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Sat, Oct. 19

Give your home more curb appeal

As I drive through town, I have stated to notice For Sale signs appearing in yards once again. One of the first things I notice, which is what all potential buyers will see, is the “curb appeal factor.” The home’s exterior is the first thing you see when you come home every day. It is important to beam with pride over your home’s curb appeal so I felt it would be important to talk about some ideas for increasing your home’s curb appeal appearance. You see your house every day, so it’s easy to get used to its looks — and to overlook its exterior blahs and flaws. But if your house isn’t living up to its curb appeal potential, a few changes can add up to a fantastic front-of-house facelift.

When it comes to the sale of your home, realtors and builders will tell you the kitchen is where it’s at, and that new cabinets and state-of-the-art appliances will go a long way toward a faster sale of your home at a good price. And they’re right. However, there are a lot of things you can do to the exterior of your home for a reasonable price to make the appearance more attractive and decrease the length of time your house is on the market.

With all of the roof replacements that have been taking place, I have noticed many “old fashion and outdated roof coverings being installed.” These homes now have roofs that do not blend in with the neighborhood and stick out like a sore thumb as they say. Be very careful and make sure if you are replacing the roof that your roofer installs, current new covering and not something that is outdated and picked up in the warehouse on the “cheap.” Some of these shingles are going to create a make-or-break moment for potential buyers before they ever walk in the door. Believe me, it is hard to get past this first impression of the roof.

A little bit of landscaping goes a long way. Now is the perfect time to plant those beautiful fall flowers in pots or invest in small shrubs. An attractive and well-maintained landscape can add as much as 10 percent to its value.

Washing windows and screens will do wonders. I just tackled that project last weekend and oh my – the sun shines in. The screens and the windows just sparkle with delight and it looks so nice when I drive up the driveway.

If the paint on your house looks good but it hasn’t been power washed in over five years, maybe it is time to give the exterior a bath.

I see many homes with shutters that are worn, or one missing or falling off. The return on investment of replacing your shutters and front door is one of the highest when it comes to remodeling projects. “A dated front door makes a house look old and worn shutters makes a house uncared for or old.”

So in a nutshell, how does the front of your house and yard look from the street? Is your eye drawn instinctively towards the front door area? Are there areas of the house or yard that distract your attention in an unfavorable way? Are there so many plants and shrubs on display that you don’t know where to look? How would you rate your home and garden in terms of curb appeal?

With landscaping conceal, reveal and simplify. Stand in front of your home with your back to it and then spin around and take in the view. If your eye isn’t immediately drawn to the front door area of your house—which is always the sweet spot— then something is probably off kilter. It could be an awkward architectural feature of the house or an air conditioning unit you are trying to conceal that is only making the problem worse.

CONCEAL - If you’re trying to hide or disguise something in your yard that you don’t want people to notice such as a power utility box or a border chain link fence, there are simple solutions. Use plants and shrubs that don’t call attention to themselves such as medium to fine textured evergreens.

REVEAL - You want to create curb appeal that draws your eye to the front door and the overall exterior beauty of your home. One way to do this is by reconsidering the trees and shrubbery in your yard, especially the ones next to your house. A simple rule of thumb is to keep plants lower than the window sill. You might have to prune them down.

If your trees are tall, you might need to remove the lower limbs. You want to reveal windows and the most attractive architectural features of your home but this will require constant maintenance if you have shrubs or trees that need constant pruning. If you’ve planted wisely, your shrubs should grow to their proper height, should not require much pruning and should not hide key features. Adding color with seasonal flowers placed near the front door is another way to create your desired focal point. Sidewalks or paths that create big, sweeping curves toward the front door area add another strong visual element. Some homeowners might even want to add a fountain or welcoming patio area near their front door to lead the eye naturally to the main attraction.

SIMPLIFY - Remove unnecessary clutter in your yard and beds. The home is the star, not the landscape. If you have too many different types of specimen plants, growing in a variety of shapes and sizes, it is only going to create distraction. The recommendation is to cut everything down low and let it start over and then prune it into a single mass.

Easy Breezy Curb Appeal 1-2-3.

Remember to tune in to YCCA’s Hammer Time every Saturday and Sunday morning at 7 on KQNA 1130am/99.9 fm/95.5fm or the web at kqna.com. Listen to Sandy to Mike talk about the construction industry and meet your local community partners. It is fun, it is entertaining and enlightening.

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