Whether you're planning on putting your home on the market this summer or simply sprucing things up after a particularly nasty winter, it's essential your house has curb appeal. You may not spend a great deal of time in your own front yard, but the way your property looks to passersby says a lot about you and the house you keep.
Fortunately, creating curb appeal doesn't have to cost a fortune. A few simple tweaks and some ongoing maintenance can make a world of difference. Here are a few tips to get you started.
1. Tidy up
- A bit of elbow grease can go a long way in the front yard. A good place to start is in the plant beds. Clean these up by removing weeds and pruning overgrown shrubs, or getting rid of them if they're beyond salvation. Make sure all the edges are clean and straight.
- Then cultivate the beds and add some mulch. I really like the black dyed mulch you can buy it at The Home Depot.
- Once things have been tidied up, plant some flowers, whether perennials or annuals, and maybe a few shrubs, but preferably something with a bit of colour. From then on, a little regular maintenance should keep the beds in good order.
2. Keep it simple
- When it comes to plant selection, don't be too indulgent.
- It's essential things don't get too busy, she stresses. A hedge of boxwoods will do a better job of cleaning up the front of your house than going out and buying 15 different perennials.
3. Love your lawn
- It's not difficult to get your front lawn in decent shape, and a little TLC goes a long way. You should water it on a regular basis to keep it looking green.
- If it needs a bit of help, add some fertilizer. And consider topdressing: a layer of compost, soil or sand scattered over the surface of your lawn to improve the quality.
- If you have a bit more money to spend, McCague suggests installing an in-ground sprinkler system.
- If you can't make the lawn green, at least ensure it's trim. Maybe you can cut the grass with angled lines, as opposed to straight lines, to add an interesting element that will draw the eye.
- Where the grass meets walkways, curbs or the driveway, take a spade and remove at least an inch of grass, it will give it a maintained look.
4. Create a focal point
- To help your home stand out from the crowd — especially in new subdivisions where houses tend to look the same — create a focal point to draw attention to your property.
- Three simple elements that can go a long way toward adding curb appeal: a “greeting urn” that displays the colours of the season (forced bulbs in spring; pansies and pussy willows in summer; gourds, mums and asters in fall; and evergreen bows in winter). Next, have some kind of “greeting seating” (a chair or a bench, for instance), “something that says, ‘You are welcome.' ”
5. A walkway that winds
- If you have the means, installing a walkway that cuts into the driveway or front lawn, so that the look of your property isn't so straight and linear and makes it feel more open.
6. Light it up
- Adding a lighting element is another simple way to add curb appeal. Most homes already have lights on the garage or in the front door area, so you might consider “up-lighting” a tree or whatever focal point you've chosen.
- You could also install path lighting to identify walkways or parking areas. Just be sure you install low-voltage lights specifically designed for outdoor use.
7. Finishing touches
- Curb appeal isn't necessarily all about landscaping, of course. You also have to examine how your doors, fixtures and facade appear from the street.
- If the front of your home looks dreary and run down, it might be a wise idea to add a fresh coat of paint or replace weathered elements altogether.
The front of your home is the first thing your guests, neighbours and potential buyers notice and it is important to make a great first impression. Now that the weather is warm and gardens can be planted I challenge you to add a little CURB APPEAL to your HOME.
For further information, please contact Marla Janzen CENTURY 21 Fusion, Saskatoon at 306-341-3699 or firstname.lastname@example.org.