The calendar may say spring is a few weeks away, but the daffodils, songbirds, and pesky lawn weeds are ahead of schedule. These clusters of warmer days are the perfect opportunity to assess the condition of your home’s exterior and outdoor spaces and get a head-start on projects. Here are handy tips for sprucing up the outside and making a positive first impression.
Check Your Curb Appeal
First impressions are lasting impressions. Step back and take a critical look at your home and yard. If you were a home buyer, would you consider buying your house? While you may not be looking to sell, every home helps to sell the neighborhood by simply being neat, clean, and in good repair. Make a list of items needed to make your house – and your neighborhood – shine:
· Clean the front door and surrounding glass.
· Soft wash woodwork, siding or brick that has accumulated mildew and dirt.
· Clean screens and windows – replace as needed.
· Clear the lawn of leftover leaves and weeds.
· Refresh pine straw and mulch in flowerbeds.
· Clean flower pots and planters and prep for planting.
· Trim hedges and prune or replace trees/shrubs damaged by winter freeze.
· Sweep or power wash porches, walkways, patios, decks and driveways.
· Apply pre-emergent and fertilizer to promote a healthy lawn.
· Clean and, if needed, repaint the mailbox.
Inspect and Repair
Tackle routine repairs before the summer heat and summer fun persuade you to put them off. Milder days make work days more pleasant. If you plan to hire someone to make repairs, you’ll likely find them less busy now.
· Inspect roof for broken shingles.
· Replace exterior caulking.
· Clean gutters and downspouts.
· Replace loose or broken fence boards and hinges.
· Inspect decks and pergolas for rot and restain if necessary.
· Check outdoor lighting to ensure all fixture are working.
· Run the irrigation system to detect leaks or missing sprinkler heads.
· Survey the pool liner for tears and check equipment.
Fresh and Refreshed
Now is great time to consider larger-scale projects like repainting and repurposing spaces. A fresh coat of paint is a relatively inexpensive way to increase curb appeal. Just make sure you submit any NEW exterior paint color to your architectural review committee before you paint.
If a backyard pergola, fireplace, or swimming pool is on your wish list, get on a contractor’s schedule early before demand reaches a peak in late spring and early summer. Remember, all exterior modifications – even if they’re in your backyard – require architectural review committee approval. Your contractor should be able to provide you with all the necessary specifications and drawings needed. If you’re taking on a DIY project, most committees can work with a rough drawing and your measurements.
The architectural review process protects your property values by ensuring home remain faithful to the neighborhood’s architectural standards. Architectural review committees are usually willing to work with you, where possible, to accommodate your request.
Pick a sunny pre-spring day or two and get a jumpstart on spring cleaning outdoor style. When that first perfect lake day comes, you’ll be ready to play and return to a home with curb appeal so fresh you would buy it all over again.