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.
1. Your Roof Is On Borrowed Time
The roof on your house has weathered over 20 years and the shingles are showing signs of age. It is time to start from the top and work your way down. New paint can wait if your roof is on borrowed time. Make sure your roofing company carries the best warranty, a lifetime workmanship and the manufacturer’s warranty that covers all defects in material for the lifetime of the shingle. Most important, make sure your roofing contractor is a certified installer with the roofing manufacturer. Take advantage of the tremendous curb appeal that a new roof can offer.
2. The Paint Is Peeling And You Never Loved The Color Of The House Anyway
Paint can be your number one reason to give your home a facelift. Most people change their preference on food, clothes, and cars within a 7 year period, which is about the average paint cycle. When it’s time to paint the exterior of your home, why not change the color? When painting is a must, choose quality lifetime paint and don’t forget a good primer coat. You’ve wanted to change the color for a while, so do it! If you want to keep the white trim, consider a move away from stark white, to a “Mother of Pearl” or “Linen”. This will add warmth to your home. Paint is instant change and gratification.
3. You Are Hot In The Summer And Cold In The Winter
Your single pane windows have been painted 10 times, the builder grade windows are fogged, and you’re ready for lower electric bills. It’s window replacement time! New windows make an old home feel new and bring tremendous curb appeal. The return on investment will make you smile when you open the electric bill each month. While an interior kitchen or bath remodel are always popular upgrades, replacing windows can have an 80% return on investment (Reliable Remodeler.com).
4. The Front Door, The Focal Point Of Your Home, Is The Last Place You Want To Welcome Guests
This is the focal point of your house, where your guests wait after the door bell is rung. What are they looking at before you let them in? The door is what welcomes them. Is it time for a fresh coat of paint? Has the sun faded the polyurethane finish and it’s time to re-stain? Small changes can make big differences. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
5. One More Round of Band-Aid Paint to Save Your Siding Is Not The Best Approach
Rather than putting a new coat of paint on siding that needs more than a Band-Aid, replace the siding with fiber cement or vinyl siding that will more than upgrade the look. Even better, according to Remodeler Magazine in 2010 and 2011, siding replacement consistently yields an 88% return on investment, higher than any other interior or exterior project!
6. You Have A Personal Connection With Niagara Falls Watching Rain Overflow Your Undersized Gutters
Get rid of the old 4 or 5 inch gutters and replace them with 6 inch seamless aluminum gutters with internal hangers. Not enough can be said regarding the importance of size and proper installation of new gutters. Consider changing the gutter color to contrast with the trim. For example, bronze or dark color gutters that match your shutters, front door or roof are extremely popular. The clean look of new gutters and no maintenance gutter protection will add increased curb appeal and peace of mind in protecting your newly painted trim from water run-off from your roof.
7. You Have Focused On Interior Renovations and Never Invested In Exterior Upgrades
It’s already been stated that new siding will yield the highest return on investment for any renovation. Consider how important first impressions are and remember the outside of your home is just as important as the inside. From a sales perspective, the outside is often more important. No gorgeous granite counter top will charm the potential buyer who drives past your home. Don’t forget the outside will draw a person inside.
8. You Can’t Sell Your House In The Current Market, So Invest In What You Have And Increase Its Value
Your plan was to move two years ago, then the housing market took a nose dive. What was initially a temporary home is now Home Sweet Home. Well maybe not, but consider the benefits of what improving your home will bring when the housing market returns. Who knows, you just might find yourself falling in love with the home you had always planned on selling.
9. You Have Always Liked the Location Of Your House, But Never The Look
It’s never been disputed, the right location will sell a house and you fully agree. You are one who bought your house for the location and have never loved the look. Maybe you have tackled the interior obstacles but closed your eyes to the exterior. Dream kitchen and baths grace the cover of magazines, but rarely is an exterior facelift given its proper recognition. Consider working with an exterior remodeling company that gives you an Architectural Rendering of what your house can look like with a few changes. Focus on creating Light, Texture and Color. Your home’s exterior is an empty canvas of possibilities. If you like the location of your home, get serious about liking the look of it as well.
10. Maintenance Is A Must, Makeover Your Home At The Same Time! Finally, when your house is screaming for maintenance, go beyond the musts and consider tying in a makeover. When you’re deck is falling off, replace it with 20 extra square feet or with cypress decking versus pressure treated. When wood trim is rotting, replace it with a fiber cement no rot material. When you paint, upgrade to lifetime paint. Small changes make big differences. If you’re getting opposition from your spouse when a makeover is on your mind, use maintenance as your excuse to do more. Your home is your castle. Treat it like one.
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.