In most any neighborhood, the general rule is that good fences make good neighbors. The best neighbors make you never want to build a fence in the first place. Without spending a fortune, you can be the kind of neighbor everybody wants by upgrading your home’s exterior this summer.
Studies say that we make our first impression within one-tenth of a second after seeing something. These first impressions can be difficult to shake, which is why curb appeal is such a crucial part to home maintenance. While it may seem daunting to give the exterior of your home a proper facelift, there are a few things you can do relatively inexpensively that will make a HUGE difference.
Add a Seal Coat
Nobody likes looking at a cracked driveway. Whether there are weeds sneaking out through the cracks or not, nobody likes a driveway that looks like a concrete Frankenstein monster.
Applying a seal coat to your driveway every two to three years is one of the most effective ways to increase the curb appeal of your home. Cracks appear most often due to tree roots, soil erosion, or excessive moisture. Because of this, sporting a fresh black coat on your driveway gives your property the impression of being more sturdy.
Install Natural Flagstone Pavers
Cracks in your driveway are an eyesore, but natural cracks in flagstone walkways anywhere else on your property provide a rustic quality that accentuates the rest of your lawn. Essentially, natural flagstone is is sedimentary rock broken up into layers. It’s mainly used for landscaping purposes.
Natural flagstone has a non-slip surface and a high resistance to heat absorption. This makes it a very safe paver option for pool decking or walkways surrounded by sprinklers. Additionally, it’s impervious to extreme weather conditions. Installing natural flagstone is a 30+ year investment into the value of your home.
Asphalt or Steel Roof?
While we’re on the topic of long-term investments, one of the most important investments you can make is that of a quality roof. Anybody who has tried to sell an older home with an asphalt roof knows the nightmare of having a roof inspection. Any sort of leak or damage can set you back quite a bit.
Installing a stone-coated steel roof is on the more expensive side of exterior home improvements. That being said, it is likely the last maintenance your roof will require. Steel roofs are significantly more durable, weather-resistant, and energy-efficient than your typical asphalt roof. As you may be able to tell from those old cracks in your asphalt driveway, asphalt roofs need to be regularly inspected and patched up.
In contrast, a steel roof is essentially a metal shield around your home that will almost never need maintenance. It is lightweight at just 1.4 lbs per sq ft, and it has a Class A fire rating and a Class 4 hail impact resistance. When you’re upgrading your home, install a stone-coated steel roof. You’ll likely never have to worry about it again!
Gutters and Downspouts
As long as the ladder is out, don’t ruin your fancy new roof with gutters and downspouts that don’t match. Cheap white gutters tend to get dirty and can make an otherwise beautiful home look shoddy and unkempt.
Your gutters should accentuate the angles of your roof by matching either the color of the trim or the roof. This can be done inexpensively, and if you’re in an area with inclement weather, it should be done every few years.
While things like a koi pond will make your home the most popular house on the street for the neighborhood kids, there are much more practical ways to spruce up your home’s exterior over the summer. Good fences may make good neighbors, but by doing your part to make it a beautiful neighborhood, the good neighbors will move in before any fences are necessary.