EXOVATIONS named 2013 Market Leader EXOVATIONS was recently contacted by Professional Remodeler Magazine for a front cover photo opportunity after being named 2013 Market Leader by the publication. Kyle Clapham wrote this about EXOVATIONS in the magazine publication, ” Exovations … Continue reading
Fall is here and it’s usually the second time of year homeowners start thinking of vamping up their home’s exterior. The first home exterior game changer typically occurs in the spring after we have all sat inside all winter and dreamed of the possibilities we wanted to change once the first sign of warm weather occurs. For most home owners, time and money are a huge factor in all that we complete during those few short months of “Spring Cleaning”. Then summer arrives, unseeingly quicker than we would like for it to, and some of our “to dos” get pushed to the curb. Fall is a great time to reexamine what it is we didn’t finish in the beginning of the year. Some people are thinking of the guests they plan to entertain for football games, Thanksgiving, and even the Christmas Holidays. This brings me to my topic: Adding Curb Appeal to Your Home. Whether you are looking to add curb appeal for resale value or just make it more appealing for yourself, family, and friends.
The September 2012 issue of Atlanta Home Improvement Magazine has listed their top five things to add curb appeal to your home. I want to touch on those and elaborate on what I know best; home exterior. In an article written by Alma E Hill, it is noted that these are the five key elements in adding value to your home: remove weeds from planter beds and add new mulch and borders, repaint the house, repair porch railings, repair cracks in the driveway, replace a damaged roof with a new one. I couldn’t agree more. Sometimes the smallest of changes makes a dramatic impact. Just “cleaning” your exterior and minor landscaping can add pizazz to a dull, dirty, dingy outside. I recommend that you pressure wash your home exterior yearly to maintain a radiant look. This also helps prevent from mold and mildew building up on exterior surfaces that do not see very much sunlight. If you roof has stains or mold spots, be careful not to pressure wash your roof. Pressure washing your roof destroys the granules and can lead to major roof shingle damage. If you notice mold spots, you can spray an application of bleach and water on the area and let it sit. Simply wash it off with water from a hose and skip using a pressure washer on your roof altogether.
After your exterior has been cleaned and looks nice and tidy, make your “to do list” based on what you see. Maybe your paint is flaking or chipped? Maybe a few boards need to be replaced here or there. It’s easier to evaluate what is damaged and not just dirty once you have given your exterior a thorough cleaning. Repainting your exterior is a daunting task, but you may only need to touch up the trim. If you are ever in question, it’s always best to seek the advice of a professional. Changing the color of your trim, garage doors, front door, or shutters can create an intense change that is easy and cheap to do. If you are really feeling bold, consider changing colors, patterns, and textures of your home’s exterior for a thrilling transformation. The possibilities are endless as to simple changes you can make for a jaw-dropping effect. There are several free websites that will allow you to create changes to visualize what differences you can make on your home and if you are really considering a major renovation consider an architectural rendering of the changes before you make any commitments. Many companies offer these for little or no charge. There are also many sites available to browse existing homes to seek ideas from such as Pinterest and Houzz. Capture anything that catches your eye or appeals to you. Chances are, others would be taken by the same look if it is on your home.
Lastly, fall is the time to attend home shows to get more ideas and even pricing for professional services if you so desire to seek the help from someone else. Many home shows have companies that set up displays of their actual work so you can see what you would be getting from them if they were to work on your home. Meet their staff, ask for before and after photos and references, and always check reviews from sites such as Kudzu, Angie’s List, and Google Plus to see what their customers thought of their process, products, and pricing.
Choose Flower Colors to Complement Your Home’s Siding
When you begin garden planning, it’s important to consider how matching the colors of your garden to your home’s siding could improve your house’s curb
appeal. Plant combinations can make or break the aesthetics of a home, so choose a layout and flower colors that complement the color and style of your
Picking out new siding or paint colors
Whether you just bought a new house or your current home needs a facelift, there are a lot of factors to consider. When you pick out new styles and colors
for your home siding, be sure you also take into account the cost of installation and materials, as well as how much upkeep is needed for the different
types of home siding.
If you love the look of your wood siding, maybe you just need a fresh coat of paint. However, now may be the perfect time to consider fiber-cement siding
in a cedar shake or wood style. Fiber-cement siding is a mix of sand, cement and cellulose fibers, available in vertical, horizontal, trim and shingle
styles. This home siding is non-combustible, it resists weather damage well, and you don’t have to worry about termites like you do with wood. If you’re
looking for something that’s lower maintenance than wood siding but not as expensive as fiber-cement, consider vinyl home siding for a fresh new look that
lasts longer than paint.
Once you know what style you want, it’s time to choose a color! If you don’t want to replant the entire garden or redo the patio, looking at adjacent
colors on a color wheel can provide the new style you want while still matching the garden. But, if you’re looking to change up your lawn and garden too,
just make sure your new flower colors match the new siding.
Finding complementing flower colors
As you prepare to boost your home’s curb appeal with some new siding, taking a look at flower colors can help create balance and continuity on your lawn.
If you’ve chosen a light color for your home’s siding, consider vibrant flower colors and dark shrubs for contrast. You can use almost any shade of green
against a white home, and white or pastel flower colors will help draw focus from the house to include the entire lawn. Homes with a darker siding should
be paired with light plants and dark evergreens to create depth. Flower colors like blues, purples and pastels are a perfect match. Complement homes with
brick siding with bright yellow and orange flowers and dark green shrubs.
Creating a design to highlight focal points
An important part of garden planning is choosing the layout. Do you want a structured front yard with a more lush and wild design in the back? Or a groomed
space for neighborhood games with some nice plants on the sidelines? Knowing how you want to use your lawn space will help you create a beautiful and
It’s also important to design your lawn around current landmarks you want to highlight. Plant a path of low profile plants to the entryway, a natural
shelter of pines around the hot tub, or lit accent trees on the edge of the patio space. Use flower colors to accentuate particular areas on your lawn.
Similar plants and colors provide unity, but a little contrast in shapes and colors will draw attention.
Get ready for a season of planting with equipment updates
Before you begin any spring garden planning, make sure you have all the equipment you need. An electric rototiller is a great tool to start a new
flower bed or vegetable garden or to dig up a row for berry bushes, vines or hedges. You may also want to have a string trimmer to help keep the weeds in
line. Check to see that your garden tools are in good condition, change the oil, fill the gas tanks and replace any faulty lawn mower parts, tiller parts or trimmer parts. Keeping your gear
maintained each year will help ensure it’s able to perform at peak efficiency for many seasons.
We often focus solely on updating the inside of a home and leave the outside alone. However, the exterior is just as important to consider. Creating “curb appeal” is real estate language for making a good first impression. We drive out of our driveway every day and forget what we thought about our house the first time we saw it. When you bought your home, you definitely considered its curb appeal, or the potential of it. Giving a home an exterior facelift is an investment worth making. Your return on investment is the promise of increasing your home’s value, less maintenance with rot proof materials, cost saving efficiency, overall increased curb appeal, and, in a depressed housing market, you are happy with your “new” home.
Magazine racks are full of ideas for renovating kitchens and baths, basements and living rooms, but seldom do you find before and after pictures of changes made to the exterior of the house. This is the first place to start when considering an exterior facelift. You have to know what look you want to achieve. Take a picture of your house and begin to shape the desired “after” look of your home by consciously taking note of houses that stand out to you. Take pictures of these homes. What is it you like about the exterior of a particular house? Is it the front door, the shape of the front door, the color of the front door?
There are many factors to consider when updating your exterior. For many, just changing the front door would be a fantastic improvement! It doesn’t have to be a daunting task. In fact, updating the exterior can be far less complicated than redoing a kitchen. Follow a before and after plan and create a vision for what you hope to achieve with the changes to come. To simplify and streamline the process even further, it would be helpful to work with a company who can provide an architectural rendering of your house. A rendering will show all the changes you envision and some you may not have considered. An Architectural rendering is a wonderful way to help you visualize and know for sure you are getting the look you want and see what the final result will be.
Beyond the front door, consider updating the siding on your home. Fiber cement siding options, such and Certainteed or James Hardie are great choices. They both are “no rot” product options with tremendous material warranties, but also offer various aesthetic possibilities. Create dimension and interest by combining various materials and looks. For example, you can accent gables or dormers on the house with fiber cement shake shingles and install lap siding below. Make sure to use a certified installer of these siding products. And preferably choose to work with a company who provides a lifetime workmanship warranty on their installation.
In respect to varying materials, consider adding a synthetic stone water table around the bottom perimeter of your home. Synthetic stone is far more cost effective than real stone and adds warmth and richness to the exterior. Stone is a wonderful accent around a front door as well. Use earth tone paint colors that complement the colors found in the stone on the exterior trim and siding.
Speaking of paint, do not under estimate the change new paint colors will have on your home. Color, color, color; more than anything else, color is key! Don’t choose just any paint. Protect your investment and choose quality lifetime paint! Choose accent colors for shutters and your front door. Paint alone will drastically change a house.
Consider small, but noticeable changes such as new gutters, window pediments, or new shutters. Bronze colored gutters that contrast with the painted trim color, but match the shutter color, is a very current trend. Update the look of your shutters and opt for no maintenance by installing PVC (no rot) board and batten shutters with real S hook and hinges. Or, imitate the look with less expensive vinyl board and batten shutters with S hooks. Adding hardware, like the iron looking S hooks and hinges, or a new front door handle are subtle changes that bring significant visual improvements.
Consider everything you do to improve the exterior of your house as a facelift of sorts. Try to tie in the necessary need of painting, for example, with an update. Take advantage of the opportunity the next time you need to paint the exterior, of updating the color. When it’s time to replace your roof, add architectural shingles. An architectural roof adds dramatic updating to older homes and value by increasing the warranty coverage period of your roof. In terms of efficiency savings, get rid of drafty single pane windows and upgrade to double paned insulated glass. New windows, like paint, bring instant gratification. Not only do they improve the look of your home, but the monthly energy bill as well.
Finally, a downturn in the housing market is a perfect time to consider an exterior facelift. Rather than focus on how you can’t sell your house, why not give your home the facelift it deserves? Fall in love with YOUR house rather than wishing for another one. Live in a home you love and know the investment will pay off for you, make the best first impression on future buyers, and bring a quicker sale and higher price if and when you do decide to sell.