When working on the exterior of your home, you might consider dome items structural and other curb appeal detail items, but ultimately, everything a passerby sees from the street or sidewalk contributes to your curb appeal. Some of the smaller projects to enhance curb appeal make ideal do-it-yourself (DIY) projects, but most tasks require a construction professional. You can handle the pitted plants and herb garden yourself, but let’s consider the huge items that you’ll need a pro to do and the right order to do them in, so you don’t end up paying twice for the same work.
Major work like replacing or repairing siding requires a professional, as does structural items like foundation repair. Some items that you might not consider major repairs or renovations at first blush, don’t qualify as a simple curb appeal detail. You can’t fix them with a short trip to the local garden center. What projects fall under this category?
Fencing Your Yard
A nice fence to separate your home from the neighbors’ properties and add definition to your yard qualifies as curb appeal detail that requires a professional. You can install the small one-foot-high or less garden edging on your own, but leave the five to six feet in height yard fences to a professional, so they appear as professional as possible and undergo proper installation. When hiring professional fencing services, start by asking your friends and family for referrals. If you like their fence, find out who installed it and obtain an estimate from them.
Sometimes, your local landscaping services professional offers a variety of services, such as fencing and installation of raised garden beds. Most commonly, these extensive service providers operate rural businesses or they located in a regional area, serving multiple mid-sized towns. When hiring someone to help with a curb appeal detail like fence construction, whether you obtain quotes from landscaping services or a specialist, check the company’s references and licensing before hiring them.
When upgrading your landscape, consider all fencing materials. This one curb appeal detail sets the tone for the rest of your home. While many homes feature wooden fences, other choices, such as rock, stone, brick, resin, and metal offer other options.
Although cheap, chain link fences don’t typically increase curb appeal. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to update a chain link fence to another type though. Consider using a fencing canvas that attaches to the chain link on the inside of the fence. These enclosure materials come in fabric rolls and in sheets, so you can purchase only what you need.
These canvas fence materials come in a wide array of colors and you’ve probably seen them before. For example, many sports practice fields maintain privacy by adding these canvases to their chain link fences. Schools like The University of Oklahoma quickly transformed their practice fields using these items in the early 2000s, so you can imagine how diverse the color choices have become by 2023.
Adding or Updating Hardscapes as Curb Appeal Details
You might obtain hardscape designs separately from your landscape design if your home came completely landscaped. You may only want to add a retaining wall or upgrade the driveway. Both items fall under the category of hardscapes, as do decks, porches, porticos, carports, and yard walls.
If your home did not come landscaped because you built on raw land or you purchased a newly constructed home, then hiring a landscape designer to plan both the natural growth areas and the hardscapes makes more sense. This individual will design both types of curb appeal items in a single, unified plan. These designers typically provide a paper design and a digital copy of it as a computer-assisted design (CAD) file.
Plans such as these provide other landscape professionals, including arborists, local tree services, landscape planters, landscape architects, hardscape installers, etc. with a plan similar to the architectural plans used to construct a building. Working from this single document, the array of professionals needed to create the landscape and its hardscapes can each perform their work according to the homeowner. As with other construction projects, landscaping and hardscaping require a blueprint to ensure either gets built to specifications.
Perhaps you’re happy with your current hardscapes, but you want to ensure they last a long time. Consider hiring a driveway sealcoating contractor. Also, have the individual sealcoat other hardscapes of concrete or cement mixtures. The sealant adds new life to the hardscape and some coatings create a gleaming finish on the concrete that makes it appear to use a different material.
Little Fixes to Increase Curb Appeal
Perhaps the sod already went in when the builders finished construction and your home features a clean, lush lawn. You noticed that the sprinkler system does not activate when you set it to do so. You need a sprinkler repair service and your local landscaper can provide referrals or may offer the repair service itself.
Another curb appeal detail that can add pop to your lawn, garden rocks, you can pick up at the local home improvement store. If you want to avoid your home looking like all the others in the neighborhood, consider using faux rocks made of resin. These lightweight landscaping options ship well and using them avails you of many shopping options online.
Mulch can add a curb appeal detail to your gardens and help protect the ground in our yard. Soil erodes less when held in place by grass, moss, shrubs, trees, or other items. Those options don’t work well in garden beds though. That’s where mulch helps.
Make mulching a larger yard with many garden beds easier by hiring mulch blowing services. This ensures you adequately cover all areas of the landscape and use the same mulch in all areas. Yes, matching mulch makes your landscape look better.
In What Order Should Yard Repairs Go?
Hiring your curb appeal detail professionals in the proper order can help save you money. That’s because one professional may prepare the yard for the next step, saving you time and money. Conversely, hiring out of order can mean spending money on the same job twice. Here’s an example of what we mean.
Let’s say your yard needs new sprinklers, sod, and fencing. Hire the sprinkler installers or repair crew first because they need to dig up portions of the yard to install or repair the irrigation system for the sprinklers. Next, hire your fencing crew, because they need to dig post holes, cement in the fence posts, and excavate the areas around where the fence goes. Finally, hire the landscapers who install the sod.
Sod makes an instant improvement in any yard. This curb appeal detail provides a homeowner with an instantly verdant landscape, but you would pay twice as much if you had to sod a second time because the sprinkler installers or fencing professionals had to dig up areas of your gorgeous yard.
Make a list of all of the exterior projects you want to undertake. Categorize them into things you can DIY and those that require a home exterior professional. Instead of prioritizing them according to personal preference, order them so that you won’t need to duplicate hiring.
If the work requires any digging or excavating in the yard, have it completed before sodding or landscaping the yard. Plantings get done before sodding because grass should grow around and beneath trees and shrubs. Items like fences and hardscapes require excavation, so hire those professionals first to reduce your financial outlay.
Ideas to Update a Landscape
Some homes come with a lovely, deep green lawn, raised garden beds, and mulch in every necessary area. They feature mature trees and manicured shrubs. Still, you want to add your personal touch to the landscape. Consider these ideas to add a curb appeal detail to your otherwise perfect landscape.
Add a trellis to the yard entrance. An arch trellis offers an attractive entry point to any yard, whether on the street-facing side or the area opening onto a golf course or other community-shared green space. Decorate this trellis with real or faux ivy or climbing rose bush for a curb appeal option that blends the built environment and nature.
Install benches under trees or near garden beds. Choose benches made of concrete, wood, resin, or stone that complement your home’s exterior paint and trim. Locate these benches throughout the rear, front, and side yards to create thoughtful areas for contemplation of nature, neighborly conversation during time off, or a respite during yard work.
Create a lattice frame along one exterior wall or an accessory building.
Installing a lattice of wood or resin alongside an exterior wall provides a safe climbing area for ivy or other vines. Latticework adds to the home’s beauty and can provide an easy way to enclose a stilt home’s underside while maintaining its open-air environment.
Add a gazebo or other freestanding exterior structure. Whether placed in a front or rear yard, a gazebo offers a covered place to sit and enjoy the landscape. While benches remain open to the elements, a gazebo’s roof, and enclosed top sides offer protection from precipitation. These wood pseudo-buildings come in oak, pine, cedar, and other hardwoods to complement any home exterior.
Add an accessory building. Perhaps your home lacks a garage or workshop. You can hire a GC to construct a detached garage or workshop in the rear or along the side of your home. These projects can improve the utility of your home and instantly add to its value.
In some cases, your lot size and the availability of unused yards may allow you to construct a home addition. A mother-in-law apartment or attached garage can add instant home value, too. Each of these projects, once complete, adds to your home equity, too.
Renovate an existing accessory building. Perhaps the home you purchased came with a detached garage or other accessory building, but it lacks curb appeal. A GC can also help revamp this building with new siding, paint, trim, and a roof replacement.
Re-roof the home or accessory buildings. When many homeowners re-roof their homes, they forget or overlook having the roofer install new roofing on the accessory buildings. Every asphalt roof needs to undergo replacement at about 15 years of age. Slate, clay tile, and metal roofs all last much longer.
If the home and its outbuildings need new roofs, consider upgrading the roofing materials. Metal lasts the longest, whether you choose standing seam galvanized steel or copper. With a metal roof, you typically won’t need to replace it for up to 50 years. These tough materials also undergo less damage than other roofing materials, so you won’t need as frequent roofing repairs.
Line the sidewalk or walkways with potted plants. Head to the local garden center to pick out a bevy of pots of various sizes and the plants to go in them. Create depth by starting with the smallest pots at the fence gate and gradually increasing the size of the pots, placing the largest planters at either side of the front steps. Choose plants to go in them that flower in the same colors as the home’s paint and trim colors.
Along with edging the sidewalk and walkways, these lines of planters make it look like a professional home improvement expert like Martha Stewart did your home’s exterior design. You don’t need to tell anyone that you did it yourself. Let them think you spent hoards on an exterior designer. Only you will know how much money you saved.
Getting Started on Your Home’s Curb Appeal
Your home’s exterior can shine just like your interior does. Divide your projects into items you can do yourself and those for which you need to hire a professional. Order your list of professional jobs that require digging up your yard and which don’t. Hire the professionals who need to dig up the yard first, so you only need to pay the landscapers and sodding professionals once.