The new year is an ideal time to refresh your residence inside and out. Updating and modernizing your residence doesn’t have to mean going to great expense. Below are ten simple home improvements that increase curb appeal and showcase style.
1. Pressure Wash Your Home’s Exterior
Nothing brightens your home more quickly than pressure washing sidewalks, driveways, patios, decks, and exterior siding. In an afternoon, dirt and other build-up are erased from all surfaces, amplifying curb appeal instantly. Pressure washers are a handy and inexpensive tool to have around but can also be rented hourly. All you need is an outdoor water spigot and hose, and you are on your way to sparkling surfaces. (If the paint on your home is peeling or chipping, be aware that the high-pressure water will remove it. If this occurs, it can easily be touched up in small areas.)
2. Paint Your Entry Door
A fresh coat of paint, especially one in a bold color that creates a focal point, is a quick way to accentuate your home’s attractiveness. This relatively easy and inexpensive home improvement project creates an inviting entry and enhances curb appeal. Also, consider freshening up the door trim with a coordinating hue.
Depending on your home’s overall paint color, deep blues, greens, and wine tones add style, but other confident colors such as a rich orange are daring and produce an incredible “wow” factor. For DIYers, here are step-by-step instructions for painting your front door.
3. Replace Entry Door with Steel
If your front door is outdated, warped, or has seen better days, amp up curb appeal and security by installing a steel exterior door. Available in various styles, steel doors are durable, sleek, and offer increased safety. Immune from issues that plague wooden doors, such as warping and dry rot, they also heighten a home’s appearance. Choose a color that is welcoming and makes a visual statement.
4. Replace Door Hardware
Now that you’ve painted or installed a new entry door give it some added bling by installing updated hardware. Over time, door handles, locks, deadbolts, and kick plates lose their luster, becoming scuffed, scratched, and dull. Purchase new hardware that emphasizes your home’s aesthetic, be it modern, traditional, or contemporary. A locksmith can quickly rekey the replacement locks if desired. Changing your door’s hardware is also an excellent opportunity to add smart home features with an electronic keypad door lock. If the hardware on interior doors is also outdated, give them a facelift by installing new, stylish knobs.
5. Upgrade Your Garage
An old garage door, lack of storage, and a stained floor all detract from the beauty of your home. Updating the garage door to a modern style and hue that compliments your home’s primary color boosts curb appeal. Attractive, functional storage units and shelving provides organized storage solutions. Power washing and painting the concrete floor a light color with special acrylic paint are all ways to increase your home’s value and appearance.
6. Replace Outdated Cabinet Hardware
Just like doorknobs, the hardware on cabinets and drawers are one of the most heavily used items in a home. These high-touch surfaces receive a lot of wear and tear and, if out-of-date, can detract from your home’s charm. Replacing knobs and pulls is a quick and relatively inexpensive way to instantly refresh the look of a kitchen, bathroom, or pantry. Cabinet hardware is available in an incredible array of styles and finishes, from sleek and sophisticated to classic vintage. Be sure to choose knobs and pulls that are aesthetically pleasing, durable, and sturdy. Since both will be frequently used, steer clear of hardware that doesn’t have a pleasing and natural feel. It should be easy and comfortable to grasp and sturdy enough to open heavy drawers. If you choose new hardware with different proportions, installing a backplate is a simple solution to cover unused holes. Backplates also add dimension and emphasize the new knobs and pulls.
7. Replace Electrical and Light Faceplates
Plastic light switch and electrical outlet faceplate covers crack and yellow. Replacing the plates provides a clean, cohesive appearance. For those wanting to forego the plastic, faceplates are available in various materials, including metal, wood, crystal, and ceramic. Some are antimicrobial, and still others are eco-friendly. If the outlets and switches also need replacing, we suggest hiring a licensed electrician to safely complete the work. Replacing switches and outlets is an excellent opportunity to install smart switches that control your home’s lighting.
8. Replace Light Fixtures
Like hardware, light fixtures are the jewelry in a home. Be sure your style is reflected with updated statement lighting in every room. Ditch nondescript flush mount ceiling lights and boring chandeliers – elegant fixtures that compliment your home’s aesthetic are available in every price range and every style. Again, unless you possess electrical know-how, have a licensed electrician install the fixtures for you.
9. Upgrade Plumbing Fixtures
Faucets and showerheads are yet another simple way to increase your home’s style and function. Again, the array of styles and price points abound, making this improvement project something that fits within any budget. Many well-known manufacturers produce a line of fixtures specifically for big box stores, which have a lower price point but also offer slightly lesser quality. Since faucets are also highly used objects, choose a durable finish and handles that are sturdy. To maintain cohesiveness, choose a single finish and a similar style to use throughout your home. Add a statement faucet in the kitchen and consider one with motion sensing and other smart technology.
10. Install a Smart Thermostat
While we are on the subject of smart home technology, one of the best ways high-tech gadgets you can install is a smart thermostat, such as those from Nest, Honeywell, and Ecobee. These devices allow you to adjust your home’s temperature from anywhere. These energy-saving devices often have motion sensors or a geofencing radius that determine if you are home or away and adjust the temperature accordingly. For a list of the best smart thermostats, c|net has compiled a list here.