Catherine Wilson, an Interior Designer, in Atlanta, Georgia,
recognizes how much simple exteriors changes can enhance curb
appeal. Adding those "dress maker details"...the
"accoutrements" ...the "bells and whistles" sets a person's
home apart from another.
Enhancements such as a new front door, a new mail box, adding or
updating shutters, new light fixtures, changing landscaping and
adding window boxes or garden containers can create an allure
that makes a house become a home.
A new front door or shutters or lighting can make a dramatic
difference. Changing a solid, raised panel entry door to a
beveled 9 light door or changing traditional louvered shutters to
a board and batten style with functional hardware, to changing an
old, tired light fixture for an antique reproduction and maybe
even switching to a gas flame can make a spectacular difference.
For the homeowner willing to make more significant changes
adding a portico or dormers or gables as part of a second story
addition can transform a mundane home into a stunning one. The
dormers could also be added simply for looks to create the
illusion of a second story. Dormers perched on a roof can often
add more character and balance to a front façade. Another change
comes by adding an additional texture to the exterior,
particularly to the front, of a home, such as stone, stucco or
cedar shake. Multiple textures, done properly, provide a more
expensive looking 'old world' feel.
Another approach to enhancing curb appeal involves the landscape,
whether it is in containers or in the yard. Updating the
shrubbery, creating a brand new landscape plan, adding containers
or window boxes can brighten up the exterior of any residence.
In fact, window boxes and planters are a relatively inexpensive
way to increase your curb appeal. Add one or several to the
front of your home. Fill them with a soil mixture made for
containers, the appropriate perennials and annuals, water and
enjoy. Watering can is done simply by attaching to a drip line.
Drip lines can be connected to an existing irrigation system or
for around a couple hundred dollars or less you can purchase a
timer, Y connector, pressure reducer and connect to your outside
water faucet. If you establish a drip line, the time it takes to
maintain the window box is minimal. Typically, at a minimum, a
window box or planter only needs to be changed two times per
year. Furthermore, you rarely, if ever, have to deal with weeds.
Window boxes and planters are scattered all over Europe but are
not as prolific here in the United States.
These changes can make a dramatic impact on a house! In fact,
some studies suggest that enhancing a home's curb appeal is one
of the smartest ways to spend money as it can increase your homes
value up to as much as 25%. As it is commonly said "you never
get a second chance to make a first impression." Making that
first impression on the front of a home pays aesthetic as well as
If you are walking or riding through neighborhoods, it is
immediately obvious which houses have that special touch. These
houses cause passerby's to do a double take. These houses have
that special allure. These houses capitalize on the attention to
detail that gets noticed and makes a difference. More
importantly, these are the houses that typically sell quickly.
It is also the same houses that will draw a greater price in the
real estate market too! Many people desire their homes to have
those special details; however, most people do not know have to
achieve it. Many people are willing to pay for those special
touches which effectively stand out.
In the real estate market, emotional bonds are formed with homes
the minute someone pulls into the drive, walks up the side walk
or strides through the front door.
Add a window box to your home, switch out that porch light,
change your landscape, add a fresh coat of paint and realize
instant curb appeal enhancements! With increased curb appeal
comes increased property values and higher real estate returns at
the point of sale.
Reprinted with permission.
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