What does a quick glance at your home reveal about you? According to the Telegraph and Ideal Home, it takes just eight seconds for a potential purchaser to decide whether or not they like your house and a mere eight minutes to reach a decision about whether or not to make an offer.
So how do you create the sort of facade that makes a lasting impression for all the right reasons? Whether you’re looking for ways to improve your home’s long-term kerb appeal, or you’re getting ready to sell, here’s our handy checklist. Ten simple things to make your property stand proud!
1. Paint your front door
A smartly painted front door attracts positive attention, and detracts from blemishes elsewhere. To create a striking look, go for a bright colour in shiny gloss paint – perhaps a royal blue, cerise, or plum.
For a retro chic look try antique colours like dove grey, eggshell blue or sage. Or opt to stay strictly in keeping with period detail – Victorian homes, for example, suit jet black, deep red, and olive green front doors.
Not so great at DIY? Don’t skimp, employ a painter and decorator because nothing looks worse than a poorly finished paint job. Paint runs are a turn off you don’t need.
2. Change your door furniture
It’s easy to get so used to seeing your door furniture that you no longer notice the tarnished handle, battered mail slot, and paint flecked knocker. But visitors to your home will.
Swap your old door furniture for new fittings which reflect the age and style of your home. Brass looks great on Victorian and Georgian homes, but looks out of place on many newer houses. These usually look better with shiny chrome or subtle brushed steel. Always buy quality door furniture – cheap fittings stand out like a sore thumb.
Is your front door exposed to the elements? Installing a front door canopy is an easy way to tastefully accent the entrance while simultaneously providing a modicum of shelter from the rain. Ideal if you’re often caught out hunting for keys on the doorstep.
Make sure your front door is well lit, preferably with lights on either side to provide a sense of symmetry. A lantern is the best way to light a portico entrance. If your home doesn’t benefit from external lights, consider paying to have them installed by an electrician, or failing that, wall mounted solar lights are a good option.
Home accessed via a front garden? Visitors arriving in the evening need to be able to find their way to your front door without stumbling about in the dark. Properly working border lights are a must, especially during the winter.
4. Create a path
If your home fronts onto a driveway or parking area, there’s nothing much to draw the eye towards the house. No matter how well presented it may be, this makes your home look bland, utilitarian and dull.
Solve the problem by building a pathway leading to your front door – you don’t need to employ a builder to achieve it. Think creatively, using pots and planters to create a walkway or invest in easy to install edging and quick path solutions.
5. Planting for impact
Period homes clad with gorgeous wisteria or climbing roses make a gorgeous first impression, but tasteful planting makes any house easier on the eye.
Even a terraced house which fronts onto the road looks much better with a brightly planted window box or two, and a couple of planters either side of the front door. Think in terms of plants which smell nice as well as look good – lavender, heather, and jasmine are good picks.
6. Spruce up the facade
Peeling paint is an eyesore. If necessary, get the professionals in to give your home a lick with a brush. Muted colours tend to work best; if you want something bold, limit it to the front door or planting scheme to provide a welcome shot of personality.
Looking for an easy way to give your front elevation or garden fence a quick spruce? A paint sprayer saves time and elbow grease and is ideal for applying a steady, even coat, creating a professional finish without the expense of hiring workmen.
7. Hide the bins
It’s amazing how much difference a good tidy up can make. Remove clutter and make sure everything has a sensible place to be stored away.
Investing in a wheelie bin and recycling store is an effective way of hiding unsightly bins and making an unpleasant task less onerous! And if you lack a back garden or don’t have a garage, a lockable garden storage box is a worthwhile investment.
8. House names and numbers
Make your home easy to find. It costs little to buy attractive signs that clearly state your house name or number. Bright chrome numbers are popular right now, as are tasteful blue French numerals.
If your house boasts an attractive glass, or stained glass, fan over the front door, having the house number acid etched into the centre pane is a nice touch.
9. Clean your windows
Spend a few pounds on the services of a window cleaner and you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes. Sparkling windows make a house look clean, airy and well cared for.
While you’re at it, take the time to get your window frames properly cleaned and repaired if necessary. Rotten window frames and obvious signs of neglect let your home’s kerb appeal down.
10. Live the dream
Do you live in a country cottage? A well stocked wood store outside the door hints at cosy evenings in front of the woodburner. And if you’re selling your home, creating a vision that appeals to buyers is half the battle.
Even if your home’s not up for sale, there’s nothing quite like stepping up to a bright, tidy and welcoming front entrance to lift your spirits. Your home reflects the personalities of the people who live in it. Make sure yours is saying what you’d like it to say about you.
Lead image: mubus7