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Keeping the Exterior of Your Home Looking Good as New

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This blog was contributed by Jennifer Gervens. Jennifer is the author and owner of SweetTMakesThree.com.

First impressions are important, and the state of the outside of your house can give off a pretty powerful one. If you’ve ever come home and realized that your yard was overgrown, the house dirty, and the fence dented and falling apart, then these tips for keeping the exterior of your home looking like new are for you. Let’s bring back some curb appeal!

1. Maintain the exterior of your house: Your yard can look like a million bucks, but a dirty or unkept house will ruin the image. Make sure you regularly clean the windows (yes, the outside as well as the inside), and put shutters on if you don’t have them already. Keep up with any repainting if you have wood siding and repair and clean the siding as soon as it starts to get mildewed or dirty. If you live somewhere with a lot of storms, along a main road where the dirt from the cars constantly collects on your siding, or somewhere with a lot of humidity, then power washing might be a good idea for vinyl siding. Whether you call somebody in, or rent a machine to do it yourself, power washing is a great way to keep your house looking clean and new if you have vinyl siding.

If your house is painted, consider using an exterior paint product that features an added level of protection against the growth of mold and mildew.  Davis Frost exterior paints feature technology that will save you time and effort in keeping the exterior of your painted home looking beautiful.

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2. Don’t neglect the flowerbeds: Nothing says nice like neat, well-kept flowerbeds filled with healthy flowers and shrubs. Spend at least one day a week in your flowerbeds, planting, watering, and pulling out weeds. Line the gardens with bricks, or edge them to keep them looking neat and to stop the plants from growing into the yard, and fill them with mulch or chips to get rid of weeds and give an organized look.

If you don’t have enough time or space for a landscaped look, consider some container gardening instead.

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3. Maintain your fences: Whether your fences are old, peeling, and falling apart; or new, freshly painted and sturdy can be all the difference in making the exterior of your home look nice. If your fence really is as bad as the first description, then you might want to go ahead and tear it down, either leaving the space empty or building a new one in its place. But if it’s not quite an eyesore yet, then just stain and repaint it as needed. You can also power wash your fence every so often to remove the layer of aged wood, and then apply a polish to keep it looking new and shiny. Then keep up on the general things like nailing down loose boards, getting rid of rusty nails, and etc. to keep your fence in good condition.

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4. Take care of the lawn: The outside of a house automatically looks beautiful and new when the grass is thick, lush, and green. Water your lawn if the rain just isn’t doing a good enough job, and fertilize it often. Keep up with the mowing, (although sometimes in the summer you should let it grow longer to get rid of that brown, dead look), and don’t neglect one of the most hated chores of all time: pulling the weeds. As tedious and uncomfortable as this is, you’ll be grateful that you kept up with it when your lawn looks like a million bucks. And if you’re feeling extra ambitious, then edging the grass along the flower beds and driveway always makes your yard look nice and well taken care of.

5. Pave your driveway: One thing that most new houses have in common is a shiny, dark, newly paved driveway. If yours happens to be made of rocks, then paving it is practical as well as nice. If your driveway has already been paved but is full of cracks and weeds, then spray a bit of weed killer down and wait for that to do its job. Then you can either hire someone to come in and repave your driveway or buy some sealer and fill up the cracks yourself. Not only will this make your driveway look better, but will stop weeds from growing roots down underneath the cement and breaking it up later on.

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6. Fix up your porch: The main doorway of the house is a focal point and gets a lot of use, so you keep it looking nice by resisting the urge to leave shoes, sports equipment, etc. out there. Add a bench or porch swing, and flowers either hanging or in pots. Make sure that any railings are newly painted and in good shape, along with the door. If you have steps, then always keep these sturdy and reliable, for safety issues as well as looks.

An easy upgrade to your porch could include an update of the flooring.  Exterior stone and tile can spruce up a tired-looking porch and make the space easier to clean.  If you are considering this type of change, look for products that will make upkeep and maintenance a breeze.  Custom Building Products offers several grout products for tile and stone that resist the growth of mold and mildew, which can make your exterior spaces look dirty and worn.  You can also look for tile products from Florida Tile that have built-in protection against staining, keeping the products cleaner and beautiful for longer.

7. Keep the clutter down: While a tricycle on the lawn and chalk on the driveway can look cute and homey, it’s best to keep the toys, bikes, and sports equipment inside the house. That goes for shoes on the porch, garbage cans on the lawn, and anything else that tends to get put outside and left there. Spacious, bright, and open is always the way to go, so also make sure that none of the trees or bushes get out of hand and give the place a dark, gloomy, overgrown vibe.

Plus, if you have pets, make sure you are cleaning up after them in your front yard, as well as on walks around the neighborhood.  Consider the easy-to-use pooper scooper made by Flexrake.  It includes an added level of protection that makes it easier to clean and keeps it cleaner between cleanings.

This may all sound like a lot of work, but if you devote a few hours regularly, then it won’t become overwhelming. No matter if your home is five months old or fifty years, the exterior can always look beautiful and new with the proper care.

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