Your curb appeal — the appearance of your house and surrounding yard — has a lot to say about you. Good curb appeal says you care about your home and your neighborhood. Flub your curb appeal factor, though, and you’ll trash your property value and detract from nearby houses, too. Here are some classic curb appeal no-nos.
Sure, you’ve got flair and panache. But take it too far, and your house becomes the proverbial sore thumb of the neighborhood. Better to put your money toward regular maintenance and energy-efficient upgrades that provide a return on your investment.
Image: Ida Aalen/Flickr
Don’t Let Bad Curb Appeal Happen to YOU!Stash Your Trash
You don’t have to be a pro appraiser to know that a yard drowning in junk is a sure way to devalue your property. It’s also an invitation for stray critters to move right in. Have mercy on your neighbors by renting a dumpster and removing trash. A 20-yard dumpster is about $400-$500.
Don’t Let Bad Curb Appeal Happen to YOU!Choose Exterior Colors Wisely
OK, you’re an artistic individualist. We get it. But shock value is highly overrated when it comes to curb appeal. Your exterior color choices should be in harmony with other homes in your neighborhood. Scout around first before you paint or stain — your neighbors will thank you.
Don’t Let Bad Curb Appeal Happen to YOU!Hire a Landscape Designer
If you don’t know what you’re doing when it comes to making an attractive front yard, hire somebody who does. A modest investment in a pro landscape plan will pay off big-time when it comes time to sell your house. If you’re adverse to regular lawn maintenance, consider a condo or an apartment.
Image: Adam J. Copeland
Don’t Let Bad Curb Appeal Happen to YOU!A Place for Everything
You may be proud of your diligent recycling and trash maintenance routine, but that doesn’t mean it should be on display for the world to see. Keep trash bins off to the side, and build a low-cost privacy screen to hide them from view.
Don’t Let Bad Curb Appeal Happen to YOU!Chained to a Bad Fence Option
Chain-link fence is sturdy, reliable, and relatively inexpensive. It’s great for bordering back and side yards, but out front, it’s flat-out ugly. With so many great fencing options available at a fairly modest cost, you owe it to yourself to re-fence. (And while you’re at it, trim that grass!)
Don’t Let Bad Curb Appeal Happen to YOU!When High-Tech is Low-Cool
Technology has brought many wonderful things into our lives — but good-looking exteriors aren’t necessarily included. If you’re a techno-geek, keep your antennae and solar collectors hidden from view behind shrubbery or privacy screens. Or forget trying to communicate with extraterrestrials and just rent “Mars Attacks” on DVD.
Don’t Let Bad Curb Appeal Happen to YOU!Ease Up on the Lawn Ornaments
Front yards are great for well-trimmed shrubs and fetching flowers, but they really, really aren’t the place to display your fetish. Keep ornaments to a minimum; when it comes to good curb appeal, moderation is a virtue, and helps preserve the value of your property.
Don’t Let Bad Curb Appeal Happen to YOU!Don’t Stain Your Reputation
A little routine maintenance keeps little problems from being big eyesores. An annual cleaning would keep this brick siding looking fresh and sweet. Scrub stains out and seal with a top-quality primer before painting over exterior stains.