You probably spent countless hours planning the interior of your home. From furniture to flooring, you know what a huge impact each component can make on the look and functionality of your home. Sadly, when it comes to the outdoor space, many of us never achieve much beyond the basics. Faced with the cost and scale of an exterior update, it can be difficult to figure out how to get the most from a limited exterior renovation budget. Whether you’re looking to boost your home’s resell value or simply want your home to look more like the home of your dreams, here are the easy, economical ways to get started.
- Paving Stones
Many dream projects become perpetually postponed because they seem like they would require a larger amount of equipment, expertise, and expense. The important thing to realize is these projects don’t require pouring a foundation. While working with concrete can be very challenging, paving stones can be a quick and attractive way to enhance your home’s exterior. With a layer of gravel underneath, the natural stones like Indian paving stones provide a durable surface that still allows water to drain through. Not only do you avoid the difficulty of trying to pour and level concrete, the paving stones can be repositioned if you decide you want to rearrange your patio or planter areas in the future.
Design Ideas: Curb appeal is very important. If your home is missing a walkway from the street or from the driveway to your front door, add a path of paving stones. Pick a simple straight line of large stones or mix and match stones in a pattern for a more dramatic look.
Space in shady spots like under a tree or beside the house can be impossible locations for grass or flowers. Consider adding paving stones to create a patio for a small seating area, perfect for enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning.
Even the best flower beds may look unfinished or messy. Adding mulch can help but if your yard still lacks that finished look, try adding a line of path edging stones. It’s a simple step that can have a dramatic impact.
Shrubs and trees add tremendous appeal to the look of homes but they also become a liability. Too often trees have been planted too close to the home so, once they begin to mature, they begin to obstruct the view of the house, or even cause damage. Take a few moments to view your home from the street. Can you see your doorway or your view blocked by vegetation? Trim back, and, if necessary, remove plants that have begun to overwhelm your yard. Trim shrubs back so that they don’t block the windows or pathways. For some trees, the best option is to remove some of the lower tree limbs. This can open up the view of your yard and allow more sunlight to enter your windows without require intensive pruning to the upper portions of your trees.
Design Ideas: Pay attention to shapes. If your planters and shrubs are all trimmed flat along the top and side, your home’s exterior may end up looking boxy rather than appealing. Mix and match shapes while you are trimming and planting new additions to your home. Try to balance out box shaped shrubbery with some more vertical flowers or rounder shaped plants. This will add visual interest to your home.
Perhaps your home is overdue for new siding or exterior paint. These can be great additions to your home and make a dramatic difference, however, these can be quite costly. If your budget doesn’t allow a complete exterior redo, consider simply updating the trim. Often a tired, faded siding or paint can look refreshed once it is paired with updated accents. Consider painting the trim around your windows or other details like a front porch railing.
Design Ideas: Consider contrasting colours around the windows or on railings. If your windows are lacking curb appeal, try adding decorative shutters beside your windows. Painted in a contrasting colour, these can add considerable style to your home while emphasizing your windows to make them seem larger.