With the property market stagnant many homeowners have opted to improve their existing homes rather than endure the stress and inconvenience of selling and buying. However it is often too easy to concentrate on improving the interior of your home and, if you are one of those seeking to sell your current home and to move, the importance of creating the right impression on the outside cannot be underestimated. Whether you are looking to sell your property or simply to give it a facelift, the warmer weather and longer daylight hours create the ideal time to concentrate on renovating the outside of your home for maximum kerbside appeal.
Smarten up the entrance
It’s the focal point of any home so it needs a little care. Front doors are unwelcoming if they are dirty, paint-peeling or faded so apply a coat or two of paint or varnish (and don’t be afraid to experiment with vibrant colours, unless you live in a street of period properties where a neutral black be more befitting). Polish the door furniture or better still replace it and ensure house numbers are visible, sparkling and straight.
Upgrade the windows
Window technology is improving all the time and if your existing windows suffer from rotting woodwork, leaking draughts or the unsightly aluminium frames of the 1980s, then now could be an ideal time to upgrade with modern uPVC replacements. New windows will not only offer improved sound and heat insulation but will also give your property an immediate facelift. Do take care to choose a style in keeping with the age of the house; the position of the glazing bars is crucial. With a wide range of windows at Wickes and expert advice on hand, you can be confident of choosing the perfect design to add a touch of class to your home.
Brickwork and Cladding
In older properties in particular the mortar between the bricks may need repointing to give your home improved protection against the elements and also a fresh appearance. Small areas can be completed by a competent DIYer but large expanses should be tackled by an expert who will also ensure the mortar is colour-matched to the brickwork.
Cladding was fashionable in properties from the middle of the last century and requires considerable and regular maintenance in the form of staining. One alternative is to replace them with a uPVC equivalent which will offer durability as well as being attractive to the eye. Cladding half of your home with horizontal cedar boards is a current fashion trend but consider whether your property would stick out like a sore thumb if your neighbours’ homes are more traditional.
Grow some plants
The modern trend for lawns to be uprooted and replaced with hard standing or ornamental stones can be sterile and unattractive. Simple borders or flowering beds can add a vital splash of colour, window boxes can add an instant homely touch and planters with leafy shrubs will help to enhance your home. Such improvements need not cost the earth but can transform a tired exterior quickly.
Clear up the clutter!
It may sound so simple that it’s almost daft but clutter around the outside of your property is unsightly. Find a new home for the bins and endless recycling boxes, put the kids’ toys and bikes in the garage and sweep the drive. It’ll make a world of difference!
Improving the exterior appearance of your home needn’t break the bank and with a little time, effort and well-planned budgeting your property can be as attractive on the outside as the rooms within.
For more inspiration visit http://www.channel4.com/4homes/build-renovate/building-renovating-advice/transform-your-homes-exterior or http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/renovatinganddiy/6254848/Kerb-appeal-10-ways-to-improve-the-appearance-of-your-property.html
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John is a freelance feature writer based in London, England.