How to improve both your home’s appearance and value

Though we’ve all heard that familiar “don’t judge a book by its cover” adage, we all do it, although not necessarily just with books. We make assumptions all the time based on how things look, and it’s often hard to shake a bad first impression. 

This is especially true in real estate. People shopping for a new home may instantly fall in love with a house before they even walk in the door. And, conversely, even if a home has everything someone’s looking for inside, if the exterior is subpar, they may just drive on by. 

Curb appeal can’t be overlooked when selling a home, but it is also something homeowners should work on even if they don’t have plans to sell. In addition to improving exterior features, this can also raise a home’s value. If you’re looking to boost your house’s curb appeal, you of course want to get the most for your money, and you’ll get the biggest return on investment by focusing on these areas:

Landscaping

We’re starting with one that many people forget about or just don’t pay a ton of attention to. It doesn’t matter if you have the best-looking home on the street; if the lawn is covered in brown spots, there are more weeds than flowers, and the bushes are overgrown, people may barely pay attention to the house itself. 

Fortunately, landscaping doesn’t have to be expensive. Anyone with the time and a bit of a green thumb can probably do all of the mowing, weeding, planting, and pruning. If not, there are almost certainly several local landscaping companies that can vastly improve the home’s greenery. 

And whether you hire somebody or take a DIY approach, it will be worth it, as this can increase the resale value of the home by 14%. Even if you just focus on landscaping the curb, this can raise the home’s value by over 4%. 

Front door

Front doors that get a lot of use have probably seen better days. Chances are that daily wear and tear has left some scuff marks, chipped paint, and maybe a few stains. 

Just giving the front door a good cleaning could make a big difference, but if you want to go a step further, think about painting. While you could go with the same color, choosing something a little brighter or bolder – but a hue that still goes with the rest of the house – could be the better option. You may also want to consider replacing it; a brand-new door that’s steel-enforced can bring back nearly a 75% ROI

Siding

Because siding is constantly exposed to harsh sun, intense rain, and everything else Mother Nature throws at it, it too may not be looking so great. And again, a good cleaning can do wonders. Whether you rent a power washer or hire someone, when all the dirt and grime is gone, you may be amazed at how your siding looks. And, believe it or not, this may add $10,000 or more to the sale price of the home. 

If the siding is old or in need of repair, think about replacing it. Like that new front door, this will also get you about a 75% return on your investment. If you also want to add something like manufactured stone veneer to your home’s exterior, the ROI is almost 95%.

Roof

Most homeowners don’t glance up at their roof very often, but it’s a good bet that passersby and potential buyers will. If you’ve got some problems up there, such as missing shingles, discoloration, or separating gutters, they will notice. 

A typical asphalt roof lasts around 20 years, so one that old or older is probably about due for a replacement. And if you go this route, in the long run it may actually not cost you a dime, because the ROI is over 100%. Basic repairs or maintenance will usually cost $1,000 or more, depending on what needs to be done.  

Hardscape

Anything on a property that’s manmade stonework is considered hardscape. While this may only be the driveway, it’s important that it looks its best. This means any cracks or holes should be fixed. Even if it’s in good condition structurally, it may be covered in dirt or oil stains, and a good power washing should be able to take care of them. 

Other examples of hardscape include pathways, retaining walls, or patios. And while some of these items may not actually be visible from the curb, it just makes sense to maintain them well and fix any problems. After all, if you will put your home up for sale, you can bet that possible buyers will see them eventually. 

Small touches

Improving a home’s curb appeal doesn’t have to cost much at all. For example, you might update your address numbers or opt for an address plaque. While you’re at it, you may want to replace your front door’s handle with a metal that matches. If your old mailbox isn’t looking so great, paint it or just get something new. Perhaps the light fixtures on your porch or by the front door are a little out of date and need a modern upgrade. None of these things are terribly expensive, and upgrading them can end up creating a great impression. 

If you’re not sure how to improve your home’s curb appeal, get in touch with Tandem Contracting. From major projects to smaller jobs, our pros will make your house look amazing both inside and out. To get started, give a call at 973-864-3100 or just fill out our online contact form.