Closer up view of the front of a house with plants and trees along the walkway

What Should I Do to Improve My Home’s Curb Appeal?

By Mike Lessard

There’s a phrase that comes up often in conversations about home improvement. Especially among people who are thinking of selling their homes. That phrase is "curb appeal." But what exactly is curb appeal? Why is curb appeal so important?

First Impressions Count

Go ahead. Take a stroll through your neighbourhood. It doesn’t matter where you are, you’re going to look at some homes that are messy and poorly maintained. You’re going to see others where the owners clearly take pride in their homes. Then there’s those special few homes where you think, “Man, I wish we lived there.” That’s curb appeal.

Curb appeal is all about the appearance of your home, yard and gardens. It's the way your home strikes people as they go by in a car, on a bike, or on a stroll through the neighbourhood. It gives people an impression of who you are as they stand in front of your home, or get ready to ring the doorbell.

In other words, curb appeal is all about the first impression your home makes. It lets people know what to expect before they even take a step through your front door. As with business, friendship, and even romance, first impressions can be a make-or-break experience.

Why It Matters

There’s a lot of little things that go into creating great curb appeal. There’s the condition of your walkways and driveway and lawns.The planters and gardens. It is the general upkeep or your home, including roofing, siding, eaves and shutters. How does your home look at night? Do you have lighting that highlights certain features? Do you have an irrigation system that keeps your lawns and plants looking their best?

The appearance of your home's exterior creates an initial impression of you as a homeowner, and indicates the overall condition of your property.

Anyone who really loves their home will put effort into its upkeep. Not only because they want to maintain the value or their investment, but also because they take pride in their home and fully enjoy it.

For people thinking of selling their home, curb appeal is a signal to potential buyers about just how much care you have put into your home. Its an indicator of what your house may be worth, and whether additional money may need to be spent to improve the home. Ultimately, poor curb appeal lowers the value of your home.

You’ll want to ensure that your home is at its best, both for your own enjoyment, and for eventual resale — you can't just remodel the kitchen and bathrooms and call it a day. Addressing your home’s exterior is every bit as important as making sure the inside of your home is at its best. So where should you start?

The Easy Stuff First

A simple garden clean up — or a full scale garden overhaul is a very cost effective way to give you curb appeal a big shot in the arm! Even the most desperate looking garden can be turned into a showpiece. A few days of work and know-how from a talented garden crew can do wonders.

Trimming back trees, shrubs and perennials can really open up the look of your yard and home. Sometimes selecting just one or two plants to be removed can change the whole impression of your home from the street.

You might consider a one-time garden clean up, or even a seasonal lawn and garden maintenance plan. A maintenance plan can give you some peace of mind that the yard is looking its best, and you didn’t have to lift a finger.

The Home Itself

Another area to check off your “curb appeal checklist” is the exterior condition of the home itself. Its always a good practice to address the immediate needs of your home!

Your roof, siding, and gutters are critical pieces that people will look at seriously. Pools, hot tubs and water features also need to be clean and in good working order. Home buyers and neighbours are guessing about the condition of your home, any damage and possible costs for repairs. 

They could significantly reduce the value of your home and add to your troubles.

Here’s a great tip — make sure your house numbers are in top shape. This easily overlooked feature can make a tremendous difference in people’s impressions!

Final Thoughts

Every once in a while take a step back and cast a critical eye over your walkways, driveways, and decks. If these are in bad shape, have them repaired, or clear them out in favour of something new!  

Imagine yourself taking a walk around your block. Imagine smiling with satisfaction when you catch sight of your home, and you see just how nicely it stands out. Imagine knowing that there’s no major repairs, or projects to be done. Imagine cars slowing down as they catch a glimpse of your place. That’s curb appeal.

If you would rather enjoy your home, instead of always trying to keep up with the on-going maintenance, a competent landscaper can be a big help!

Need more ideas?

Check out our online portfolio to see how we've helped others improve their curb appeal. Like what your see? Then schedule a consultation to learn what we can do for you! Whether it’s a landscape construction project, a maintenance plan, or a combination of the two, we’d love to meet you and help you get the most from your outdoor space.

Mike Lessard of Jeff's Outdoor
Mike, our Design-Build Client Rep, has a background in client services. Mike likes to volunteer in the community: we like that about him. He is currently the vice president at the Dunnville Chamber of Commerce. Mike is also a very fast skier — or at least he claims to be. We're fine with that because we know he always takes his time with our customers.

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