Entire TV shows are dedicated to it, and real estate agents say it is essential when selling your home. So what is "curb appeal?" More importantly, how do you create it for your home?
Even if you're not planning to sell your home any time soon, some simple steps to boost the attractiveness of your home from the street (so called "curb appeal") can make it feel more appealing to you and your guests.
Start with the front door.
From TV to magazines to popular websites, many home improvement experts call out the front door as one of the most important aspects for creating curb appeal. "While curb appeal depends on many factors - landscaping and siding, lighting and lawn care - the front door, the focal point of the facade, trumps the others in terms of importance," says Donna Boyle Schwartz, a home furnishing writer and editor. Schwartz and other experts offer a range of tips for enlivening your front door.
At the most basic level, a new coat of paint for the front door is a simple and inexpensive update that only takes a few hours to complete. More homeowners are experimenting with bold primary colors on their doors to make the front of their home pop. But if you're worried that a bright yellow or red might be too much for your tastes, several paint manufacturers offer free online color visualization tools. With a few clicks, you can see how any hue will look next to the color of your home's siding and trim.
Other ways to perk-up your front door include new handles and locksets. A quick visit to Pinterest.com, Houzz.com or other no-cost to access online resources will show you the range of creative options available.
For many homeowners, the ultimate way to perk-up their front entry is by replacing the door. "Not only does replacing your front entry door kick up your curb appeal, it's a solid investment with a decent payback," explains home improvement journalist Karin Beuerlein on HouseLogic.com. A new door provides opportunities to personalize the home's entry to best suit your current tastes. Whether it's a major style change like a switch from
Colonial to contemporary, a different type of decorative glass or your favorite wood species, manufacturers offer many ways to make a front door truly your own.
As with paint, many homeowners find it difficult to picture how different door styles would look on their homes. "To make the process of finding a door simple and fun, we've created a range of free online design tools," notes Brad Loveless, product development and marketing manager for Simpson Door Company. "Called Doormagination, these tools include a 'test drive,' in which you can upload a photo of your home and compare different door designs." Such tools allow people to quickly explore the range of options and to see what their personalized door will look like before they order it.
You don't have to be a design guru to add curb appeal to your home. Paint and door manufacturers, even some local landscape companies, now offer fun and easy-to-use tools to create a "wow-worthy" home entry.
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