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Improving the exterior of your home

Date posted:  5/6/16 09:00:00 AM

With the anticipated arrival of summer, it's time to get started on those outdoor projects you have been putting off.

Sprucing up the exterior of your home is a great warm-weather activity you can take on over a long weekend. Whether you simply want to increase the curb appeal of your home or you're looking to sell the property for a higher price, spending some time outside and investing in outdoor improvements will be beneficial.

Establish your budget 

Before tackling those outdoor projects, determine how much of your funds you can allocate for exterior improvement. When you know the amount of money you can dedicate to these projects, you can more appropriately plan ahead. 

If you do not have very much money to cover the costs, consider breaking up the projects into phases. When you only have to worry about covering the cost of a few jobs this summer with plans to complete a few next summer, the expenses will be more manageable. 

Consider how selling may impact your initial plan 

If you are looking to sell your house, your budget and predetermined action plan might need additional tweaking. According to Bankrate, improving the curb appeal of your home is one of the best ways to increase the value of your property. 

"What buyers see when they first drive by your home is tremendously important," said Moe Viessi, a real estate agent in Miami. 

Directing your dollars toward bettering the exterior of your home is a great way to appeal to a higher number of interested buyers. Adding a few shrubs and distributing mulch around new plants can make a profound impact. 

"These kinds of changes can instantly change people's perception of your home and, therefore, increase its value," added Viessi. 

So, if you want to sell your home for a higher price, you'll need to make improving the exterior a higher priority and your budget should reflect this, or you will need to get a little creative when it comes to taking on various projects. 

Paint and improve 

Adding a fresh coat of paint is an inexpensive way to spruce up your exterior. According to Listotic, it's also a great way to camouflage any eyesores, like piping or electrical boxes. Simply paint these items the same color as their surroundings to help them blend in. 

If you are interested in a fresh change, consider changing the hue of your home. According to HGTV, there are several exterior color palettes that can be more inviting for guests or potential buyers. Consider using shades that complement the environment. For example, you may want to stick to browns, neutrals and yellows if your home is in the southwestern part of the U.S.

In the instance that you are unsure about a color palette, head to your local hardware store and speak with a professional in the paint department. He or she can help you select a suitable palette for your home that will enhance its overall appearance. 

Pump up your front door 

Whether you completely replace it or simply add molding and paint, giving your front door a makeover is well worth the investment. Not only does it save money, it also packs a punch. 

If you don't already have the address numbers on your front door, you may also want to add these. It's a simple way to add a little flare without spending very much money. 

Add a few potted plants to make an entrance even more welcoming. 

Invest in the windows 

Green is the new black. More buyers are interested in buying homes with integrated green features. So, if you need to replace your windows, invest in Energy Star windows for the most bang for your buck. 

Even if you aren't planning to sell your home, Energy Star windows help you save a significant amount of money when it's time to pay your energy bill, so these are worth the investment. 

In addition to installing high-quality windows, you may also want to spruce them up a bit. Add window boxes and plant flowers for a cozy look. 

Don't forget about your deck and patio 

Outdoor living spaces are great during the warmer seasons. However, when temperatures drop, these areas experience substantial wear and tear. From ice and snow to wind and rain, your deck or patio may suffer some damage during the colder months. 

According to HouseLogic, you need to establish a routine for regular maintenance of your outdoor spaces. During the late spring, wash and seal the space. The middle of summer is an ideal time for inspections and repairs while early fall is great for clearing debris and trimming trees around the deck or patio. 

Make sure you maintain your deck or patio properly. If you have cedar, you may need to tend to this material more consistently than a stone patio. Reach out to your local hardware store for additional guidance. There may be certain solutions or seals designed specifically for your deck or patio's longevity. 

Invest in landscaping 

A well-maintained lawn, flowers and a few shrubs can go a long way. Fortunately, these improvements don't need to be expensive if you are confident in your ability to make the most out of what you are able to grow. 

However, if you don't have the time or ability to dedicate to landscaping, consider hiring professionals. This is especially helpful if you need to lay sod. Not doing this correctly can cost you more money as you may need to replace the grass. 

Improving the curb appeal of your home is beneficial for several reasons. Whether you simply want to make your forever home look a little better or you want to increase the overall value of your property, finding affordable ways to enhance the exterior of your home is a wise way to spend available funds.