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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

Adding Curb Appeal to Your Home

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.

HOW DO I CHOOSE EXTERIOR PAINT COLORS FOR MY HOME?

It might seem simple but choosing exterior paint colors can be one of the most difficult and time consuming phases of your entire home remodeling project.  Well chosen paint colors can enhance your home’s curb appeal and even add value to your home.

Start by picking a color scheme, or several colors in a pattern.  A good rule of thumb to follow is to use a ratio of color such as 60:30:10 as follows:

Body / Field Area – The largest area of your home is considered the field area or the body.   60% of the color should be used for this area.   Most people choose a more neutral color for the field area and may take more risk with their trim colors.

Roof/Trim - 30% of the color should be utilized for the roof and trim.  The color of the roof doesn’t have to match the trim paint color, but it should harmonize.  The trim color is used on areas of your home such as the fascia boards, gutters, window trim, and entry doors. When choosing your trim colors, keep in mind that this color should complement the field area. The trim color defines the architectural details of your house. If you feel the need to be more creative, your exterior accent colors are perfect for showing your boldness and, when used sparingly, can draw the right amount of attention to your front door, pediments, and/or shutters.

Architectural Details – 10% of a different color can be given to details such as shutters, decorative molding, doors, brackets, columns and porch decks and ceilings.  This is a fun area of color to play with to show dramatic emphasis or just a little for your accents depending on how dark the shade of color you choose.

One of the easiest ways to find a color scheme idea is to drive around neighborhoods to see what appeals to you. This is not only a great way to figure out what you like, but it is also a tremendous help for anyone who has difficulty visualizing what their house will look like from a color swatch or wheel. If you see a home color that you love, don’t be afraid to ask the homeowner for the manufacturer and color they used. You will be surprised how flattered most people are that you liked their colors and they will probably be only too glad to share all their paint information, down to the last detail. Most paint stores will have brochures that suggest color combinations. Some paint manufacturer websites even have color selection software to help you visualize what the final project will look like.

When choosing your paint colors, make sure you choose a color that will last, meaning they will maintain their freshness and intensity for a long period of time. Darker colors will fade faster because they absorb more heat and are prone to damage from UV rays. If you prefer darker colors, adding gloss or sheen will help prevent damage from UV rays and reduce fading.

Lighter colors tend to make a house look larger and dark colors will do the opposite. Currently, lighter colors are the popular trend, but this alone shouldn’t be the deciding factor. This is just a consideration to help narrow down the endless possibilities of colors.

Not only do you need to pick the actual colors of your home, but you need to decide to choose the finish of paint to get in each of those colors.  Typically, for the body of the home a flat or satin paint is used.  A flat (matte) finish will add to the natural architecture of your home and is a great choice for hiding imperfections that are sometimes present in wood.  A satin paint has a soft sheen with excellent performance, providing a longer lasting protection from UV rays and the elements than flat.  It can be used on the body, trim, shutters and fascia.  A semi-gloss is ideal for trim, doors, shutters, and architectural trim and has maximum durability.  A gloss finish has excellent adhesion and is also ideal for trim, doors, shutters, and architectural details.

Because actual color and finish cannot be grasped as easily with a paint swatch or on a computer screen, it is ALWAYS a good idea to pick up samples from your local paint store and paint the sample colors onto your home. Choosing a side of your house that is least visible and with adequate light, paint sample areas large enough to obtain a good idea of what the color will look like, and be sure to let the paint sit for a couple of days to be sure the color does not change as it cures.

Once you have completed painting sample areas, “live” with the colors for a few days, viewing them in the lighting during different times of day. You might discover that a color that you thought was your final selection during the morning looked entirely different and unattractive in the waning afternoon light. This is also a good time to invite a few friends or neighbors with good “design sense” to view your samples and share their advice. If your neighborhood requires approval by an architectural control committee, this is definitely the time to arrange for their visit. Good luck and happy painting.