Traffic-Stopping Curb Appeal for your Home

How to Improve your Home’s Curb Appeal

First impressions are important, especially when it comes to your home. A house with an unkempt yard, peeling paint and sagging gutters doesn’t look nearly as appealing as one with a well-maintained exterior. Whether you plan to sell your home or live in it for years to come, sprucing up the outside will make coming inside more inviting.

“Maintaining your home’s curb appeal is a priority,” says Rudy Ramirez, president of Luxury Living Scapes Inc. in Dripping Springs. “Trimming shrubs and having gardens defined with mechanical edging and mulch is an inexpensive way to keep your home looking great all year long. We also recommend power washing exteriors, caulking, and painting the trim.”

To transform your exterior from drab to fab, begin with an honest assessment of what your home looks like from the street. Survey every angle visible to passersby, and take note of areas that scream for improvements.

When creating a budget, determine what your objective is. Do you want to give the façade a mini-facelift or an extreme makeover? Are you creating curb appeal to attract homebuyers or to make your home more welcoming to family and friends? If you’re planning to sell, ask an expert if the enhancements will add to the value of your property. At a time when home values are down and there are so many foreclosures on the market, make sure you can recoup some of the costs of the improvements in your selling price.

For ideas on how to boost your home’s “wow” factor, check out The Designed Exterior by Ply Gem at designedexterior.com. It’s a new collection of home-exterior solutions that combines a variety of eye-catching components, colors, and materials to create a custom look. The collection’s online design tool is loaded with digital renderings of more than 20 home styles that consumers can dress up with a range of colors and materials for windows, fences, railings, siding, gutters, and other accessories. After visualizing what you want your own exterior renovation to look like, you can generate a product list customized with your selections to print out or e-mail to a contractor.

Once you’ve picked the paint colors that will make your home the envy of the block, it’s important to maintain the paint as best you can. Travis Robinson of TD Painting in Austin recommends having a professional power wash every 18-24 months. “In the Austin area, your paint job will last anywhere from 5 to 7 years,” he says. “If you let it go, you run the risk of having your wood rot—the humidity gets so bad that mildew can build up and rot the wood.”

In addition to upgrading or improving the exterior of the home, don’t forget the importance of a beautifully landscaped lawn and garden. Lawns take a beating during the hot summer months and often need additional nutrients in the fall. TruGreen lawn care service can help turn damaged, patchy grass plush again by creating a Healthy Lawn Plan for your yard. The plan provides protection against pests and insects and includes a time-release formula to gradually give your grass the nutrients it needs.

In addition, if your home’s garage floor, deck, or front porch has suffered from issues with sunken concrete, consider having those concrete slabs raised to both avoid trip hazards and maintain the streamlined look you want your home to have. “It can be done very quickly, and doesn’t do any damage to your landscaping,” says Roger Jemson, president of Concrete Beauty of Austin. “It’s safe and fairly permanent.”

5 More Things to Improve Your Curb Appeal

  1. Remove weeds from planter beds and add new mulch and borders.
  2. Repaint key areas of the exterior such as the front door, siding, shutters, and trim.
  3. Repair porch railings to eliminate sagging or replace a wooden porch with brick or stone.
  4. Repair cracks in the driveway and widen it with pavers. Stain the concrete in a shade that accents the color of the home.
  5. Replace a damaged roof with a new one with architectural shingles. The shingles come in a variety of textures, patterns, and colors. Also, consider replacing old gutters and downspouts and paint them to match the house.

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