There are three key ingredients that play into the initial visual impact of your house, according to Reagan Greer, of JBGoodwin REALTORS: the front door, paint colors and the yard. The external appearance of your house is important whether you are trying to improve its curb appeal for a sale, or if you just want to increase your personal enjoyment of your outdoor space. Before you start choosing paint swatches or digging holes for tulips, you might first consider some foundational maintenance tasks, because it won’t matter how lovely that new front door hue is if your home is suffering from neglect in other key areas.
A Welcoming Front Door
Your front door is the portal to your home, and often the first place where people will be getting up close with your property. To begin an upgrade to your front door, start by considering the path leading up to it. Does your walkway have cracks that need mending? Is it easy for visitors to find their way to your front door from the street or their parking spot, or do you need to add paving stones or pathway lights to mark the way? And if you have an older home with a classic wooden porch, weather and time have a way of causing boards and banisters to wear out – make sure to periodically test for rot, especially if you aren’t personally in the habit of using your front door often. I you need to replace your door, read this first!
Now that your front entry has been deemed clear and safe, you can give the front door a makeover that will make it the eye-catching centerpiece of your home’s exterior. You might repaint the door a bold color like bright red or sky blue. A charming door knocker or enameled address plate can add character to your door, too. And for seasonal style, wreaths are no longer just for Christmas. You might change up your door decor every few months to match the season.
Before You Paint
A fresh coat of paint, particularly in a new color, is a surefire way to make your house look like new. And you really ought not to wait until paint is cracked and peeling before repainting your siding or trim. Once paint starts to chip, it will need to be scraped off and primed before a new coat is added, which can add a lot of time and labor to the job.
If you’re thinking about repainting your home’s exterior, it’s also a good time to catch up on other routine maintenance tasks that are best tackled before the signs of neglect are evident. Inspect roofing for missing, loose, or damaged shingles that could lead to leaks if not repaired. While you’re up there, inspect your chimney for cracked or crumbling bricks. Check that outdoor vents aren’t blocked by birds nests or overgrown shrubs. Every year, clean debris from your gutters. If you live in a place with a milder climate like Atlanta, gutter cleaning can happen any time of year, though build-up may be worst in the autumn when the leaves fall. But if you live further north, in Minneapolis, for example, you’d be wise to clean the gutters before winter to avoid ice dams that could cause your entire gutter to come crashing off the roof: not a good look, even with freshly painted siding.
Create A Landscape
You don’t have to have a green thumb to improve the appearance of your yard. Simply keeping up a regular routine of mowing the lawn and pruning trees and shrubs can do wonders for your home’s visual appeal. But if you do have an inclination to dig in the dirt, you might also dress up your yard with perennial flowers like tulips or coneflowers, or blooming shrubs like azaleas or hydrangeas that, once established, come back year after year.
Simply fixing up your front door, paint colors and yard can do so much to make your house a stunning sight that you can take pride in calling home. Just be sure to also pay attention to the underlying maintenance so your cosmetic work is adding to a strong foundation.
This article was a contribution by Jennifer Dawson