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10 Ways to Add Curb Appeal

« Previous Page06/08/2012


1. Start With a Clean House
The first step in achieving great curb appeal is to start with a clean house. Power-washing the exterior is a great way to remove any dirt, grime and moss that has accumulated. All of the windows should be clear and sparkling, and because some are hard to reach with a normal ladder, consider hiring a pro to help. Get into the gutters and the roof line to remove all dirt, leaves and branches.

2. Revamp the Yard
Trim, prune and shape all trees, bushes and shrubs. Just as people need frequent haircuts, so too does the greenery in your yard. Once everything is in order, plant some colorful flowers, add new mulch, shrubs and cover bare spots in the grass with seed or sod.

3. Paint the House
A new coat of paint will brighten up any house. And while you're at it, consider changing up the color. Outdated siding can be instantly updated and look like new with a fresh coat. If you live in a neighborhood with a home owner's association, be sure to clear color choices through officials first.

4. Expand the Porch and Steps
This will make the entire house seem more modern. A tiny front porch on a larger home looks out of place and lacks presence. Be sure to modify stairs that are incredibly steep and narrow by making them wider in both length and width. Use modern materials, like stamped concrete, granite, slate or tile for the front of the risers, which are noticeable from the street.

5. Dress the Entrance
Most people enter their homes through the garage, or a side or back door, so the front porch often gets neglected. Add decorative light fixtures, large planters with colorful blooms, a nice rug and some chairs or a bench to create an inviting atmosphere. Inject a pop of color by painting the front door. Put up a railing, or a low brick or stone wall to frame the porch. Install decorative light fixtures.

6. Add Architectural Elements
A lot of houses look plain and stark. What they lack are architectural details like molding, decorative eaves, filigree details, spandrels or ironwork. Tiny doors and windows will seem bigger and more interesting when they are framed with shutters or molding. You can paint them a crisp-white or a grand-black for a clean look. Extend the eaves on the roofline to give the house a larger facade. Put in tall, slim windows on each side of the door to stretch out the entrance or install two doors for a more impressive portal.

7. Resurface the Driveway
Most homeowners have either black asphalt, concrete or gray gravel driveways. Make yours stand apart from the others on the block by installing brick pavers, individual stones or large concrete blocks set off by strips of grass. Use similar techniques for the sidewalk leading up to the front door.

8. Do Something Different
Drive around your neighborhood and see what others have done, then do something completely different. If most people have a white picket fence, put up a wrought iron fence or create a low stone wall. Install a beautiful bird bath or a water fixture, and surround it by a small pool of water. Add a few wooden or wrought iron chairs and benches. Those passing by will be intrigued, and if you're trying to sell your house, you will draw in a bigger crowd.

9. Create Symmetry or Generate Mystery
Symmetry, where everything is evenly spaced and there are even numbers of things, like potted plants or chairs, looks grand. The opposite is to generate mystery with winding pathways, floral covered archways and arbors, and lighting that spotlights select areas of the yard.

10. Don't Forget the Details
Everything from the mailbox and street numbers, to the door knob and the door knocker all impact the overall impression from the curb. Pay attention to how interior window fixtures, like curtains and blinds, look from the outside. Don't forget to take a night view of your house. If it gets lost in the darkness, consider adding landscape lighting for a final pop.