As anyone who has ever bought or sold a house knows, curb appeal is huge. But even if you’re not planning to put your home on the market, you want your house and yard to give a great first impression to anyone who sees them. Here are some tips to get you started on remodeling your Portland, Oregon, home for the best spring curb appeal.
The first step to boosting curb appeal is to look at your property with a critical eye. Stand on the front sidewalk, or across the street, and try to see everything as if for the first time. Walk to different vantage points so you can see every angle. Do this looking-with-fresh-eyes exercise at night, too. What do you see that makes you cringe? What do you like about what you see? Take notes.
First, take care of things that need upkeep and maintenance.
- Give your property a thorough scrub-down, both the house and the hardscape. This will brighten up everything—and it could call your attention to areas that need further maintenance or replacement.
- Trim trees and shrubs. Take out bushes that are detracting from the beauty of your home.
- Put down fresh mulch in landscape beds.
- Repair crumbling hardscape: patch cracks and breaks in the sidewalk, driveway, steps.
- Repair sagging or missing gutters and downspouts and repaint where needed.
- Is your roof ready for replacement? It’s a costly job, but it has to be done occasionally.
- Repaint the window and door trim if it needs it, and consider repainting the whole house. Even if you don’t change the color scheme, a new coat of paint will give your home a fresh look.
- Battered or discolored siding might need replacing as well.
- How about the fence? Is it sagging; are there cracked or broken pickets; does the hardware need repair; does it need a fresh coat of stain or paint?
A Welcoming Landscape
Beyond just sprucing up the yard, you can give your home’s curb appeal a major boost by redesigning the landscaping. As you and your designer work on concepts, keep in mind that you want the plantings, pathways, and lighting scheme to say “welcome to my home.”
- With plants and a pleasant walkway, lead visitors to your front door.
- Light the pathway for safety’s sake. Other lights can highlight your landscape and features of your house, especially the entrance.
- Use layering and variety in your plantings. Pay attention to plant heights, evergreen vs. deciduous, colors, and textures for visual interest.
- Provide a focal point, a pleasant feature to attract the eye, whether it’s a fountain or a bench or an especially attractive tree.
- Often a hedge or a fence with plantings provides a pleasing frame for your property and hides things you don’t want seen.
- Changing a tired-looking front door for an upgraded one will make a big difference in the first impression your home gives. A new entryway that includes side lights could be a good choice.
- Replacing the garage door, especially if it’s on the front of your house, also can pay dividends in terms of curb appeal.
- If your windows are past their prime, painting them might not be enough of an improvement. Installing new windows is expensive, but the change will improve not just the look and value of your home, but its energy efficiency as well.
- How does your front porch look? Maybe it needs just a paint job, with a fresh splash of color on the swing, or maybe it could stand a more extensive remodel. A professional architect or designer can help create a porch that’s welcoming and an asset to your home.
- Other small projects can freshen up the face that your home presents to the world, such as a cover for your electrical box, an enclosure for your air conditioner, a new mailbox, a “house” for your garden hose, a new or repainted front light, window flower boxes, and more.