Improve your home’s kerb appeal
If you want to improve people’s first impression of your home, giving the front a makeover is a must, whether you’re selling or staying put
This time of year is ideal for brightening up your front garden with window boxes, hanging baskets and tubs planted with colourful bedding plants.
If you have leftover decking boards, you could make troughs and planters out of them.
A front garden can add considerable value to your home if it’s made into off-street parking, especially in expensive urban areas.
Planning permission is sometimes required for this (and to have a dropped kerb) and there may be planning restrictions on things like its size and the materials used – gravel or permeable paving, for example (see planningportal. co.uk/info/200130/commonprojects/45/paving-your-frontgarden ).
“Permeable paving is becoming more popular, but traditional products are still commonly used due to cost,” says Martyn Fowkes from builder’s merchant Travis Perkins.
“Managing water drainage is a necessity and using permeable block paving helps, while alternative products that incorporate additional linear drainage and soakaways are very popular.”
Tatty woodwork at the front of your home looks awful, so spruce up wooden windows and doors with exterior wood filler and paint – Ronseal High Performance Wood Filler is excellent, especially for rotten wood.
You can also, of course, paint metal windows and even UPVC ones. Changing the windows can make a massive difference to the frontage, but it’s not cheap. And be careful not to decrease the value of your home – replacing original wooden sash windows with casement UPVC windows will devalue a property in some areas, for example.
One of the easiest ways to update the look of your front door is to change the door furniture – chrome or brushed stainless steel is more fashionable than brass and gives a smart, contemporary look suited to both period and modern doors.
Get metal door numbers to match, or consider frostedfilm numbers if you have a glazed or partially-glazed door or porch. They can be fiddly to fit, but look great.
Painting the front door a different colour can also make a big difference.
Ideally, the colour should go with the building’s brickwork, paintwork or other exterior finish, and suit its age and style of architecture. While some classic colours are always popular for front doors, including red, black and dark blue, there are more fashionable ones – greys and duck-egg blues and greens have become popular in recent years.
If there’s a colour you like but you can’t find it in an exterior wood paint, try the Valspar paint-mixing desk at your local B&Q. There are about 2,000 Valspar colours to choose from, or you can have an item you love scanned in store and a paint created to match (see valsparpaint.co.uk).