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10 Tips to Increase Curb Appeal

July 21, 2021

10 Tips to Increase Curb Appeal

Have you ever made a snap judgment based on a first impression? Like a bad date or job interview gone awry, your home's appearance may not be having the impact you hoped it would. Instead of looking polished and put together, it could be sending the wrong message about its value. While no one intends to judge a book by its cover, curb appeal can account for up to 7% of the home's sale price.

Even if you aren't looking to list your house on the market, making improvements to maximize your home's curb appeal will enhance its property value. If you're a potential home buyer and don't know what makes an attractive home, this guide will help you know what to look for.

What Is Curb Appeal?

Curb appeal is the visual attractiveness of a house or building based on how it looks from the outside. A property's curb appeal will have a strong influence on how someone feels when they see your home. For example, a manicured lawn with a picturesque garden and ornaments tells passersby that your home is clean, well-maintained and highly valued. Alternatively, unmown grass and a driveway filled with potholes tells others your home's value is depreciating.

Homes with great curb appeal are objectively attractive — and the more charming a home looks, the clearer a potential buyer can see themselves living there.

How to Add Curb Appeal

There are many ways to make home exterior improvements that will increase your property's value and curb appeal. These ten tips will show you how to make the front of your house look good while raising its curb appeal on a budget. Fortunately, it doesn't take much to make the front of your home look warm and inviting. In some cases, you can use items you already have on hand to spruce up your home's exterior.

1. Update the Front Door

When was the last time you painted your front door? If it wasn't in the last few years, it's time for a refresh. Your front door is a high-traffic entryway, so the wear and tear become prevalent after three to five years. Between the weather, constant use and general bumps every once in a while, it becomes clear that your front door has seen better days.

These front door curb appeal tips will have an immediate and satisfying impact.

  • Give it a wash and add fresh paint: If your front door only has a few minor scuff marks, all it needs is a good scrub and a fresh coat of paint. The color of your front door is an underestimated element of creating curb appeal. Brightly colored doors are friendly, inviting and liven up the entrance of your home. With a few flowers or plants on each side, your front door will be transformed from dull to eye-catching.
  • Upgrade your hardware: Another way to make your door stand out from the rest is by updating worn-out door knobs, bells and knockers. Think of these embellishments as accessories to your already beautiful and stylish front door. The right hardware will complement your home's design, historical status and color. Small accent pieces are easy to replace and reasonably priced, so it's a quick and simple change you can make in an afternoon.
  • Know when to get a replacement: Sometimes the best move is to replace the unit. While your door may be in decent condition, it could make your house look dated — in an unappealing way. Certain architectural trends aren't just out of season, they aren't coming back at all. Invest in a door that complements the exterior of your house. If the rest of your house fits a modern aesthetic, a new door will tie the look together.

2. Add Exterior Paint

This point may sound like common sense, but painting an entire house isn't an easy job, so most people don't jump at the chance to do it. However, the color of your house and the freshness of the paint are two of the most significant factors in creating great curb appeal.

  • Go big, go bold: Nothing will change the look and feel of your home more than a new color. Liven up the exterior with a unique and stylish shade that people won't pass over. It doesn't have to be loud or flashy. Choose a color that fits the style of your home, so it stands out and sells itself.
  • Remember windows and trim: Don't forget to choose compatible colors for painting your windows and door trim. It can be easy to forget the small details of the exterior when you're focused on the bigger picture. The color of your trimmings should be different from the rest of the house while simultaneously complementing the primary shade. 
  • Let geography decide: Common house colors are different in every part of the country. New Englanders gravitate towards colors that derive from the neighborhood's historical structure — whites, blues, greens, reds and stony grays. On the other side of the country in the Southwest, homes typically feature copper reds, gold, oranges and dusty browns. Do your research for common color schemes for your type of home and geographical area to find fitting shades.

3. Incorporate Porch Seating

Nothing says "welcome" like quaint and comfortable seating. Placing a pair of wooden rocking chairs or a small bistro table and chair set on your front porch will show potential buyers that your street is friendly and values community. Porch swings are also a great pick to create a relaxed outdoor space.

No porch? No problem! If your porch isn't large enough to fit furniture, a couple of white wrought iron chairs in the garden will have the same effect as a functional furniture set. These are just a few curb appeal ideas for front porch improvements. Here's another word of advice — too much furniture will have the opposite effect of raising curb appeal. It can make your home look a bit unorganized. Choose your pieces carefully and with purpose.

4. Aim for Symmetry

Did you know symmetry has a profound effect on your emotions? It turns out that we inherently find symmetrical structures more attractive. With this balance so familiar to us from a biological standpoint, it's not surprising that the same logic applies to our homes. Symmetrical exteriors are usually found in Georgian or Craftsman home designs but can be emulated with any house style. 

If you're wondering how to add curb appeal when your house is asymmetrical, here are a few ideas:

  • Choose a focal point: Take a step back onto the sidewalk and find the focal point of your home's design — it may be the front door, walkway or garden. As the center and starting point, you can now identify what additions will highlight that feature. For example, you can line a walkway with flowers or solar lanterns.
  • Follow through and be precise: You don't have to spend hours measuring every inch of your front lawn or porch to ensure your accent pieces are aligned. Just make sure the elements are the same — the flowers are the same color, lanterns are spaced the same distance apart and the planters on either side of the door match. Whatever you decide on, follow through with your intentions and take your time planning and aligning your decor.

5. Incorporate Outdoor Lighting

An unlit house says to potential buyers the home is uninviting and potentially unsafe. A little light can be comforting and instantly make you feel at home. Brighten up your dark entryway with tasteful lighting fixtures that go with the design of your home and exterior aesthetic. If you already have light fixtures outside your door, clean up any cobwebs or dirt to ensure everything looks put together.

You can also think outside the box and add a little extra lighting. Some string lights on the porch or lanterns in the garden can have a cozy effect on your home's curb appeal.

6. Clean the Gutters Regularly

Great curb appeal ideas don't always include spending money on new fixtures and features. Often, curbside appeal can be accomplished with a thorough cleaning. While it's usually the last chore on everyone's list, cleaning the gutters will have a major impact on the attractiveness and structural integrity of your home.

Gutters collect rainwater from the roof and steer it away from the foundation of your house. They get clogged by debris, leaves, insects and even bird nests. When you neglect your gutters, they jam and overflow with water. This situation eventually leads to the excess water seeping into the foundation of your house, potentially causing mold and structural damage. Maintaining your gutters falls under curb appeal home improvement because it does more than just make your house look good — it keeps your home safe and sound.

7. Add More Plants

Another obvious but profound way to enhance your home's curb appeal is by adding fresh plants and flowers. Greenery has a calming and relaxing effect while also adding personality to your exterior. Potted plants will quickly spruce up a doorway or porch without breaking the bank. 

A few other green ideas include:

  • Adding a garden: A reasonably-sized garden filled with flowers and bushes will make your home charming and bright. A small or medium bed is all you need to show just how homey your property can be. Keep in mind that a garden that's too spacious can be a detractor as well. After all, if you're thinking of purchasing a home but don't have the time or skills to maintain a garden, a large one will undoubtedly make you turn the other way.
  • Picking your plants wisely: If you don't have a green thumb, look into adding low-maintenance plants. Certain shrubs and vegetation don't require special attention or regular care but still look good and won't die if forgotten. Some examples include coneflowers, meadow sage, fountain grass and ribbon grass. 
  • Going with smaller options: You can always stick to potted plants, hanging flowers and window boxes. These options are smaller than a garden, require minimal maintenance and are very quaint.

A well-kept lawn and garden can increase your home's value by 5 to 12%, so never underestimate garden curb appeal.

8. Update the Mailbox

Getting a new mailbox for curb appeal can help you add yet another eye-catching feature to your home by updating it. That's especially true if you have an outdated mailbox that's out of style. Additionally, while you may love your purple, flower-print mailbox, you may find that potential homebuyers aren't as enthusiastic about that particular aesthetic.

Upgrading to a simple yet modern mailbox with your house's street number on the side is a great move when you want to update the curb appeal.

9. Powerwash the Siding, Porch and Driveway

Not everyone has the budget to repave their driveway or extend their porch. Fortunately, a day of power washing your home's exterior can do wonders for enhancing your property's driveway curb appeal. You don't know how grimy your porch and siding have become until you draw out the muck with a power wash. In just one day your home's appearance can dramatically change. In fact, your house may not need a fresh coat of paint — just a good wash!

10. Install a New Fence

The term "home with a white picket fence" is one that still rings true with homebuyers. Adding a fence to your property is amazing for curb appeal, but it's also a great feature to incorporate for security. If a buyer sees that your house has a well-maintained fence, they'll know they can safely hang out in the yard, and their kids or pets won't accidentally wander away.

Try looking for fences that complement your home's style so it can be another feature that ties everything together. It's also best to choose a color that isn't too flashy or overwhelming. A neutral tone, like a light brown or beige, is perfect for most houses.

Design Your Picture-Perfect Home With SK Builders

For over 25 years, SK Builders has been working with homebuyers to create their dream homes — and yours is no exception! From small starter homes to the larger-than-life dream house, we offer affordable plans so you don't have to compromise on your needs and wish list. 

After all this time, we're still family-owned and operated because we value our customers' experience. Your community is our community. That's why we build exclusively in the upstate area, including Anderson, Easley, Greenville, Seneca, Travelers Rest and Fountain Inn. With personalized service and competitive pricing, our team puts quality first. After all, we're not just building homes, we're building a way of life.

Do you already own your land? We can help you find the perfect home to build on it! Our expert staff can help you through every step of the construction process. Feel free to browse through our available units and potential floor plans to find your new home, as well. Contact our office today and we'll make your dream house a reality.

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