Homes | Curb appeal

Don't forget curb appeal

Whether you're planning to sell your home or wish to grow old in it, you want it to look its best. While we all want to enhance our homes' curb appeal, most homeowners don't want to undertake expensive home improvements, such as installing new roofs or siding or replacing all windows and doors. A few simple touch-ups can give your home that new-house look without that new-house price. StatePoint

Details matter

The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is often in the details. Pay attention to details you can improve for little cost and a lot of "oomph!"

Landscaping is a great way to enhance your home's external appearance for a reasonable price and with minimum bother. Consider adding planters to both sides of the entranceway. Use flowering plants and trees, or native perennials that do not need a lot of maintenance. Make sure to clear broken branches, twigs or leaves from the yard. Trim shrubs and trees to freshen your home's appearance.

Another relatively easy way to add flair or drama to your house is to install awnings over windows or entranceways. They add shape, dimension and color, and can be custom-designed to fit a home's unique character and style.

"Awnings come in many styles and colors and can be used to echo the architecture of a traditional residence. Or, they can complement more modern-styled buildings with innovative designs," says Michele Sahlin, managing director of the Professional Awning Manufacturers Association. "They're also a practical and affordable way to protect you and your guests from the elements while coming or going."

To learn more about awning trends and options, visit www.awningstoday.com.

Elbow grease

There are many inexpensive things you can do yourself if you just roll up your sleeves. If you've been diligent about maintaining your home, it may just need some elbow grease to look brand new.

A new coat of paint can do the trick, but if you don't have the time or money for a full-blown exterior paint job, consider just painting the house's trim, which often sees the most wear and tear.

You should also clean all window exteriors seasonally. Using a pressure washer is a great way to make them sparkle.

Lastly, put some shine on door knockers and doorknobs. A little vinegar works well for this task.

Easy elegance

If your house is not distinctive, it may not be your fault. Many homes do not stand out simply because they are cast in shadows.

For a more elegant nighttime facade, add pathway and entrance lighting. Path lighting keeps family members and guests safe as they approach, while floodlights create a nice interplay of light and shadow on your home's exterior.

Improving your home's appearance is about making it look inviting to visitors and passers-by. Pay attention to keeping things tidy while adding some dramatic flair, and your home is sure to stand out on the block.

Don't forget curb appeal 01/26/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 10:47am]

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