You probably take good care of your home’s interior but keeping up with the outside is just as important. Curb appeal refers to how your home, landscaping, and garden look in terms of visual aesthetics, upkeep, and general cleanliness. When your home has excellent curb appeal, it’s much easier to entice possible buyers if your property is on the market. Beautiful curb appeal tends to result in a higher asking price when your home goes up for sale. Even if you’re not planning to sell your home, having regular inspections of your landscaping and keeping up with its outside appearance will keep your property looking beautiful. Read on for some creative curb appeal ideas and helpful tips about some do’s and don’ts for inspections and more.
Curb Appeal Projects
You can easily improve your curb appeal by doing a few simple projects. Here are a few suggestions that will improve the outdoor design of your home.
- Paint the front door. Just changing the color of your front door can improve your home’s curb appeal by leaps and bounds. Adding a fresh, new color will make your entire home look more cheerful and inviting. Paint your front door in a trendy color like a bold turquoise blue or a classic red with spicy orange or earthy undertones.
- Create an inviting entrance. Give your porch or entryway a boost by adding some decorative components. You can add a fun welcome mat, decorate with potted plants, or hang a beautiful wreath on the front door. Easy changes like this can make your home look much cozier and more inviting. Place an outdoor area rug on your front porch along with a patio loveseat or rocking chairs.
- Update hardware. Replace your old, rusty doorknobs and other exterior hardware with something fresh, sleek, and new. Try a modern door handle in a trendy finish like matte black or bronze for an updated aesthetic. Just be sure that your new hardware is properly keyed for easy access and that your front and back doors match so you can use the same key.
- Update the garage door. Consider installing a new garage door if the one you have is peeling, rusting, dented, chipped, or just generally outdated. A beautiful new garage door with frosted glass panels will instantly give your home’s curb appeal a modern boost.
- Refresh the driveway and sidewalk. Repair cracks or install new concrete or stone pavers. You can also stain concrete in various colors for a coordinated look, and stamped concrete is an easy way to add texture. Remove overgrowth and weeds around your sidewalk, so it’s free of any obstructions.
- Update walkways. Elevate any walkways around your home and garden by using new, stylish pavers. This design makes it easier to walk around the outside of your home, and you’ll find them in a myriad of beautiful colors, shapes, and styles.
Curb Appeal Landscaping
Your landscaping is another key element when creating beautiful curb appeal.
- Add more greenery. Plant some new trees and shrubs to give your home a fresh look and a pop of green color. You can also add a few decorative outdoor pots and planters. Fill your planters with a range of colorful plants and seasonal flowers. Native plants are the easiest to care for and should thrive in your specific climate to make your home’s exterior look visually appealing and fresh almost all year round.
- Add outdoor furniture. Not only does outdoor furniture make your backyard look stylish and comfortable, but it also adds more functionality. Use the furniture to help you design various areas around your backyard or patio for relaxing and entertaining guests. A beautiful bistro set on your front porch makes a lovely breakfast nook for enjoying your morning cup of coffee. A patio conversation set that includes a bench, chairs, and a coffee table is perfect for a reading nook or a nice conversation area. Add a brightly painted front porch swing to boost your curb appeal instantly and make it look more welcoming. If your yard doesn’t have ample natural shade, consider installing a pergola, shade sails, a fabric awning, or even a colorful patio umbrella.
Curb Appeal Illumination
Even though most home buyers won’t likely drive by your house at night, installing some beautiful outdoor lighting is still a good choice. This lighting will improve your curb appeal and increase the enjoyment for you, your neighbors, and admirers who drive by.
- Use pathway lighting. Illuminate your walkway with some solar lights nicely lined up on each side. This makes it easier to see clearly at night and may help to prevent a possible injury.
- Try a spotlight. An outdoor spotlight is a great choice to highlight your home’s unique architectural features. It also does a great job of illuminating specific plants in your landscaping and helps to keep potential criminals at bay.
- Add lights for entertaining. If you love to entertain outside at night, hang some string lights under your patio umbrella or porch awning for a fun and festive look. You can also add a brand-new light fixture to the front and back porch, so it’s brighter for guests and makes your home look inviting.
Hiring a landscape inspector
Whether you’re selling your home or just want to ensure that your new curb appeal projects are done right, a landscape inspector can help. These professionals are trained to examine and inspect various features, structures, and more around the home’s exterior.
What a landscape inspector does
Here are some examples of what you can expect a landscape inspector to look for:
- Structural evaluations: The inspector will look closely at outdoor structures like patios, decks, sheds, and playground areas to ensure that they’re safe and structurally sound.
- Irrigation systems: If you have an irrigation system, the inspector will check for leaks or issues with pipes and fittings that may have become damaged or entangled in roots.
- Lighting: An inspector can ensure that your exterior lighting is installed correctly and that you have ample lighting outside for safety purposes.
- Plants and trees: Landscape inspectors can examine trees and other plants in your lawn and garden to check their health. They’ll also assess the condition of trees and make recommendations if anything needs to be trimmed or removed.
- Fencing: The inspector can check any fencing around your yard and ensure there are no signs of rotting or tipping, so it stays securely in place.
Curb appeal Do’s and Don’ts
Here are a few do’s and don’ts when it comes to your curb appeal and landscaping:
- Do: Make sure you plan ahead when planting anything new to ensure that it will thrive. Always ensure that your plants are adequately spaced, so they have plenty of room to grow.
- Don’t: Avoid planting anything too close to the house. This can attract pests like termites, and the plants will also accumulate excess moisture that could affect your home’s foundation.
- Do: Ensure that your lawn is properly graded. If your yard isn’t graded correctly, it can cause rainwater to slope toward your home, resulting in possible flooding or structural damage.
- Don’t: Never ignore signs of damage such as cracked walkways or loose boards on your deck. The longer these things go ignored, the greater the odds are that they could cause an injury or other problem.
Outdoor hazards to look out for
An inspector can help you pinpoint and correct any possible outdoor hazards. Here are some examples of things to look out for.
- Dead or rotting tree limbs can pose a serious risk if they were to fall onto your roof or you or someone outside your home, so make sure you trim them as soon as possible.
- Improperly wired outdoor lighting is a severe fire hazard. If you’re not using solar lights and need help with installation, consult with a professional electrician.
- Ensure your lawn is graded correctly and that all of your gutters are attached and not leaking. This will prevent water from getting into your home or affecting the foundation. Water and foundation damage are common in older homes. Most homeowners don’t understand that – most foundation problems are caused by water in or around the foundation. Wall cracks, gaps between doors and windows, mold in the basement, sagging floors or ceilings, etc are the primary signs of foundation failure.
- Rotted boards on your deck or patio can pose a serious risk of injury. Ask your inspector to check these structures to ensure that everything is in excellent condition before walking on it.
Outdoor Inspection for Maintenance and Improvement
Whether you’re working on updating your curb appeal or just want to keep up with maintenance, getting an outdoor inspection is recommended. Here are some ways these inspections can keep your curb appeal improvements safe.
- Foundation: An outdoor inspection will examine the condition of your foundation, including any signs of leaks, cracks, crumbling, or unevenness.
- Roof: Ask the inspector to check on the roof to look for any signs of damage. Loose or missing shingles can cause your roof to leak, while poor insulation can affect your home’s ability to stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The inspector should also look for any damage or blockage in your gutters and exterior venting, as well as chimney flashing if you have a fireplace.
- General exterior: The outdoor inspection should also include a closer look at things like your siding, exterior walls, and soil grading. It should cover the soil and plants around your home, noting signs of pest infestations, rot, or the location of your plants in general. This exterior inspection should also cover garages, carports, and crawlspaces that you can access from the outdoors.
Keep these curb appeal improvement tips in mind to make the outside of your home look more beautiful and inviting. With a few easy changes, you can improve your curb appeal to boost your home’s resale value or simply enjoy your favorite outdoor spaces more. Don’t forget to hire a professional landscape and exterior home inspector who’s qualified to look for potential hazards. With their help, you can be sure that the outside of your home will be safe and beautiful for years to come.