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Kerb your en­thu­si­asm

Weekend Herald - Canvas - - CONTENTS - Tracey Strange

Knock, knock

When it comes to houses, you can judge a book by its cover. A re­cent British study found nearly a third of house buy­ers would pay 25 per cent more for one with ex­cel­lent kerb ap­peal. And they weren’t ask­ing for much — a freshly painted front door, a tidy gar­den, a well-main­tained ex­te­rior and clean win­dows. Whether you are think­ing of sell­ing or just want­ing to up the neigh­bour­hood ante, much can be done — often cheaply — to en­sure your prop­erty makes a good first im­pres­sion.

1Con­sider

the house’s ar­chi­tec­tural style. You prob­a­bly wouldn’t want to pop a rus­tic bench in the front of your con­tem­po­rary home or an ul­tra­mod­ern han­dle on the front door of a tra­di­tional cot­tage. De­sign rules can al­ways be bro­ken, but if you are un­sure, stick with the tried and tested.

2Freshen

up. The same goes for colour com­bos. A new pal­ette will unify the ex­te­rior. Ac­cord­ing to the British study, neu­tral tones are best for dom­i­nant ar­eas – ma­sonry, ren­der­ing, weath­er­boards – com­ple­men­tary colours for trims and door frames, stronger ac­cent colours for the front door. Get­ting it ex­actly right can be a bit daunt­ing, so seek ad­vice. Paintshops are often the right place to start — just take in a photo of your ex­te­rior.

3Fo­cus

on de­tails. Some­thing as unas­sum­ing as a new house num­ber or let­ter­box can make a huge dif­fer­ence. It’s the same with door knock­ers, han­dles, light­ing, door­mats, even coat hooks ... Re­mem­ber a front en­trance should re­flect a home’s in­te­rior so choose ac­ces­sories that re­flect your per­sonal style. 4Up­grade the path to the front door. If you can’t af­ford to re­place cracked paving, an en­thu­si­as­tic pres­sure-clean can make a world of dif­fer­ence. 5Pimp up your porch with flow­ers. Con­tainer plants, hang­ing bas­kets and even flower boxes are hugely ef­fec­tively at cre­at­ing a warm wel­come. They are also rel­a­tively cheap — but not if you for­get to main­tain them. 6Make

sure ev­ery­thing is spic and span. It sounds ele­men­tary but dirty win­dows and a gar­den gone to seed will muddy your house’s rep­u­ta­tion. Re­new your planter beds, pull the weeds, trim the hedges, un­clog the gut­ter­ing and freshen up those win­dows.

A front door is like jew­ellery for your house. A slick of paint in a flashier colour than the rest of the ex­te­rior will make that first im­pres­sion count. Door painted in Du­lux’s Ou­tra­geous Red, Glen Mur­ray (main walls) and Hilde­gaard (trim).

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