Most people tend to update and upgrade the interior of their home long before the exterior. I’m guessing that it’s because they are spending far more time inside, than outside. At least, that is the way it is for me and our household.
Don’t me wrong; I love the outdoors and spending time in the yard. However, living in an area with more than one season, it’s just that the majority of that time is going to be where it’s more comfortable, especially when it comes to the temperature.
There comes a time though when the interior is complete… or at least comfortable, and the outdoors needs a little attention. So, if you are at that spot in your life where you want to now focus on giving your home some great curbside appeal, read on for some tips.
1. Trim the Existing Foliage
One of the first things I did when working on the outdoors is to trim down all the dead and out-of-shape foliage and trees. The reason I suggest doing this first, is that it frames your outdoor living area. In other words, if you could paint the house a beautiful color, place a few intriguing accessories, or plant colorful flower beds, but they won’t look their best if the trees and greens around it are out of control.
2. Basic Clean Up
Make sure you clean up the yard frequently to pick up any loose debris, or random items such as cups, papers, or branches that have blown into your yard.
Once you do an overall clean up, the rest is typically easy maintenance, with the exception of twice a year…spring and fall. Even then, it shouldn’t be too difficult to keep up if you do this on a regular basis. We found a new shortcut for fall, and that is to ‘mulch’ the leaves with our riding lawn mower. It turns into instant fertilizer for the winter months!
3. Planting and Designing Floral Beds
To be honest, I don’t have the greenest thumb. So, I rely on others to help me with advice when it comes to plants and shrubs for the yard. But, I do appreciate a beautiful layout of colorful flower beds, mixed with full and vibrant greens.
If you are unsure about what would look best, especially for your specific yard, do some research. Take a tour around different neighborhoods to see what jumps out at you, and take notes and photos. Then, go to the local nursery with these notes and photos and start asking questions. I suggest the following questions to ask:
- What is easy to maintain?
- What do I have to do to maintain it?
- How long do the flowers bloom?
- How much sunlight and watering do they require?
After you know the answers to these, then it’s just a matter of design. You might also get some tips on the design when you are at the nursery. But, your best bet would be to use your notes and photos from various homes you like. The Internet is another great source for ideas and information.
4. A Different Shade of…
A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for a home. Obviously, painting the exterior can take far more time and money than an interior room. So, taking your time in choosing the right color before starting is important. You wouldn’t want to do it all over again, right?
When choosing a color, you not only have to factor in your taste and the neighborhood, but also existing exterior colors on your home as well. For example, the color of your roof will not be changed without an expensive and time consuming job. So, you might want to choose a color that does not clash with it. Or, if you have a brick paver walkway, choose a color that compliments the colors in the bricks.
5. New Fencing
If you need fencing around the back yard, especially if you have children or pets, you might want to consider a nice wood, rather than a chain link fence that can rust. Just know that it will take a little effort to maintain, such as cedar fencing will require sealant to diminish a graying effect. My top pick is reading the blogs about this at http://www.a1-fence.com.
The front yard shouldn’t need a fence, other than for a possible decorative ‘half fence’, which sits lower to the ground.
6. Accessorizing isn’t Just for the Wardrobe
Finally, take a look around at what you can do to accessorize your lawn. In the backyard it can be a nice built-in fire pit, with attractive lawn furniture, or a waterfall or fountain.
For the front of the home a colorful bird bath in the flower bed, or a cedar bench on the front porch can add a nice touch. Even the mailbox can add some art to the home. Take a look around to see what your options or, or paint your own. It doesn’t have to be the standard box any longer.
Sprucing up the outdoors will not only add curb appeal to the home, but also provide a more pleasant space for you to spend time in during favorable weather conditions. And, if you ever decide to sell the home, it adds value to it immediately, because buyers will not simply drive by.
Benjamin Baker is a self-confessed addict to writing. He also loves the research stage of writing in his career and finds ways to turn most information into an article. Just recently when he was reading up on Milwaukee fence companies for a friend, he saw a series of possible articles on lawn maintenance and curb appeal. When Benjamin is not working, he enjoys strumming the guitar at the campground, fishing, and spending time with his wife and 3 teenage children. Benjamin resides in Denver, Colorado.