HOME DESIGN WITH KATHY BEAMAN
BOOST YOUR CURB APPEAL WITHOUT BREAKING THE BUDGET
Are you getting ready to put your home on the market? Or maybe you’ve got a touch of spring fever and want to jazz up your entrance?
Either way, there are lots of things you can do to give your exterior a lift that don’t require taking out a second mortgage.
Begin by walking across the street and taking a good look at your house and yard. What are your first impressions? Does this scene look warm and inviting to you?
If not, start boosting your curb appeal by giving everything a good scrub. Rent a power washer for the siding and decks, wash the windows (inside and out), sweep the porch, walkways and driveway, rake up dead leaves and clean up the flower beds.
Your front door is very important and is a great place to “make a statement”. Replace it, if necessary, or apply a new coat of glossy paint. If your house has just a main color and a trim color, add an accent color for the door. This is where you can be bold, but make sure the new color gets along with the existing colors and doesn’t clash with them.
Swap out that tired old doorknob with a metal one that coordinates with your new accent color, and then add matching street numbers, perhaps a door knocker and kick plate, a mailbox and even coordinating light fixtures. Black metal or wrought iron looks good with almost everything and never seems to look dated.
If the house is very plain, install some window boxes or shutters or add some architectural details to the existing trim. The home stores are filled with interesting pieces like bulls eye moldings and dentil strips. A word of caution – a little of this goes a long way and should be kept to either the period of the home or the look that you are trying to achieve.
Spruce up the garage door, also. Perhaps it just needs a coat of paint and some new hardware. If it has plain windows, inserts can be installed that go with the window style of the house. Trim can be added to give it an updated look – a “carriage door” look, for instance. Again, don’t overdo it.
Buy some colorful pots and fill them with pretty flowers that complement the colors of your house (perhaps your new accent color). Place these on the porch, down the front steps and even in your flower beds.
Mulch the gardens and, if you have dead spots under trees, mulch those areas also, being sure to keep the mulch pulled back a bit from the trunk. Keep the mulch natural looking; do not use one of those dyed varieties.
Trim any tree branches that are too low (buyers should have a clear view of the house from the street) and prune overgrown shrubs (after they flower). If you have the budget, hiring an arborist is money well spent.
Solar lights are perfect for sidewalks and paths and will make your home appear more inviting and friendly. Easy to install, they also can emphasize the landscape and improve security.
Having a consultation with a Home Designer or Realtor who is schooled in staging can help you achieve a truly professional and pulled together look that will make your home shine.
After all – “you only get one chance to make a good first impression”.
Kathy Beaman is a Home Designer and Realtor with The Beaman Group of Winchester, NH. Please visit her website at www.thebeamangroup.com. Kathy can be reached at 1-603-239-4265 or Kathy@thebeamangroup.com and welcomes your questions and comments.