Never underestimate the importance of a first impression.
A curbside face-lift is money well-spent, whether you’re preparing to sell your house, to increase its equity-value or just for your own pleasure. Here, some new ideas and trends from RISMedia on how to give your home’s exterior its own attractive identity—and for less than you might expect.
Re-think the front door
Realtors have long advised that the front door—one of the first things a visitor touches—should look well-kept and attractive. The least expensive option is to repaint it, and people are becoming more adventurous with color options for doors. No longer feel bound to match your door to the window and shutter hue. Contrast is good, and some homes benefit from brighter colors. For just a few more dollars, replace old, corroded hardware such as knobs and the kick plate. For a professional look, and to save yourself some time and cleanup, install the new hardware after painting. You also could replace the entire door, add an arched doorway and windows on either side or expand to a double-door. Ironically, one new trend is to go old and ornate.
Light the way
Over time, glass fixtures on your home’s front porch or portico can become dim from dirt, dead moths or old bulbs. Cleaning globes and replacing bulbs instantly brings new life to your evening facade. New fixtures are inexpensive and can usually be easily installed. You also will find that advanced lighting technology has gone beyond florescent with the introduction of LED bulbs that provide more lumens with less power, resulting in brighter entryways while saving on electricity
Install stone veneer
Stone veneer is an up-and-coming trend for home upgrades. Once installed, stone veneer is nearly indistinguishable from full stonework. The key difference is cost and ease of installation. Stonework speaks to craftsmanship, and veneer gives your home this expensive look for less. Stone veneer also has advantages beyond cosmetic: it’s rugged and never needs painting; comes in a wide variety of textures and colors; and can be used for an entire house, a single wall or just the skirting.
Refinish sidewalks and driveways
Stone or brick can make a huge improvement to unsightly cracked concrete walks and drives. Different types and shapes of stone can create a variety of patterns, and hiring a professional installer on a complete tear and replace will save time and effort. If your property’s asphalt or concrete drive is in good condition, bordering it with brick pavers can add a touch of class. Trims can be a do-it-yourself project requiring minimal skill, effort and cost.
Add color to landscaping
You’ll want the lawn and hedges manicured. Go further. Green is great, but dots of color lift your yard to a higher level of beauty. During the past decade, most cities have upgraded cosmetics, realizing that public street corners beg for flowers and professional landscaping. Eyes have come to expect more color and design street-side and in desirable neighborhoods, and that expectation translates to the look of your curb. Again, a tiny expenditure equals a major step up. Bulbs, shrubs, borders, fencing and mulch are all factors to consider.
Check your mailbox
You could spend a pile for a pile of bricks to dress up your mailbox, but the recent trend of distinctive and artsy mailboxes and posts is less costly. Visit an arts and crafts show and you may find hand-crafted mailboxes for a reasonable price. At the least, meet a local artist who would enjoy crafting something special for you. On a street where all the mailboxes look the same—and where the houses also may be cookie-cutter—you can set yours apart.