A Short and Succinct Guide to Boosting Your Curb Appeal

Written by Elliot McGowan Posted On Monday, 03 July 2023 00:00

Make no mistake; curb appeal can be a deal-breaker. The first glance at the exterior sets the foundations for someone’s feelings towards a property. People will often write a place off based on its immediate appearance, without even setting foot inside — and rightly so, as more often than not, the exterior says a lot about what to expect from the interior.  

“Don’t judge a book by its cover” just isn’t applicable in the property market — which is why curb appeal is essential whatever the size, shape, or style of the property. Regardless of a property’s dimensions, keeping it clean, neat, and well-maintained are obvious rules of thumb. But how do you make sure the overall presentation of your home’s exterior is living up to its full potential?

Whether you’re putting your property on the market, sprucing up a home to show off to the neighbors, or looking to give a new lease of life to a long-neglected exterior, you will find the best ways to create a good first impression in our short but succinct guide on boosting curb appeal.

The First Impression 

The importance of that first glance at a property cannot be overstated. If well kept, the exterior will entice potential buyers, make visiting friends and family feel comfortable, and even add value to your home. Before the external features are scrutinized, the general feel is absorbed in those first seconds: the design, the layout, the boundaries, the color, and the organization. These are the factors that shape that immediate inspection. 

The exterior needs to have a picture-perfect postcard look that comes from having a well-maintained and presentable layout. The first thing is setting clear boundaries to the property, so people know exactly what is in the picture. Ensure walls, fences, and surroundings clearly exhibit your property’s exterior space and show-off its organization and security.

Look at the appearance of these features. Make sure the paint is up to scratch, the gate is sturdy, and the fences and walls are well kept and easily observed. They may seem separate from your property, but walls or wooden fences cannot be neglected. A lick of paint on metalwork or a new coat of varnish on a fence can make all the difference and show a home is secure and protected from the elements.

The Natural Necessities: Graceful Greenery

In a world that becomes more artificial and digitally dictated with each day, everybody seeks more of a connection with nature. For that reason, greenery has a huge influence on curb appeal and how appealing people find a property’s exterior.

If a property has a front garden, it goes without saying this needs to be presentable. It doesn’t take much to mow a lawn or trim a hedge. The greenery in front gardens — whatever their size — can be hugely influential on curb appeal and property value. But it needs to be inviting and attractive rather than disheveled and disorderly. 

A balance in external greenery can be one of the hardest things to get right. A verdant exterior adds vigor to the property — but too many overflowing plants can present a burden rather than a benefit for potential buyers and can feel unwelcoming for visitors — not to mention anybody who lives in the building.

Equally, a home without any greenery can lack vitality. If a property doesn’t have a garden or lacks the space for hedges and a lawn, it’s not the end of the world. Some well-chosen pots and planters bring ample life to an exterior and can be used to organize spaces for those properties that don’t have walls, gates, or fences. 

The Pristine Pathway: The Journey to Your Front Door 

Once the design, layout, boundaries, and greenery of a property have been absorbed, the journey from the curb to the front door is the focus. For obvious reasons, the pathway or driveway should be clear and void of obstacles, so entering a property is an enjoyable experience.

Garbage cans positioned on the driveway or outside the front of your house aren’t going to do you any favors. So if they can’t be tucked away neatly around the side of your home or somewhere out of sight, it might be that a garbage storage shed is necessary. 

Ensure the driveway or pathway are deweeded, flat, and look neat. Sweep away leaves and replace cracked paving stones to improve both the look of your path and it’s safety. The journey to the door is extra important for those people with buggies, wheelchairs, or children, so the path or driveway should be as accessible as possible. 

If either your pathway or driveway is looking worse for wear due to dirt that can’t be removed, a pressure wash can rejuvenate your driveway and breath a new lease of life back into your exterior. It takes a day and has an enormous impact. 

The driveway is a practical part of your property, but it's often overlooked as a great feature in itself. As a feature of the exterior that directs your eyes towards the front door, the driveway must be kept attractive. Curved borders or patterned paving slab designs add a brilliant touch, as do pots or planters that flank the driveway. 

The Elegant Entryway: A Fresh and Updated Front Door

A front door is the most important part of a home’s exterior. After the general details of the property have been absorbed, it is here the focus ends up. The front door speaks of the home’s character and expresses more about the property than the rest of the exterior. 

The front door is also where people will wait, and you will enter and exit every day. So for everybody’s benefit, it should be presentable, warm, and welcoming. 

Giving the door a fresh coat of paint is one of the quickest and easiest ways to improve curb appeal. The gleam of a fresh coat removes any weather-beaten signs. It also gives the exterior a facelift and says a home is clean and comfortable. Black paint looks formal and professional, while blues, greens, reds, and yellows bring a bright and cheerful feel to your entryway. Greys and browns should be avoided for their meaning and mood associations, while whites will easily dirty and are hard to maintain.

Once you’re satisfied with the door color and the state of the paintwork, the doors hardware and accessories should be spruced up next. Nobody likes a squeaky door or one that doesn’t function properly, so make sure your door’s hardware is doing what it is designed to do. Stick with brass, chrome, or another type of metal, get some sturdy door handles, new house numbers, and invest in a door knocker that means business.

As the focal point of the exterior and a feature that buyers will always subconsciously end up over-analyzing, the front door should be customized as best as possible. A canopy above the door adds elegance and stops rainwater falling on the front doorstep while a festive wreath adds charm and comfort.

The Limelight: Important Illumination

Last but not least is the lighting. Garden lighting is essential for those who have one, and the bigger the garden, the more essential it is. A dark, gloomy path up through shrubs and plants is not an inviting sight in the darkness. A property should be approachable day and night. 

The door should be the most well-illuminated of all with lanterns either above or beside it, so people feel safe and welcomed. A sensor light boosts security and saves on energy and bills. It is a great option in today’s market; it makes a home feel functional and safe.

Wall lanterns or fisherman-style pendants make a home inviting for those approaching the door on dark evenings. Solar-powered lanterns that can be planted in flower beds are another great option for illuminating the garden effectively. 

Property buyers might inspect a house at any point during their search, so curb appeal after dark must be considered too. 

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