Summer is here, and now is the best time to make all those home improvements you’ve been neglecting. Want to fall in love with your home again? Pay attention to the exterior, so your house lifts your spirits and puts a smile on your face every time you come home. Want to put the property on the market? Make someone else fall in love with your home at first sight. Kerb appeal sells!
So, what makes for good kerb appeal, you may well ask? And how do you boost the appeal of your home’s exterior without the expensive and laborious job of redesigning the front elevation and front garden? Well, luckily there are lots of simple ways to ensure that your house looks welcoming and inviting from the front – even just a quick tidy-up can make a world of difference. Let’s take a look at some of the most effective things you can do this summer to give your home some TLC and maximise its kerb appeal.
Start with the front door
As the focal point and entrance into your home, your front door makes a statement about the whole property. It sets the tone for your guests, or potential buyers, who will immediately think it’s a welcoming, well-maintained place.
Improving your front door could be as simple as a fresh coat of paint in a classic front door colour, which will give your frontage an instant face lift and add colour and character to your home. Use metal polish to restore tarnished hardware, or fit new door knockers, letterboxes and house numbers to make your door look like new. Composite doors should be washed down with a proprietary cleaner to restore their brightness, or replaced if they let the rest of the property down.
Finally, review your outside lighting. Do you have attractive light fixtures placed symmetrically at either side of the door? Having a well-illuminated exterior is important, for safety as well as for looks.
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Driveways and patios
One of the easiest and most effective ways to enhance your home’s kerb appeal is to ensure that driveways and paths are in pristine condition. Most block-paved, concrete or tarmac driveways and other hard surfaces can be transformed with a quick power wash. The same goes for rendered surfaces and patios, as well as wooden decking.
To get the best results, hire a professional pressure washing company. They will have the most powerful equipment, can remove all manner of unsightly stains and seal the cleaned surface to keep it looking fresh for longer. For a quick and cheaper fix, you can also hire a pressure washer and do the job yourself. While you’re at it, replace any cracked paving stones, not just for a better appearance but to make the area safe too.
Finally, don’t forget to check over your garage door too. It’s an integral part of your home’s first impression and should complement your front door both in terms of style and maintenance care.
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Care for your boundaries
Clearly defined boundaries give your property a well looked-after feel. Pay some attention to your wooden fences and give them a coat of varnish. Give your metal gates and railings a new coat of paint and make sure all gates are in full working order.
Next, take a look at your front elevation. Does the render need a fresh coat of paint? Are the gutters hanging off, are they blocked or is water leaking down the wall due to overflowing gutters? It may take you a weekend to tackle these basic maintenance jobs but it can pay huge dividends. Not only will you feel more house proud, you will have preserved the value of your home. What’s more, you will be attracting buyers who might otherwise be put off by a poorly maintained exterior.
Finally, trim any hedges and shrubs and prune back any planting next to doors and pathways, to make everything look neat and tidy.
Plants and flowers
A gorgeous garden will always be attractive, so use the nice summer weather to spruce up your front garden. Keep the lawn well tended and unsightly weeds away from grassy areas, paths and driveways. It shouldn’t take a lot of work to trim back an overgrown garden, but the reward will be well worth the effort.
If you don’t have much greenery at the front of the house, then add some by cheating! Invest in some gorgeous containers and place colourful potted plants or hanging baskets outside the front door to bring a touch of nature as close to your home as possible. Make sure they’re placed symmetrically – it’s a guiding interior design principle that never fails! – and don’t have clutter the place.
And if you really have no option to add living plants to your entrance area, you can always try artificial shrubs in pots and a colourful doormat to provide a cheery welcome.
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