Curb Appeal…I’m pretty sure anyone who is reading this blog has heard this term before. I bet I could take most of you to a neighborhood and you would be very comfortable telling me which houses have curb appeal and which ones are unfortunately lacking in this category.

In today’s real estate market we as home builders and remodelers are faced with a requirement of creating a home that has the amenities to support your lifestyle, while putting it in a package that looks great.

We might be in the golden age of curb appeal. Think about it, we all know how big of an impact the internet is. The National Association of Realtors estimates over 85% of home shoppers begin their search online. They go to real estate sites, enter specific search parameters and bam – every possible house right at their finger tips. This is great for those of us selling our homes but not so great for those of us selling our ugly homes. With the exterior being the starting point of every house, buyers may not even make it to the interior pictures to see how great of a buy your home might be.

Well now that we identified why it is and always will be important you might be asking “How can I change my house?” Here is a check list of items you do to improve your curb appeal:

  1. Take a picture- Start off by assessing the look of your house. What elements do you have that are great, terrible, what style is your house, where is your eye drawn to?
  2. Get a game plan on what you want to change, is it small details, a major project that will take a professional, what time of year does the work need to take place, how much money do you want to spend?
  3. What areas can we change?
    1. Exterior appearances – Play up your best features. You might have great wood beams or a big front porch already there. How is your paint holding up? Do you have a proper blend of exterior materials (ie stone, brick, siding, etc)
    2. The Entry – A warm inviting entry is essential to make a great house. This is often the main focal point when looking at a house. If you look at your front door and think it is hopeless then it might be time to look at having a new one installed. There are steel, fiberglass and wood doors of all styles so you can find one that fits your house. If you just need a little pick me up look at color, decorative brackets/elements, or even a new door knob.
    3. The Approach – When designing new homes this is often the most difficult element to see for a homeowner, yet this makes a huge impact on your overall look/feel. Your front yard is an extension of your house. Who here has a neighbor who doesn’t take care of their yard? Look at size and location of planting beds, often the size of the planting beds is too small for the scale of the entire house. You want to match the size of your plants to the size of the house (ie more tall trees if you have a 2 story). Walk ways can be a great element to add that will make your house standout from the typical subdivision home. Exterior lighting is another element that can have a major impact. The type and position of lighting might depend on what you would like to accent.
    4. The Supporting Cast– The final elements that can enhance the overall look but are often forgotten. Driveways and garages are a big concern, especially with the Ranch style homes we have in our area. Adding decorative garage doors, or glass windows to the doors can help make it feel more like a part of the house verses a big box attached to your house! Driveways can also be spiced up when building by adding stain or even stamping a design element into them.

This is a crash course on curb appeal, and it might raise more questions than provide answers. That is ok, getting you thinking about it is a great start. Take a look at your home, decide what you can and can’t do and then put a plan in place to accomplish it. Home improvements can be like working out, painful but gratifying when they are finished! If you have questions about projects you are working on please give us a call and we will try to help out.

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