Your home’s first impression starts long before any visitors walk through the front door. The exterior and landscaping of your house isn’t just something to attend to when you’re getting ready to list your home for sale–it’s also a great way to enhance your own experience of living there. Fortunately, you don’t even need a large budget, expertise in design or craftsmanship, or even a significant amount of time to give your home’s exterior a facelift. Here are 16 little steps that go a long way.
How to Spruce Up your Home’s Exterior
Make it Green
Bringing some plant life to your home can be done on any budget and amount of outdoor space. A full garden can require a lot of space, money, upkeep time, and planning in order to have a polished, enhancive impact on your home. Simpler but effective options make use of hanging or standing planters to artfully arrange flowers about the front door, walkways, and windows of the home.(Spruce Up your Home’s Exterior)
Keep the Lawn in Great Shape
Even if the home itself looks flawless and tidy on the outside, an unkempt or patchy stretch of grass out front can make the whole place look run-down. Make sure to stay on top of regular maintenance: cutting the grass, removing weeds, clearing leaves and twigs, and watering frequently. Installing a sprinkler system and having a professional lawn care service step in every once in a while can help make the upkeep easier. At the end of the day, if it’s too impractical to keep the grass full and green, consider a quality artificial turf or succulents and shrub gardens.(Spruce Up your Home’s Exterior)
Make a Bold Choice with Front Door Paint
It’s all about contrast. Painting your front door can be an easy weekend project at any skill level, and usually costs less than $100. Select a hue that’s different from the main color of the house, but make sure the colors interplay well with one another, rather than clashing and creating an eyesore. Hold up different color swatches in daylight to see what works with the rest of the home, and what doesn’t. Sometimes retailers will allow you to purchase miniature paint samples to help you finalize your color choice.(Spruce Up your Home’s Exterior)
Brighten Up the Pathways and Entrance
How welcoming does your home appear after sunset? A dark or dim-light walkway is both difficult to navigate and uninviting. It’s fairly easy to find stylish ground lanterns that run on solar energy. Also try placing year-round lighting on or suspended above the patio area. And of course, make sure any light fixtures around your front door are clean and free of grime and dirt. You may wish to consider replacing them with more updated, modern fixtures.(Spruce Up your Home’s Exterior)
Use Symmetry to Tie it All Together
Points of symmetry create cohesion and balance that’s easy on the eyes. Focus most of your efforts on the entryways. You can achieve a more balanced look around the front door with matching lanterns, floral fixtures and decoration placed at both sides and on the front steps. Do the same for the garage, particularly if it faces the front of the home or you have too little space to create balance around the front door.(Spruce Up your Home’s Exterior)
Update the Mailbox
Has the mailbox seen better days? Maybe it just doesn’t go with the fresh, updated look of the rest of your property. Either way, invest in a new one. Your options range from the simple, practical and inexpensive, to the more pricey, elegant, or unique choices. If the mailbox is affixed to the home outside the front door, make sure it goes with the rest of the home.
Clear the Clutter from the Gutters
Putting some time and muscle into getting the gutters working and looking good as new is a practical and affordable way to boost the appearance of your home’s exterior. Not only does this keep your gutters working better, it shows just that much more care and attention to keeping your home fresh and presentable.
Add a Natural Accent to the Front Door
Most of us associate wreaths with the festive green and red variety on display throughout the holiday season. In actuality, wreaths of all sorts and styles are available and en vogue at any season throughout the year. You can find wreaths of real dehydrated flowers, boughs and stems. Synthetic options can offer easier care and last longer. Whether it’s bright, colorful florals for spring and summer, or pine cones and autumn leaves for fall, for the best effect choose a wreath of the colors and size that goes well with the rest of your home.
Make a Statement with the Numbers
Nowadays, you have lots of options for displaying your home’s numerals. Look at different combinations of typeface, size, color and accents for ones that aren’t just visible, but also boost the overall look your home. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to bring a modern and pleasantly creative touch to your residence.
Disguise the Utility Meters
If the electrical box is affixed very visibly at the front of your home, it can really drag down the otherwise polished look of the rest of the property. Consider hiding it with a strategically-placed hedge or flowering bush, or disguising it with paint that matches the surrounding color of the house. Whatever you choose, make sure the utility box is still accessible and fits within any regulations.
Make it Look Good-as-new with a Good Power Wash
A good power washing isn’t just to prep your home for a new coat of paint–it’s a great way to do a thorough, deep-cleaning of every inch of your home’s siding, shutters, stonework, patio, walkways and steps. Like most things nowadays, you don’t even need to buy new power washer equipment–see if you can borrow one from your neighbors or rent from the local hardware store.
Apply a Fresh Stain to the Garage Door
If your garage door is otherwise in great shape or you just can’t afford the big price tag for a new one, try applying a fresh stain. To make it easier, time this project to follow right after you freshen up the rest of the house with a good power wash. Try a stain that’s a close match or a complement to the color of your front door–just make sure it all works well together with the rest of your home and doesn’t look too wild.
Take Care of Minor Maintenance
The little things really can add up, and not in a good way when it comes to the little signs of wear-and-tear and minor fixes. Take stock of any worn patches of paint, light bulbs or window screens in need of replacement, small chips, or cracks in any concrete or brickwork (leave any large issues to the pros!). Make a list and tackle it, perhaps with the help of a few friends!
Accentuate the Walkway
There are multiple ways you can achieve the desired functional and aesthetic impacts for your home’s walkway, depending on your personal preferences and budget. You can replace an existing pathway with one made of stone or bricks in all sizes, forms and types (like granite, slate, or your standard red brick) to add some character or elegance to your home. Another option is to use ground lights and flowers or small hedges to border an existing concrete or dirt path. Whatever you choose, upkeep is key!
While you’re certainly free to choose the style and assortment of outdoor furniture according to functional and decorative tastes, it’s equally important to aim for a balance of form and quantity. It goes without saying that furnishings in the yard or on the patio should be in great condition and go together well. But also consider the size of the yard compared to the amount of furniture you’re placing in it. Avoid overcrowding your outdoor space with furniture as it can look sloppy; but don’t under-furnish as this can create a vacant or unfriendly appearance.
An Entrance that Makes a Statement
Notice a theme here? Your home’s entrance is the one of the few (if not, the only) part of the exterior that visitors will see both up-close and from a distance. The details matter, so try changing up the hardware at the front door: the knob and hinges, knocker or doorbell, and any decorative elements. Simple, polished looks can be achieved with contrast. For example, try stainless steel or brass features on a door painted navy or black, or that’s made of darker-stained natural wood.
Rana Khanjani, MBA
San Fernando Valley Iranian-American Real Estate Agent
Providing Services in English and Farsi
Address: 22020 Clarendon St. 200, Woodland Hills, CA 91367