Every neighborhood has a house that everyone on the block envies. Its attractive facade and landscaping calls to your eye and make you wonder what it’s like to live there. Your house could be that house — in fact, any house could be that house with a few key updates. It’s all about understanding curb appeal and turning some well-thought-out outdoor home renovation ideas into reality to create a home that you (and everyone else) will love.
Here’s the most popular home exterior upgrades that people say get their attention and drive up buying interest in a home:
Start with a Thorough Cleanup
Clear your roof and gutters of debris like pine needles, leaves and moss. Wash away mildew stains on cladding, and make your windows sparkle. Declutter and sweep porches, patios and window wells. A clean house gives you a clean slate for other changes and is the first step to having a well-maintained home.
Repaint Faded or Worn Out Areas
Paint protects exterior surfaces while also letting you express your sense of style. Freshen up those neutrals, consider pops of color or ground your home with some darker shades and accents. Maintaining fresh paint on your home’s trim, shutters and doors keeps it looking new, fresh and cared for.
Invest in Quality Landscaping
Nothing catches the eye quite like a well-manicured flower bed and green space. Soften the hard edge between the foundation and the ground with blooming shrubs and flowers. Choose native plants that will thrive yet still offer the ornamental heights, shapes and textures that create a soothing landscape.
Don’t Skip the Hardscapes
Consider laying new walkways or adding a patio. Redo cracked, uneven driveways with fresh pavement, if possible. Benches, bridges, stepping stones, edging and even the mailbox you choose are important elements that help define your home’s character.
Light Up Your Space
Put your home in the spotlight by adding attractive lighting that shows your home at its best when the sun goes down. Update lighting by entryways, walkways, decking and driveways, and don’t forget the wow factor of up-lighting, down-lighting and spotlighting that can enhance a landscape while also adding a level of safety and security.
Make a Splash with Water Elements
Water features can be compelling for many potential buyers and can help create a truly relaxing outdoor space. Consider adding a fountain, a recirculating water feature or even a koi pond, for example. Even a tasteful bird bath conjures the soothing aesthetic of water. If you don’t have outdoor spigots or an irrigation system, those are worthwhile features that will keep your landscaping in optimal shape.
Consider Constructed Additions
Building a pergola over a patio area extends the lines of a home, making it look larger while creating an outdoor room. Building a garage or carport provides a proper place for vehicles. A shed or outbuilding conceals the clutter of tools and lawn equipment while also giving storage space. A windowed greenhouse or potting shed adds charm. Having a place for everything not only is more convenient for you — it’s appealing visually as well.
Replace Broken or Unused Elements
Home features eventually reach the end of their lifespan, so when they do, replace them before your home suffers more than cosmetic damage. For example, replace windows or doors before leaks and rot affect wall interiors and studs. Things like dry-rotted siding or rusty mailboxes are not only unsightly, they can damage the things they’re supposed to protect if you’re not careful.
Incorporate a Fence
Privacy is priceless. An attractively fenced backyard offers safe spaces for children and pets and a place to relax for adults. Low fences, gates or railings in the front yard can add safety and further define your property as well.
Utilize Attractive Pathways
Walkways are not only useful at protecting your greenery, but they can add another element of design to your curb appeal as well. Connect a detached garage to the house with a covered walkway, breezeway or carport. Create pathways that guide you from place to place in your yard, or make a front walkway more inviting with curves that extend toward the road.
Conceal Immovable, Unattractive Areas
Not everything is cute, but unfortunately some things are there to stay. Utility areas like heating and air-conditioning units must remain clear of debris or obstruction to function properly. However, a low, solid fence with controlled plantings and regular maintenance can screen these appliances from view while also protecting them.
Add Appropriate Drainage
Unwanted water can cause problems—anything from erosion and mud to puddles and rot—so make it a priority to remediate low-lying spots or areas where water collects. This starts with having the proper drainage to keep your yard and home healthy and discourage mold and mildew.
Splurge on Facade Updates
Sometimes, it’s worth going big to get the home we want. If you’ve always liked the look of a stone facing or natural building materials, you have more choices than ever to dress up a portion of your home or reclad the entire structure. New engineered materials offer advantages against weather, pests and moisture while retaining architectural beauty and style.
Every home is different, and so is every homeowner. However, at the end of the day we all want to increase the value of our biggest investment—our homes. If you’d like help in financing your outdoor home renovation ideas, we make it easy to access additional funds at La Capitol Federal Credit Union. With a home refinance, you can reduce your monthly note and free up money to tackle those projects you’ve been planning. Learn more today by visiting our Mortgage Center online, calling us or stopping by your local branch. Let us help you make your house the home you’ve been dreaming of!