9 Ways to Makeover Your Home's Exterior to Maximize Curb Appeal

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The first interaction people have with your home is from the outside. Whether you are trying to market your home to prospective buyers or just want present your best home to your neighbors, friends and families, it all starts with curb appeal. Here are our tips to make sure your home has its best face forward at all times. 

1. Remove all yard clutter.

The first step to maintaining your home's curb appeal is avoid yard clutter. Yard clutter can take on a variety of forms: toys left astray by your children, previously deceased potted plants, limbs that fell down in a storm a few weeks back, etc. And like all clutter, it can creep up on you if you aren't paying attention. Take a moment to look around your yard for out of place, damaged or unused items that can be put away, recycled or thrown out. 

2. Keep the grass freshly cut.

Once your yard is clutter free, you can maintain the appearance of your property by raking up any fallen leaves, picking up fallen sticks, and regularly mowing your grass. How often you need to mow will depend on a variety of factors including the time of year, the type of grass, and the amount of sun, water and nutrients your lawn receives. A good rule of thumb is to mow when your grass is approximately 1-2" inches taller than your desired grass height. For example, if you want to keep it at 3", you should mow each time your grass reaches 4-5". 

3. Weed and apply fresh mulch to garden beds.

Shrubs, trees and garden beds add texture and personality to your home's property; however, without proper maintenance these positive features can easily become eyesores. Restore the appearance of your landscaping by pulling all weeds and spreading a 2-inch layer of fresh mulch around each area. Not only will this instantly rejuvenate your landscape, fresh mulch will also help discourage the growth of future weeds. 

4. Clean windows inside and out.

If you haven't cleaned your exterior windows since you moved in, it might be time. We recommend deep cleaning windows inside and out at least twice a year. All you need is a microfiber cloth or squeegee and a bucket filled with water and a drop or two of dish detergent (Add 1/2 cup of white vinegar and 3 cups distilled water for a stronger DIY cleaner). You won't believe the difference it will make in the quality of natural light in your home!

5. Tighten and clean all door handles.

Door handles don't usually get much attention or upkeep despite how often we interact with them. Most of us are wary of door knobs in public places, which can often be hotspots for bacteria but how often do you clean your door handles at home? Door handles may also loosen over time and may become difficult to turn and unlatch. If you've been ignoring your door handles, it's time to give them some attention! If you have them, this is also a good time to check and clean your home's house numbers.

6. Ensure gutters are clean and downspouts are firmly attached.

You should clean and inspect your gutters at least once a year. If you have trees surrounding your property, you may need to do it more often. While you're focused on the gutters, take a moment to ensure that your downspouts are firmly attached. If your area experiences heavy volumes of rain, downspouts can overflow and pull away from your home due to the weight of the water. Downspouts should be firmly connected, unbroken and directing all runoff water away from your home's foundation.

7. Wash or paint home’s exterior.

Depending on the sun and shading your home receives, you may be able to go as many as 8-10 years without refreshing your home's exterior. However, if your home is noticeably dirty, has mildew or cracked and peeling paint, this will likely be one of the first things people notice about the exterior of your home. You may be able to get away with just washing, but don't try painting first without a wash. If you plan to paint, you will need to wash the exterior first to ensure the paint adheres well to the surface. You can clean the exterior manually with brushes, bucket of water with TSP (tri-sodium phosphate) solution and a hose for a cheaper, thorough job, or with a pressure washer for a faster, but less thorough job. 

8. Apply fresh paint or stain to wooden fences.

If your home has a wooden fence, you need to regularly maintain it to keep the fence looking its best and to protect the wood from the elements and rotting. How often you need to paint or stain will depend on the climate, but you can easily determine if it's time to reseal your fence by splashing on some water. If the water beads and rolls off, you're good. If the water absorbs into the fence, it's time to reseal. In moist climates, you may have to reseal your fence every two years.

9. Paint the front door.

One of our favorite quick tricks for sprucing up your curb appeal is to paint your front door, especially if your current paint is cracked, chipped or faded. Match the existing color, or go for a fun pop of color. Either way, painting the front door is the fastest way to brighten up your home's appearance and maximize your curb appeal. 

Did we miss anything? What is your favorite tip for improving your home's curb appeal? Let us know in the comments!