As spring approaches and your yard emerges from beneath the snow, it’s a good time to start planning outdoor improvement projects. Whether you want to enhance curb appeal for a future sale or simply make your yard and house exterior more aesthetically pleasing, we’ve got proven tips to fit every budget, timeline, and level of expertise.
Paint the Siding and Trim
Few improvements are more transformative than a fresh coat of paint. Save time and get excellent results by contracting a professional painting crew. Depending on the size of your home, an exterior paint job typically ranges from $1,700 to $5,000. If you don’t know a painter, your Realtor® should be able to provide a recommendation.
Spruce Up the Yard
Wake up that winter-weary matt with a hearty dose of fertilizer and reseed or cover any bare spots in new sod. If weeds are a concern, but you don’t want to use harsh chemicals, consider some of these all-natural weed-management techniques. Be sure to trim the bushes and hedges, cut dead branches from trees, and restore decorative gardens with fresh mulch and vibrant plants and flowers.
Revive the Driveway
The driveway is most visitors first point of contact with your home. Make a good impression by repairing cracks, and killing any weeds sprouting in-between. If the asphalt is faded, a fresh coat of sealcoat is fast and transformative. If your driveway is made from pavers, check to be sure none are loose or damaged.
Pro Tip: Add a little eye candy with bordering plants and flowers.
Replace or Repair Old Gutters and Downspouts
Stained, dirty, or clogged gutters create a dingy, dilapidated look that makes a bad impression on visitors or buyers. If your gutters and downspouts are in sorry shape, factor repairs or replacement into your budget. Beyond aesthetics, they have functional utility that impacts the health of your home, from gardens and lawn to the foundation.
Go by the Numbers (and then replace them)
Inspect the entry to your home with fresh and discerning eyes. Are any house numbers damaged, crooked or missing? Is the porchlight a dusty graveyard for moths? Are the doorknob and entry lockset faded, chipped or rusted? Is the door scuffed, scratched and in need of paint? Is the wall-mounted mailbox dented and faded? Take an inventory and prioritize repairs and replacement. These small investments make a world of difference to the presentation of your home.
More Ambitious Upgrades
Turn the Front Porch into an Outside Room
Make your porch an inviting outdoor space by adding comfortable chairs, small tables, and stands or urns with plants and flowers. Hanging plants also add color and life. Create a place where that makes it easy and pleasant to socialize with neighbors, friends and family.
Install Window Boxes
Window boxes add splashes of color and greenery that bring your exterior to life. Available in a variety of materials—wood, terracotta, iron, copper, and more—they complement your home’s colors and play off its lighting. Whether you want a cozy cottage look or a something more fitting for French manor, window boxes are the perfect finishing touch.
Turn Bare Walls into Living Canvases
Got a bare side wall that’s home to an ugly collection of gas lines and an air-conditioning unit? Give it a quick makeover that transforms it into a garden oasis. With a few pre-planted decorative containers, you can reclaim a forgotten space and turn it into one of the highlights of your property. Pro Tip: Stagger the containers in an asymmetrical arrangement for an artistic look. Choose containers made from earthy natural materials like wood, terracotta and ceramic.
Plant a Mailbox Garden
Encircle your lonely curbside mailbox with a bed of flowers and ground-hugging plants. For a relatively small investment of time, effort, and materials, you can create an inviting entrance that captures attention, sets your home apart with an evocative splash of beauty. Pro Tip: Paint the post to match the color palette of your flowerbed. If your mailbox is worn or damaged, replace it with something colorful and new.
Show Stoppers and Curb Poppers
Build a Walkway
Tear up the dull concrete path to your front door and install brick, stone or colored concrete pavers. Although this can be a costly undertaking, it adds a stately, sophisticated touch that elevates the presentation of your home.
Pro Tip: Accent your walkway with border gardens and a variety of flowering and ground-covering plants.
Create a Sculpture Garden
Even a modestly sized backyard becomes a private park with the addition of artistic elements like sculptures, fountains, and boulders. Each of these can become the focal point of a nook or cove within a grove of trees, cluster of bushes, or planted mound. Set a bench in a shady area nearby where you can spend peaceful moments in a your own secluded refuge.
Install Outdoor Lightning
Add a little stagecraft to your property by illuminating a walkway or accenting trees and gardens. Although reasonably priced, solar-power lights can be obtained from many stores, a professional installation ensures better quality and design options.
Pro Tip: Light fixtures should be subtle additions that are not readily visible in the daylight. Camouflage them with plants, rocks, and other natural features.
Erect a Garden Gate or a Pergola
Create a dramatic entrance to a garden with an arched gateway. Or add an intimate gathering space with an elegant wooden pergola. Highlight the effect of either of these elements by training flowering vines that add both shade and beauty.
Source: MNR News