First impressions really do count, particularly when you want to add value to your home, but some updates can end up costing more than their return is worth. Fortunately, it is possible to make your home look more luxe without spending a fortune, as long as you know where to focus your energy on. The next time you’re inspecting the backyard, consider whether one of these nifty updates could boost your street appeal.
Choose the right color scheme
A fresh lick of paint can make all the difference to the curb appeal of your home. You can add long-term value with minimal effort by opting for something timeless and classic that won't go out of style. A paint job in a neutral shade is an easy way to make your walls look more expensive, but before you rush out to buy a can of paint, be sure to consider other exterior features of the home. Elements like the roofing materials aren’t so easy to edit on a whim, so try to bring color schemes together where possible. With a well-matched paint job, you'll leave yourself plenty of room to add eye-catching details without clashing.
Keep your pool looking well
A swimming pool adds instant value to your home, but if yours hasn't been well maintained, it could detract from that all-important first impression. Start by tidying up around the pool area - clear away any rubbish and fallen tree branches - and then check your fence. Not only is it a critical safety measure, but your pool fence can also either add to or detract from your backyard aesthetic. By law, any gaps between or under panels must be no more than 10 centimeters wide, and your pool gate must have a self-locking mechanism, but the rest is up to you.
Choose the right lighting
Outside the home, lighting is less about practicality and more about creating an atmosphere of warmth. Instead of blinding fluorescent lights, opt for subtle, low-voltage fixtures around the main outdoors seating area. These will look great lined along your garden path or hidden in bushes. As always, you should consider the style of your home before making any design choices and, if possible, look to bring the inside out.
For a modern design aesthetic, a simplistic trail of spotlights might fit the bill, but if you prefer an antique feel, try a few statement lanterns positioned around the garden.
Create a welcoming entry point
The front door is usually the last thing visitors see before they enter your home, making it a memorable feature worth considering. Replacing a front door can be expensive, so work with what you have if you can. As long as there’s no damage to the door, it might only need a fresh coat of paint or a shiny handle or knocker to make it feel new. If you’ve got a bit of extra cash to spare, you could even track down a tasteful stained glass artwork and have it inserted into the door frame. The garage door is another focal point often overlooked by homeowners, but it makes a big difference to the overall look of your home - with some bold color, it could even become a statement feature.
Add a few extra windows
Natural light is a huge factor for consideration amongst home buyers and your renters, and knowing how best to take advantage of the direction and position of your home will put you at a huge advantage. Adding some extra windows is a relatively inexpensive way to add to the appeal and liveability of your home, depending on the style and size of the window that you choose. Windows also allow for improved airflow, keeping your home cooler during the summer months, which will make all the difference in a hot climate.
Go for a full makeover
If you’ve tried all of the cheaper tricks and still can’t overlook the bare bones of your home’s structure, a professional architect will be able to help. Some design periods in history are notorious for producing unattractive features, particularly the late 1990s, so if the problem runs deep, it might be worth hiring an expert to redesign your home’s exterior for you. Just make sure you know what you’re in for - a redesign could temporarily affect the quality of life in your home, or you may have to find short-term accommodation while any renovations are underway.
Achieving a more expensive look for your home often starts with the exterior, and while there are plenty of small changes to be made, the process doesn’t have to be overly difficult or costly. Start with small edits and work your way up to a more valuable home.
by Bob Gorman