If you’ve just moved into a new house or want to redecorate your home, one of the things that you may want to focus on is the curb appeal. This term refers to the attractiveness of your home’s exterior based on how it looks from the street. This applies to the driveway, sidewalks, fixtures, and overall landscaping. Basically, it’s the first impression of your home for passersby, guests, and even potential buyers.
For other people, curb appeal also determines how good their home looks compared to other homes in the neighborhood. It differentiates the house so that it wouldn’t blend in with the neighboring houses. That’s why curb appeal plays a huge role in selling houses. This helps buyers determine whether they would want to purchase a home or if the asking price is worth it.
Working on the curb appeal is a huge factor that can help easily convert the house’s sign from ‘sale’ to ‘sold’. But what if you’re not selling your house? Why is curb appeal important when moving into a new home or when redecorating? Aside from aesthetics, curb appeal is still important since it can also add value to your home, save you money, and keep your home safe. How? Continue reading to find out why curb appeal is important as well as tips on how to increase it.
Why is curb appeal important?
If you’re not sure about spending money or making an effort on upgrading your home’s exterior to boost its curb appeal, here are some of the reasons why it’s important.
Adds value to the home
Since increasing the curb appeal of a home makes it look more attractive, this will also increase its value. Not only will you make it look better, but there would probably be upgrades that will make it more valuable.
As mentioned above, for those who are planning to sell their homes, this will make it easier. For those who are looking for homes, this can help them determine whether they like a home or not. It may also increase the neighborhood’s value, attracting more people into the area.
It’s also one of the factors that determine how much a home would go for on the market. This can make the price higher or lower, which can turn a property into a good investment. That’s because if a home looks like it’s not maintained or run down and has dead grass or overgrowing plants, this will make it less appealing to buy. To sell a home at the highest possible price, it should make a great impression, even before they enter and see how gorgeous the interior is.
Save money on future repairs, heating and cooling expenses
If you work on the curb appeal of your home, this means that you need to regularly maintain the exterior of the house. Not just the design, but all the equipment, tools, greenery, and other landscaping features. If these are always looked after, then this will lessen the chances for large and expensive future repairs.
For those who have a high energy bill due to excessive use of a cooling or heating system, fixing the curb appeal also means properly placing greenery in the yard. So if the trees and shrubs are planted in a way that blocks the house from the wind and sun, it may help reduce your energy costs.
Keeps the house safe and private
Increasing your curb appeal can also help make your home more private and deter criminals. If you fix the greenery around your home, you can strategically use bushes and shrubs to semi-block your windows. This will prevent people from seeing inside your home while allowing you to still see the outside view.
If you regularly maintain the plants and trees around your home, this also shows that the house is occupied. This doesn’t just apply to the sprouting greenery, but you must also take care of your lawn. Besides using it as a criminal deterrent, you also don’t want your yard to look untidy.
Making a good impression
Although it may not be important to everyone, leaving a good impression is also one of the reasons why people want to boost their curb appeal. Some people want their guests’, neighbors’, or passersby’s first impression to be good. It can be a comment about their well-manicured lawn, wonderful patio lighting, beautifully-arranged landscaping features, or the overall look.
It’s also not all about aesthetics. Sometimes, it’s just having a neat and beautiful lawn that their guests or children want to play or relax on. That’s why as much as possible, every aspect of your home’s exterior should be regularly maintained to impress everyone who will see it - even potential buyers in the future.
How to boost a home’s curb appeal
Now that you know why people want to increase their curb appeal, it’s time to find out how to do it:
Making the porch or front of the house look better
When looking at a house, one of the first things people will notice is the porch or front entryway of the home. This is where guests usually wait in, and it is also the main part of the home’s exterior that the mailman, delivery guy, passersby, and other strangers will see.
There are many ways you can do to the porch or the front of your home so that your home would look inviting and increase its curb appeal. Let’s start with the front door. If you’re already happy with it, then a few adjustments you can do is replacing the doorknob or handle, adding a door knocker or doorbell, and using decorations such as a wreath or something in season. For those who need a front door, you might want to go for a color that contrasts with the wall’s color or something unique.
If you don’t need to fix your door, you can add some things to your front entryway. A nice welcome mat would do. You may also want to fix your house number and replace it with a cleaner and shinier metal if it’s already old and rusty.
For those who have a porch, don’t leave it empty! Light the place up with a nice porch light, something that matches the exterior’s design. You can also add some seating so that your guests or anyone who needs to wait have something to sit and relax on. If you’re up for it, you can even use porch swings. Don’t be surprised if someone waiting for you has fallen asleep while rocking back and forth.
Lastly, don’t forget about the mailbox. Whether it’s perched near the sidewalk or placed by the door, it should look clean and tidy. Don’t leave piles of letters and other papers in it for weeks. Check if there’s any chipped paint or if the metal has turned rusty. Even if it’s a small detail, it should still be taken care of.
Maintaining a lush and green lawn
After making sure that your front entryway or porch is looking great again, the next thing to check is your lawn. Take a look at the turf around your home - front, back, and side yard. Try to keep the grass green and prevent weeds from overcrowding the plants, flowers, and grass.
Check if there are any brown or dead spots and seed those bare areas. While you’re at it, you may also want a well-manicured lawn. Yards can still look messy even with regular maintenance, so you also need to know how to use a mower properly and create patterns with it. Not only will it look beautiful, but it will also be healthier and help prevent weeds from returning.
Lastly, don’t forget to trim the shrubs and take care of the edges that mowers can’t reach. These are usually areas near the exterior wall, fences, steps, driveways, pathways, and sidewalks. You can use a string trimmer or lawn edger to get the job done!
Adding colorful plants or building a nice garden
Once you’re done with your lawn, you should also fix the garden and add some colorful plants. For the front yard or porch, you can buy some planters and use it as a decoration and vessel for your plants. You can also do it the other way and just plant it directly on the ground.
To add some color and increase privacy, a window box will do the trick. It is also a great option for those who don’t have enough space. Other alternatives that people who have limited yard space can use are vertical gardens. Instead of planters or garden beds taking up space, creating vertical gardens saves space and also adds a certain charm to your home.
For those who already have existing flower beds, make sure to apply a fresh layer of mulch or a similar material. This will cover up weeds and make the area look new again. It also makes the bed healthier and slows down weed growth. You may also want to remove stubborn weeds so that it looks tidier.
Having outdoor shade structures to relax in
Now that your yard looks amazing, it’s time to make it more hospitable. During a sunny afternoon, it would be nice to spend time outdoors. To make the most of your backyard, you can install an outdoor shade structure that doubles as a comfortable outdoor living space. These structures are pergolas, gazebos, pavilion, arbor, and more. They offer sun protection and creates a more private spot for you to spend time in.
If you don’t want to build a structure on your lawn, you should at least have comfortable seating for you and your guests. There are different kinds of patio chairs you can get on the market. Find something that complements other landscaping decorations so that your yard would look seamless. To solve the issue of not having protection from the sun, you can get patio umbrellas. It’s not permanent and you can easily store it when you don’t need it.
Proper outdoor lighting
Another important thing to consider when increasing your home’s curb appeal is outdoor lighting. Just because it’s dark at night, doesn’t mean your home has to be as well. Some people think that getting patio lights is too expensive, but fortunately, there are dozens of outdoor lights you can DIY. Brightening the areas around your home will not only make it look like a wonderland, but it will also provide a sense of security.
While you’re fixing your patio lighting, make sure to check the light bulbs around your home as well. Replace any dead or burnt bulbs and fix ones that keep blinking. You don’t want to scare people away with an eerily blinking bulb during the evening.
Installing gorgeous water features
After fixing the greenery and lighting, you may also want to add a different feature to bring more life to your outdoor area. You can install water features such as fountains, waterfalls, ponds, birdbaths, and more. This will make your home more serene, with the trickle of water, fountain drowning out the outside noise, and the chirping birds lured in by birdbaths.
Keeping the house’s exterior surface clean and damage-free
Finally, you also have to make sure that your home’s exterior doesn’t look worn out. Check for any chipped or fading paint, then cover it with a similar color or just repaint the entire house if the damage is a lot.
Take a look at your roof as well. Look for loose tiles and check for stained or discolored areas due to the harsh outdoor elements. Make sure to clean the gutters and remove any captured leaves. You can try to clean it on your own or hire a professional to do it for you.
Don’t forget to clean the windows and give the panels a good wipe. Check the frames since they may need to be repainted. You should also get a pressure washer and give it a go on outdoor fixtures to get rid of cobwebs and dust. It can also be used to power wash your deck so that it will look new again.