areas like the front door and backyard. What is an immediate eyesore? Once you have an idea – make the simple repairs.
12. Keep Seasonal Decor… Seasonal
The bottom line is having Christmas lights up and dangling from the gutter in mid-July is a red flag for visitors, particularly individuals thinking about buying your home. It just reeks of laziness and a lack of care for taking care of your house.
Sure, there are certain situations where you may not want to climb 30 feet on a ladder to remove Christmas decor from a top-story, but if you can not put yourself in danger, keep seasonal items – seasonal.
Curb Appeal Matters
Most projects to improve curb appeal don’t require a ton of money or time. Yes, there are some major home improvement projects, but sometimes those aren’t necessary to substantially upgrade a home. When it comes to curb appeal – the little things matter.