When you bought your home 10 or more years ago, it looked modern and stylish. Since then, you undoubtedly repainted rooms, installed new flooring and upgraded appliances and fixtures inside, but the exterior still sports the same siding and landscaping design. Perhaps the other houses on the block have upgraded or called in the professionals to create a new look.
Your house is suffering from poor curb appeal. Not only can it be embarrassing to be the last house on the block with the original brass fixtures, faded plastic shutters and dying evergreen ground cover interspersed with grandma’s dying geraniums, but you may just bring down property values. This matters a lot if you ever want to sell your property and move.
Luckily, there are excellent ways to transform your home’s exterior and improve curb appeal.
#1. Resurface, Paint and Power Wash
No matter how clean you make the bright-red brick or avocado-green vinyl siding, it will not look new and up to date. Large-scale improvements like replacing the entire surface of the house cost quite a bit but do more for curb appeal on an older home than many other possible changes. Shingles, boards and brick can get a coat of quality exterior paint in a modern color to help. At the very least, paint window trim, the door-frame, porch railings and the front door in a complementary color.
If you do not have resurfacing projects in your budget, at least make everything as clean as possible. Power washing is often the best bet for siding, window and door frames, porches, patios, decks and walkways. The cleaner your home exterior is, the more impressive it will look to your neighbors and potential buyers.
#2. Add the Right Accents That Last
While painting the front door spruces things up a bit, replacing it with a more modern style helps more. There are many beautiful doors in a variety of materials and styles on the market to choose from. Other options for updated home accents include new railings for stairs and porches and attractive outdoor window shutters. Choose PVC shutters that will retain their color and not fade, crack or degrade for many years to come.
#3. Boost Curb Appeal With Plants and Flowers
Even with a less-than-beautiful house, the addition of attractive landscaping helps improve curb appeal and create a welcoming atmosphere whenever someone walks or drives by. Salvage whatever ornamental trees, bushes and perennial plants you can from the existing gardens. Remember, it is possible to cut back an overgrown shrub and have it green out again next spring. Unfortunately, in the meantime, it will look nearly dead and very unattractive. It might be better to remove old plantings and start fresh with a quality design.
If your gardens do not need an overhaul, you can still add more plants and flowers to boost your home’s exterior appearance. Window boxes not only disguise some less-than-perfect siding choices but also provide a real boost to beauty and color. There is something about flower boxes at every window that imbues a real “Welcome home!” feeling to everyone who sees them.
#4. Shine a Light on Home and Yard Assets
Once you get your home’s exterior and landscaping design looking as good as you can, you want to enjoy it both day and night. Outside lighting is a great answer to the question of how to improve curb appeal. You could simply wash existing light fixtures and replace bulbs to brighten things up, but a real change takes a bit more effort. Update lighting near the front door and elsewhere on your home or in the yard.
An excellent option that requires no potentially expensive electrical work is solar lights. These come in a variety of styles that simply stick in the ground or attach to a porch railing or similar spot. Push small solar lamps into the ground near bushes and bedding plants. You can even use them to illuminate one or more large rectangular planters sitting by your garage door or lining your front porch or entryway. Adding planters does double duty as a way to get more attractive and colorful plants to brighten up your property.
If you cringe when you pull your car into the driveway and see the tired landscaping, out-of-date colors and dingy exterior, it is time to improve curb appeal. No matter what your budget, you can make changes such as new paint, flowers in window boxes, custom shutters, solar lighting and more. Not only will you find great enjoyment in your property, but the neighbors will thank you for improving the overall look of the community