Sometimes, we get so caught up concentrating on the interior of our homes that we can forget about the outside.
Your house is your pride – it represents you. Therefore, it’s important to keep a flawless appearance by maintaining the exterior. There are lots of simple tweaks you can make to significantly improve the front of your home; including a lick of paint, a lawn mow and bush prune.
Here are our tips to improve the exterior of a house:
Improve the Exterior of a House by:
Updating the Front Door
One of the easiest ways to instantly improve the exterior of a house is to upgrade the front door. Since it’s the main focal point of the exterior, a simple update could work wonders for the overall impact.
While replacing is preferable, it isn’t always viable. A quick and simple repaint will have the same effect as a complete replacement. Be sure to choose the right colour!
Replacing the Driveway
If money is no option, a professional way to update the outside of your home is to install a driveway. Not only are they used for parking, but they make your house appear larger and wider. And…
Installing a driveway will increase your curb appeal, make the exterior seems more inviting, be safer to park your car overnight and decrease your car insurance.
Adding Spotlights and Outdoor Lighting
A straightforward update – adding spotlights front and back are a sure way to update the look of your home. Place a few around the porch area to highlight your newly painted door (and for functionality purposes).
If you’re not keen on undertaking too much DIY then solar outdoor lighting is a good alternative. This addition is simply a matter of purchasing and placing in your desired locations.
Updating the Windows
Adding shutters to the outside or blinds to the inside is a way of bringing character and improving the exterior of a house. Why? The shutters highlight the picturesque, family home, suburban dream, while blinds add privacy and a “lived in” character.
Bringing Out the Green
Taking care of the grass around your home is another sure-fire way to improve the look outside. This doesn’t necessarily mean your gardens have to be immaculately pruned landscaped but taking time to care for and maintain your front and back garden will work wonders.
Remember: the greener the grass the better.
Adding a Container Garden
Mini gardens using lots of plant pots is a quick fix to fill up empty unused space, without breaking the bank on a landscaper – or your back trying to find a green thumb from somewhere.
A container garden is an easy way to add colour and freshness to your outside space, no matter the size of it. Just make sure to flank either side of your door to get achieve that stock photo perfection!
Thinking about the Accessories
It’s time to think about the little things. We’re talking number signs, plant boxes, letterboxes and mats; replacing or repairing these kinds of accessories are another quick win to improve the exterior of a house.
Caring for your Paths
However, one element of your exterior that may require more maintenance is external flooring. Dust covers everything, constant gusts of wind carrying dirt and leaves will leave your exterior floors in need of TLC.
Thanks to this, deciding to have any form of decking, patio or path may seem daunting.
The Basic Tools for Maintaining Exterior Flooring:
A broom is a homeowner’s best friend for outside clean-ups and it has been so for thousands of years. The best thing about having a broom to hand is a quick sweep can take minutes and instantly transform your outside area – the perfect quick fix for impromptu use.
The second basic tool you’ll need is a hose. It will come in extremely handy if you plan to remove more persistent stains from your flooring, using harsh cleaning chemicals (that could end up staining your lawn) should be a last resort.
If you’re looking to kick things up a notch you could always try investing in a power-washer for more stubborn areas.
Lastly, pruners or shears (depending on the size of your overhanging foliage). Maintaining an attractive garden starts by ensuring the exterior flooring is clear and clean, but to improve the whole aesthetic you’ll need to tend to the surrounding elements too!
Looking After Different Types of Exterior Flooring:
Most patios, porches, and decking are made from wooden flooring, which is a wonderful, natural material. However, because of this, it is susceptible to the elements.
For instance, if you don’t protect the wood from direct exposure to the sun it could turn grey. Therefore, your wooden flooring would benefit from regular varnishing, which will prolong its vibrant appearance.
If you’re putting a coat of varnish on old wood, we suggest sanding the flooring first – this will create a nicer colour, stop dirt being sealed underneath and help your varnish stick thanks to the rougher surface. You should varnish on a yearly cycle.
You’ll find a lot of useful cleaning products are available to help maintain wooden flooring. Some products even come with an ultraviolet protectant that can slow the greying process of your wooden floor. Nevertheless, these chemicals can be harsh so ensure a diluted mixture and the use of just water where possible. Try and do this once a month.
Don’t forget: regular surface maintenance means a stronger protection from woodworm infestations.
Most exterior floors are made of concrete. Concrete is a durable material and very easy to maintain. So, if you don’t want to spend too much time on sweeping these floors, this would be your perfect choice. Tiles and other materials, on the other hand, are always a nice aesthetic choice that can perfectly match the style of your home, but again, only if maintained.
Your basic exterior flooring cleaning kit (a broom and hose) will do the trick 95% of the time. However, watch out for those more persistent stains, usually made by leaking car oil or petrol.
First, avoid cleaning chemicals that contain some acid because they can damage the concrete.
Your second option is to use some form of the powdered absorbent. Cat litter, baking soda or scouring powder work well. The trick is to be patient. Leave it on the stain for a day, remove it and then cover again until it’s absorbed completely.
You should also be mindful of cracks between tiles or in a concrete surface; this is where weeds will sprout. To this end, applying premium concrete sealers as soon as you notice the problem appearing is essential because it will prevent the dirt from settling into the cracks.
Many people opt for bricks as an outdoor flooring surface because they’re durable and add a rich, ornate texture. To maintain this properly, you’ll need to buy a masonry cleaner and scrub it with a bristle broom.
When it comes to bricks, make sure they don’t become damaged by plants. Use those gardening shears regularly and cut off any nuisance roots before they’re firmly planted between the bricks.
Stone is often used as flooring for patios because they can be crafted into stylised winding trails. Siliceous stone like granite, sandstone, and bluestone is more durable materials, while calcareous stone, which includes marble, travertine, and limestone is much more delicate.
However, there are many types of stone, and each will require their own individual style of treatment, so you should refer to the wholesaler for specific maintenance direction.
Avoid using any detergents or cleaners that are not specifically made to clean stone. You should aim at the ones which are pH-neutral and, again just like with bricks; you can use the cleaner and bristle broom to clean it up.
As the name suggests, this type of exterior flooring consists of composite materials. It’s usually combined with wood and thermoplastic; the material is also known as WPC (which is short for wood-plastic composites) and can even include recycled materials like grocery bags.
So, the question is, how do you keep it clean and maintain it?
It is where we come back to the trusty basic cleaning kit – a broom and a hose should do the trick here. Manufacturers of these floors usually don’t recommend painting or sealing of composite surfaces.
As for stains, this sort of flooring is known for mould issues, so sodium hypochlorite will be your best ally. Contact the manufacturer for full disclosure of the materials used, as this will help you decide on the cleaning material to us.
Endeavouring to improve the exterior of a house can feel like a chore, however, after breaking a sweat and finishing all your required activities, you can step back and enjoy your now beautiful surroundings in total satisfaction.