Rough Around the Hedges: Cultivate Curb Appeal

Thinking of selling your home? Bumping up your home’s curb appeal is about identifying your home’s weaknesses and addressing them in a way that makes sense for your home’s aesthetic, the amount of time and energy you have to devote to the project, and the available funds you have to make the changes. This might mean obscuring blemishes from view, bringing it out into the forefront so that it doesn’t look like you’re trying to cover it up, or simply removing it altogether.

Hide… Tastefully!

A/C unit is hidden for curb appeal. Image via BetterHomesAndGardens.com
A/C unit is hidden for curb appeal. Image via BHG.com

Some things just can’t be removed or changed, no matter how much you wish they could be. If you have an ugly air conditioning unit, rain collection barrels, or some other exterior eyesore, there is no shame in covering them up with a tasteful barricade. This homeowner disguised her air-conditioning unit by building a wooden screen in front of it and planting a bright and attractive group of plants and flowers in front. This tactic is a pretty obvious one that works well if you have a lot of room to work with and/or resources for an eye-pleasing disguise. Other similar tactics in this vein include creating an organic screen by using a climbing plant, or painting the offending item or structure so that it blends in with its surroundings.

Accentuate Existing Curb Appeal

Oftentimes there are parts of our homes’ exteriors that may appear uglier than they really are because they look so much like they don’t belong. Accentuating something that detracts from your curb appeal. But you can make that item appear as though you meant it to be there, in turn minimizing how much it actually stands out. Take, for example, an asymmetrical façade with an off-centre door. Adding a strong overhang and changing the roofline to bring focus to the front entry can make the feature appear as though it’s intentionally offset.

Simplify or Remove Clutter

Simplified façade for great curb appeal. Image via Blog.CharterHomes.com
Simplified façade for great curb appeal. Image via Blog.CharterHomes.com

When all else fails, de-clutter. Simplifying the way your home looks is never a bad idea, whether it’s inside or out. For example, if it’s time to re-paint and your home has a lot of different trim colours, accents, and principle exterior paints, consider choosing just one or two to harmonize the palette. The same goes with landscaping. An intricate planting can be difficult to maintain and unsightly if left for just a few weeks. It might be a good idea to think about replacing or taking out some more high maintenance plants, if budget allows. Laying down a nice, thick mulch creates a tidy, cohesive feel and gives buyers the impression that the garden will be easy to care for.

Cultivating great curb appeal doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank – or your back, for that matter. Sometimes you can even create more functionality with a change to your home’s exterior aesthetic. The one thing we think all soon-to-be sellers should keep in mind is to use the impartial feedback of a trusted friend. We can’t stress this enough. Don’t discount their advice! Your view of your home is attached to emotion. It’s also coloured by the fact that you don’t see how your home looks to others because you see it every day. Be willing to take constructive criticism, put in some work, and you’ll have the best curb appeal in the neighbourhood before you know it!

Need some more selling tips? Check out our blog posts for sellers!

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