Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Home Improvement Projects that Boost Curb Appeal

Have you heard of Modernize.com? It's a place to gather ideas and see how other homeowners have transformed their homes. The site features lots of ideas for home improvement, plus pretty pictures to inspire and motivate you. Following is an article that Tim Smith of Modernize.com wrote for Little House on the Corner, and I know we can all relate to this topic!  

Home Improvement Projects That Boost Curb Appeal

Tune into a home improvement or home-selling television show and chances are you will hear the host or narrator mention the phrase curb appeal. There's a good reason for this. Those little touches can make a huge difference in your home's appearance. If you doubt it, drive through a subdivision that's more than five years old. Even though the builder may have used only a few identical blueprints to produce the entire neighborhood, you will notice that some homes stand out from the others. In many cases, the only difference is that the owners have taken the time to fix up the front view of their homes. Enhancing your home's curb appeal is surprisingly easy. The view of a home from the curb is like its face. Think of adding curb appeal as giving your home a makeover.

First, Do a Deep Cleaning

Pressure wash your trim, siding and foundation walls or use a hose and a long-handled scrub brush to remove accumulated grime. Wash all your windows, and have algae or dark stains removed from your roof if necessary. Relocate hose reels, tool sheds and trash cans to less visible areas. Remove any furniture, planters or decorative items that are past their prime.

Then Fix the Blemishes

Caulk and paint siding, trim, shutters and porches as needed. Examine aluminum, vinyl or concrete siding for cracks, splits or holes, then repair them neatly. If your siding is heavily damaged or looks tired or dated, consider replacing it. Have damaged concrete steps, porches and sidewalks repaired or resurfaced. Replace missing or loose bricks or stone, and have a mason repair missing, loose or eroded grout. Trim trees and shrubs and seed or sod your lawn, if applicable, or replace or repair your ground cover if your region does not support green lawns.

Next, Focus on the Eyes and Mouth

If your home's front is its face, the windows and front door are its eyes and mouth. Pay special attention to these areas. Add shutters to enhance your windows. If your budget allows, replace your front door with a new one that features a leaded or beveled glass panel and side lights or a transom. If a new door is out of the question, a new coat of paint, new hardware and a nice wreath are a good second choice. Don't limit yourself to exterior work to enhance your windows and door. Choose window treatments that look as good from the outside as they do from inside, and use foyer lighting, as well as accessories such as lamps or even stained glass panels, to make your home look inviting.

Finally, Accessorize

Just as earrings, hair accessories and a charming necklace pull a woman's look together and provide polish and elegance; accessories can make a huge difference to your home's first impression. Even small areas of landscaping make a big improvement if they are done well. Likewise, planters, window boxes and flower pots can transform your home's look. Tasteful porch furnishings make passersby and potential buyers want to sit down and stay a while. For a finishing touch, pay special attention to small details like mailboxes, outdoor light fixtures and entry and garage door hardware.

You know your home is a great place to live. With a little work, you can create an inviting view from the street that will make visitors want to come inside and discover all the wonderful things your home has to offer.

Tim Smith writes for Modernize

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