6 Eye-Catching Ways to Add
Curb Appeal to Your House
By Julie Lohmeier
The exterior of your home offers a first impression of your house and your
style. Make the most of those initial seconds by maximizing your home's
curb appeal. This holds true whether you are selling your home or plan to live
in it forever.
1) Clean up. The most important way to enhance your curb appeal is to clean up.
Trim or remove overgrown bushes and shrubs. Eliminate all weeds. Cut the lawn.
Spartan is better than messy. Repave or reseal your driveway. Fix anything
that is broken. Power wash or paint stained concrete. (There are specially
formulated paints for concrete.) And if a concrete stair or pad is sinking, have
it raised or replace it. Make sure your roof is in good condition and that
your brick mortar is well tuckpointed and your siding freshly painted. You
wouldn't want to meet people in dirty, torn clothes; don't greet them with the
2) Landscaping. Simple landscaping can go a long way. Arrange plants, trees, and
shrubs in odd number groups using a variety of colors, heights, and textures. Be
sure to leave room for growth. I've seen many a landscaping job look great for
the first three years, only to be overgrown soon thereafter. If you know about
perennials, plant those in a variety to provide blooms throughout the warmer
months. If your knowledge of perennials starts and ends with hostas, planting
annuals is as an excellent way to add color in spring and summer.
3) Shutters. I view windows as the eyes of your house. Shutters are a very easy
way to make your home more welcoming. There are very few styles of homes that
won't benefit from shutters. They should be the height of your window from the
sill to the top trim. When shutters were functional instead of decorative, they
were to be half the width of the window so the pair would cover the entire
window in bad weather. Now, just make sure the width is fairly proportionate to
the window, and never less than 12" wide. Your shutters can be any color
but pick a scheme that complements your siding, brick, and trim. My personal
favorite is deep hunter green, but black nearly always works. I prefer wooden
shutters so you can paint them any color you wish, but if you get vinyl, be sure
to replace them if the color begins to fade.
4) Door. If windows are your home's eyes, then the door is the mouth. Make it
inviting. Stained wood doors are most favored now in woods like cherry,
mahogany, and even oak. Today you can get simulated wood doors made from
fiberglass that look like wood from a distance, are very durable, and much less
expensive. In many ways, I still prefer painted doors because of the
endless possibilities of color for accent. You can paint the door the same color
as your shutters, but I usually prefer a complementary color, often a shade of
red - anywhere from burnt red brick to a deep red that's almost plum. It all
depends on your ...
5) Color. A house with curb appeal has color. Several complementary colors. Most
paint manufacturers offer groups of colors that work well together. This can
give you some good ideas. I personally like to see siding, trim, shutters and
doors in different colors. Typically I prefer the trim to be the lightest color
with the shutters and doors providing the greatest accent. However, some
houses are stunning when the trim is the most vibrant color. And with a "painted
lady" Victorian style home, you can use several different colors all to accent
various architectural features of the house.
6) Distinctive mailbox and numbers. Make a statement with your mailbox,
especially if it's on your house instead of the curb. These can get a bit
pricey, but will really add appeal to your front elevation. Some single nail up
address numbers will do the trick, but there are many more options these days.
There are ceramic tile. Brass plates. Custom painted ceramic signs with flowers.
Engraved stone if your house is stone or brick. When we were selling remodeled
homes, our realtor always got us a custom painted ceramic address sign. It
incorporated the colors of the house and added a truly charming element when
people walked up to the front door. Have your mailbox and address welcome your
visitors, not simply tell them this is the right house.
As you can see, there are six easy ways to enhance the curb appeal of your home.
The key is to remember that the front of your house is typically the first thing
visitors see. Make a good impression with a well maintained, landscaped home
offering those little details and coordinating colors that add richness and
luxury to your front elevation.
Julie Lohmeier is the veteran of numerous home remodeling and building projects.
From working hands on and doing much of the work herself to hiring contractors
and construction managers, she has seen the entire spectrum of home improvement.
She shares her remodeling tips, home decorating ideas, and other various rants
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