How To Spruce Up The Exterior Of Your House

When I bought my house a few years ago, I knew that I had just taken on board a “long-term project”. It wasn’t a particularly big surprise to me, because I had an independent survey done on the house that was more detailed than the one undertaken by the mortgage company at the time.

Before I could even move in, I had to have the entire roof replaced with a brand new one. It had more holes in it than the pasta strainer in your kitchen, and the front of the house resembled something that might look more at home in the Amazon jungle than it would in a suburban garden.

The front of your house is arguably the most looked at part of the property. If it is unkempt, not only will it look like an eyesore in your street but it could also give the impression that you are out of town, making it easy pickings for any would-be burglar.

And at the back of the house, you will doubtless want to spend some time in the back garden during the summer months – but not if it looks like a building site or is full of hideous plants and weeds.

If you have decided that enough is enough, here are some practical and useful suggestions for upgrading the exterior of your home.

Front garden

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Photo Credit: Arriva436 (via Wikimedia Commons)

As I mentioned earlier in this blog post, the front garden of my house was a complete mess when I first bought it! If yours resembles the result of a long-forgotten home, there are a few things that you can do with it:

  • Landscaping – one of the most-popular things to do is sculpt your garden into something that is truly magnificent. There is a vast array of plants and flowers that you could grow in your front garden, and you could even have a nice decorative path leading to your front door from the road;
  • Block paving – some people prefer practicality over horticulture, and so the obvious choice is to have your front garden block paved (as per the photograph example above). Block paving is cheaper than tarmac, and in my opinion looks so much nicer. Just make sure that you choose a reputable building firm to do the job and that you can verify their past work.

Fencing vs. brick walls

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Photo Credit: pb3131 (via Flickr)

One element of your front and rear gardens that you will need to attend to is fencing. Some people prefer to use wooden fence panels, whereas others opt for brick walls.

Wooden fence panels are significantly cheaper to buy and install than brick walls, but you will have to maintain them by applying products such as Cuprinol. The good news is that you can choose from a variety of different colours to paint your fence panels with, whereas you don’t enough much choice when you have a brick wall built.

If you live in a street where groups of young children often congregate, you might find your brick wall being used as an impromptu bench, or a football goalpost! No-one ever tries to sit on wooden fence panels – well, not unless they are stupid.

In terms of durability, brick walls will last longer than fence panels. I would personally opt for wooden fence panels as they are easy to replace by anyone in the household, especially if you change your mind on the fencing design.

Bricks, on the other hand, require a builder to come and repair or replace any damaged sections.

Door canopies

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Photo Credit: ell-r-brown (via Flickr)

Most homes in the United Kingdom offer some shelter from the elements whilst householders are desperately rooting around their person for their keys before they can enter the property!

But if your home does not have such an essential feature, I would highly recommend that you buy one from a reputable source, such as LBS Builders Merchants, and have it fitted.

Not only will a door canopy make the front of your house look more attractive and provide a practical feature on your home, but it can also increase the value of your house too! There is an almost limitless amount of choice when it comes to door canopies; in fact, the only things that will limit you are your imagination and bank balance!

Repointing

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Photo Credit: sue_elias (via Flickr)

It might not sound like an exciting prospect in comparison to some of the other ideas listed on this blog post, but having the brickwork on your house repointed will give your home’s exterior a new lease of life.

Repointing refers to the process of scraping out any loose mortar between the bricks and applying fresh new mortar to it. The process won’t cause your house to come crashing down, in case you were wondering!

The job itself isn’t particularly difficult, but it is extremely time-consuming. Before you can start repointing the brickwork, you will need to construct some scaffolding first for health and safety reasons.

Most people get a builder to come over and do the work for them as they can rest easy knowing that the work will be done professionally and in a timely manner.

Decking

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Photo Credit: rmommaerts (via Flickr)

Decking is a popular choice for those that want to spruce up the front porch or rear garden areas of their homes.

Whilst many people would prefer to go down the DIY route and construct any decking themselves, I would advise people that have never done this before to either watch plenty of YouTube videos on the subject or just pay a professional to do it for them!

The installation of decking isn’t too difficult, but you do need to have a lot of tools at your disposal such as drills, saws, tape measures, hammers and so forth. By the time you have purchased all of the required tools, it might have been cheaper to employ a professional to do it all in the first place!

Mind you, it’s always fun having a go at something new yourself, so I can appreciate why many folks want to go down the DIY route.

Top Photo Credit: sebilden (via Flickr)

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