Boost Your Curb Appeal with Five Simple Exterior Updates

Sunday, November 6, 2016 | 1:50 am

Every homeowner knows how important curb appeal is — forums are full of questions about how to update an exterior. But sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. Should you put your budget toward new paint or your wilting flower garden? From planning to painting, here are their best, real estate agent approved, tips for exterior update solutions for all budgets.

1. Start with simple maintenance. Basic cleanup can go a long way in amping up your home’s exterior and its curb appeal. Give your exterior a good power wash, touch up paint trim, mow your lawn and spread fresh mulch over flower and plant beds.

2. Landscaping is the key. Landscaping is an opportunity to extend the feel and character of your home to the edges of your property. Doing this can create a streetscape that’s not only enjoyable but valuable. After all, who doesn’t want to live on a beautiful street? Hardscapes — driveways, walks, stoops, patios and so on — reinforce the overall character of a house and draw visitors in. So do softscapes, such as grass, flowerbeds, bushes and trees. Fences can act as both invitation and barrier, depending on your location and privacy needs.

The architects and designers we talked with are almost unanimous — landscaping is what makes the biggest difference in exterior appeal. Whether you’re aiming for a quick freshening up or a complete front yard overhaul, take the time to come up with a basic plan for your landscape. Aim for a good balance of lawn and plants.

3. Keep your color palette simple for the most dramatic effect. Figure out what can and cannot have its color changed on your house — such as natural stone or brick that shouldn’t be painted — and use that as the basis for your palette.

4. Think about details! Shutters, lanterns, home numbers and so on are all details that can enhance a home’s appeal. Remember to also pay attention to architectural details. Window shutters, molding around windows and doors, trim with backband and other exterior details can all add interest to exterior styles.

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