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exterior upgradesReal estate agents are always suggesting homeowners boost their "curb appeal" before selling a home. However, it makes sense to improve and upgrade the exterior of your home even if you're not about to put it on the market for sale. Beyond the standard projects of repainting the home and putting a new front door on the house, a variety of other projects exist that require a little effort, but which pay off extremely well in the end.

The Charm of Columns and Railings

A slick new paint job or some updated siding can turn a home that feels old into one that's fresh and vibrant, and features like columns, porch posts, and railings may provide a visual boost to the exterior of your home. Does your home have a rather flat façade without significant embellishment? Adding a porch might be the perfect way to create a big change in the "feel" of the home without major architectural changes. According to the experts This Old House:
Simple porch posts and railings that angle toward the walkway help give the space dimension.
Alternatively, a front porch that's covered and screened-in might make the front of your home feel a little closed off from visitors. Removing some of the screens or walls of the porch may help create a more welcoming façade.

Reducing Maintenance Needs Through Improvements

Any veteran homeowner knows that regular maintenance helps cut down on unexpected problems, as well as extends the lifespan of current features in the home. The historic charm or classic features on a home that require yearly retouching might need to be replaced with modern materials that mimic the look of historic features. When deciding upon exterior projects to enhance the exterior of your home, some medium-scale projects include replacing windows, updating the siding, replacing doors, and adding various embellishments to those features like shutters on the windows. If the architecture, construction era, and style of your home will accommodate vinyl windows or siding, you'll enjoy several years of low maintenance associated with the exterior of your home. Vinyl siding once had a terrible reputation, but today's siding is almost indestructible as long as a homeowner observes modest maintenance of the exterior. According to Bob Vila's official website:
It comes in a range of colors and designs, some of which closely resemble wood grain, suitable not only for new construction, but also for replicating the look of vintage siding in renovations of older homes.

Making a Date with the Hedge Clippers

A messy, overgrown lawn will hide the charm and beauty of your home, particularly if you've made recent improvement to the exterior. If you're not inclined to cultivate a green thumb, you may choose to remove some shrubbery and choose a leaner approach to landscaping that will showcase the beautiful exterior of your home. Tip: Make sure you carefully choose the time you prune the plants around your home, as well as the amount of foliage and branches that are removed. Better Homes & Gardens advises:
If you prune [certain plants] later in the growing season or during winter, you'll remove flower buds and decrease the amount of spring bloom.
BHG also offers a helpful video on trimming and cutting shrubs. When designing landscaping that's beautiful yet which won't take hours to maintain, paying the kid down the street to mow the lawn regularly can save a lot of time in the long run. You can also choose some low-maintenance plants that will allow you to focus your time on having fun in the yard with your family and friends instead of toiling away at overgrown bushes, weed-filled flower beds, and patchy grass. The DIY Network offers some great recommendations on low-maintenance plants:
  • Burgundy carousel Japanese barberry
  • Jules Verne peony
  • Velvet cloak smoke tree
  • Variegated ribbon grass
  • Winter king hawthorn

Want to Improve Your Home's Exterior?

Want to discuss changes to your home's exterior? Contact Builders & Remodelers today for a free consultation and information on how you can use simple techniques and modest changes to create significant improvements to your home.