We hear it all the time. A home should have "curb appeal" It's the first impression of your home and how it appears to those seeing it from the outside. While curb appeal is most often associated with homeowners trying to sell a home, it’s important for new construction homes, too.
Many curb appeal tips come down to keeping the exterior of the house tidy, clean and in good repair. New home owners already benefit from having properties with brand new exterior features and landscaping, making it easier to keep their homes in good order. Instead, they can focus on the more enjoyable aspects of curb appeal, which focus less on maintenance and more on personalizing the home's exterior.
"Boosting your curb appeal can be quicker and easier than you might expect, you just have to pick the right projects," says Kerrie Kelly of Kerrie Kelly Design Lab. "Many of these quick-fix projects can be done in an afternoon, and without professional help."
Consider these five tried-and-true curb tips to make your new home your own.
1. Perk Up the Landscaping
It's not uncommon for new developments to have very little landscaping or the exact same landscaping in every yard. Talk about making it difficult for a home to stand out! Planting a tree, adding flower beds or even just popping some colorful annuals in amongst existing greenery can enhance your home's exterior. Solar landscape lights are discreet, require no wiring and can improve aesthetics and safety at night. Flowerpots are portable, can be changed to complement the seasons and can be as discreet or as in-your-face as you like.
2. Highlight the Windows
Windows tend to get overlooked when homeowners look for ways to spruce up their exteriors. Beyond giving them a good cleaning, many homeowners leave them alone. This is a huge missed opportunity to add some character to your home! Whenever I see a really charming home, it almost always has shutters or window boxes framing the windows. Both items help make a home look more polished and loved, and both are easy to find and easy to install. You can find easy-care, pre-fab shutters and window boxes in all kinds of colors and styles at big-name home stores, but you can also find craftsman who will design custom shutters and window boxes that will give your home a little extra pizzazz.
3. Upgrade the Mailbox
Another often overlooked exterior feature is the mailbox. Whether your mailbox is at the end of the driveway or attached to the house, many are plain, black and blah. Have you looked at mailbox options these days? Available in every color of the rainbow, locking or non-locking, post-mounted or wall-mounted, there's a mailbox out there to complement your home's exterior and keep your mail safe and dry at the same time. If you're not up for replacing the mailbox yet, look into wraps or covers, which are a fun way to add some character to your mailbox or decorate it seasonally. Don't forget the posts! Upgrade from the metal pole stuck in the ground to a stone construction with fancy veneers or decorative coverings.
4. Create a Welcoming Entry
Our eyes are naturally drawn to the front door whether we're looking at the home from the curb or making our way up the walkway to ring the bell. Enhance your visitors' first impression of your home by creating a welcoming entry point. High-quality light fixtures and house numbers, a decorative, lighted doorbell, a welcome mat, a door wreath or door hanging, and flowerpots can all soften a concrete stoop and provide a glimpse of your family's personality at the same time as welcoming guests to your home.
5. Get Artsy
Just as you'd add a focal point to an interior room, consider adding a focal point or artistic element to the exterior of your home. You don't have to invest in garden statues if that's not your style, but wind chimes, a birdbath, wall hangings or even a solar fountain can all improve curb appeal and give your home a little boost of personality.
If you live in a neighborhood with a homeowner’s association, be sure to check your HOA bylaws regarding approved exterior changes before you get started. While adding some flower pots to the front porch shouldn’t be an issue, there may be certain guidelines that must be followed for exterior changes to your home or major landscaping, especially within the first year after construction. If you're planning any landscaping that requires digging, contact utility providers to make sure you don't dig up any buried lines and always research any plantings to make sure they are suitable for your area's weather.
Every Home Deserves Curb Appeal
What I love about curb appeal is that it's something any homeowner can do. You don't have to be an avid gardener or do-it-yourselfer to make the outside of your home look impressive. Exterior enhancements can be found to fit any budget, any DIY capability and any style, color or design.
Curb appeal is a terrific way to make your home your own from the moment you pull in the driveway. Get more ideas for improving your home's curb appeal by browsing the new home listings on New Home Source.