How to increase curb appeal while reducing exterior maintenance requirements
Curb appeal is defined as the attractiveness of the exterior of a residential property. Who wouldn't want others to comment on how lovely your home is, regardless of size or style? Let's discuss the primary exterior elements of a home - keeping in mind we usually want them as maintenance free as possible while generating great curb appeal.
Doors: What better way to make a great first impression than creating a statement with your entrance door. In addition to warding off the cold and pesky invaders, entrance doors give one the opportunity to make a personalized statement about their style or status. Made of wood, fiberglass or steel - each is available in a variety of styles. Some have beautiful decorative glass that sparkles like diamonds. Solid wood doors are expensive and require a high level of maintenance. Solid core wood veneer doors are less costly. Fiberglass is durable and flexible for any climate. Doors of fiberglass can be stained to look like wood or painted but will not rot or warp, are low maintenance and energy efficient. Finally, don't forget the jewelry - the door handles. New finishes are guaranteed and in most cases are worth the extra cost.
Siding & Trim: Climate plays an important part on the type of siding you use on your home. Vinyl siding is very popular and is good in all climates. It comes in many colors and patterns and minor scratches are not easily detected because the color is solid throughout. It's very easy to maintain with a yearly washing. A drawback to vinyl is that it expands and contracts considerably with swings in temperature. If installed improperly, this can cause buckling and popping at the seams. Wood siding is usually made of cedar, redwood and cypress. It is more expensive than vinyl but some think the beauty of wood is worth the added cost. It is subject to rot if not cared for. In this climate, maintaining a uniform coat of paint is imperative to protecting wood siding from the elements. Boring bees and woodpeckers can be a problem. Fiber cement siding is durable and now available in pre-finished colors. It is fire resistant, moisture and insect resistant and will not rot. It comes with a 30 year, transferable warranty. Remodeling Magazine rated fiber cement siding the #1 return on investment in their "cost vs. value report". For the reasons stated here, fiber cement is quickly growing in popularity and many find it more visually appealing than vinyl.
Roofing: Fiberglass asphalt shingles are the most common type of shingles. They are saturated with asphalt and coated with minerals on one side to resist weathering. They are flexible and strong and generally have a 20-30 year guarantee. Dimensional shingles are thicker and have a more appealing architectural appearance. Cedar shakes, tile, metal and slate are more costly and used less frequently. Relatively new to the market, synthetic composite shingles (a rubber & plastic blend) provide a durable, long term alternative for steep slope applications. These shingles are made from recycled content and provide an appearance very similar to slate. Some of these synthetic products are available with up to 50 year warranties.
If you're looking for more charm, add a decorative roof over your front door for a welcoming entrance and added interest. A full porch certainly makes an inviting statement. Shutters, decorative trim and decking materials are all available now in sturdy, maintenance free products. Flowers and landscaping contribute to curb appeal - and now you have time for this since your home is more maintenance free than ever before. Remodel sensibly, your home is usually life's biggest investment. Contact us today for a free consultation.