How to Improve the Kerb Appeal of your Home
Do you swell with pride when you drive up to your home or does the sight of it fill you with dread? Whilst many of us love our house interiors and have decorated them to our specific tastes, the same cannot always be said for the exterior of our homes and their kerb appeal. However, a not so attractive exterior is easily fixed and Building Tectonics has helped many homeowners in and around Milton Keynes to improve the exterior of their properties. We can help you learn to love the outside of your house as much as the inside whatever issues you may have.
With a recent HomeOwners Alliance study by YouGov finding 68% of homeowners felt that kerb appeal was important in their choice of home, it can often make the difference between buyers purchasing one house or another. The study found that the most important features for kerb appeal were windows and a roof that were both in good condition followed by a well-maintained front garden, pathways, fences and house frontage. Other features identified included clean gutters, concealed wheelie bins and a brightly-lit exterior.
However, whilst many of these features are fairly easy to change, many home owners don’t realise that there is so much more you can do to improve your home’s overall look and help you to start loving and not loathing your house exterior. With more and more people now staying put in their homes due to the cost of moving; it definitely pays to improve not move and in the majority of cases it will also add value to your home.
It is often the case that a homeowner will say that they didn’t buy their house for its exterior as it is dated or unattractive; but they tried to see past it to see the great potential inside. Whereas others are put off by an ugly exterior and would not even consider a house that wasn’t attractive on the outside. The good news is that there is plenty you can do to improve the kerb appeal of your home whilst keeping the benefits of the interior space.
This is often the case when it comes to older properties; and we are not talking your Victorian or Edwardian properties but more your 1950’s – 1980’s properties. Whilst this age of house benefit from larger rooms and have great potential to extend due to decent size gardens (unlike newer builds); they often don’t look the best from the front and can date very quickly.
Building Tectonics has helped many clients transform the exterior of their homes from smaller jobs like adding a welcoming porch; through to adding wood cladding and transforming bungalows into houses. It is very important though that any house facelift is carried out carefully and sympathetically in line with the existing house and its age; as inappropriate exterior finishes or out of place features can also ruin an older house.
Repainting or cladding your home exterior
There are a number of ways to change the look of your home from basic cosmetic changes like repainting it or adding cladding; through to changing the roof structure and replacing windows which can make a big architectural difference to the look of your home.
If your home has 1970s or 1980s stone cladding, pebbledash, mismatching bricks or a mixture of different external materials, you can remove or cover them with a different material to create a completely new look. The cheapest option is to simply paint the exterior of the house using masonry paint in a neutral shade such as white, to help unify the different materials.
Rendering and repainting can be a better option if the original brickwork has been damaged or alternatively if you want to give your home a brand new, contemporary appearance, cladding the exterior will make a dramatic difference.
Our clients in Milton Keynes engaged Building Tectonics to give their home a makeover to improve the outside appearance of their cottage. Having done the inside under a previous Building Tectonics scheme, they had a superb house but it was lacking in kerb appeal. The house also lacked an entrance hall space near the front door, big enough to accommodate shoes and coats. They were delighted with the finished result which gave them “Convenience, light, saleability, beauty all in one hit”.
Replacing your Roof or adding an Extension
Subject to planning permission, it may be possible to add a second storey to a bungalow, transforming it into a house, or to replace a flat roof to improve the exterior look of your property. Many smaller extensions can be added under permitted development rights (PDRs), without applying for planning permission, especially those at the back and sides of a property.
This was the case for our clients in Luton who wanted to enlarge their bungalow to create space for their growing family. They wanted a house that was on two levels, with at least three bedrooms, a family bathroom upstairs and a large kitchen family room downstairs with a study and separate lounge to give the full range of rooms required in a family home.
Sometimes a house just needs an overall makeover inside and outside to bring it up-to-date and to improve its overall efficiency. Our clients who owned this family home in Milton Keynes wanted to completely refurbish it to give them the space they wanted and to also create a brand new, fresher look externally. The ground floor was extended to provide more space and wrap the old 1970’s exterior with much better insulated, modern cavity walls. Cedar cladding was added upstairs not only to give the house a new appearance but to camouflage the new insulation applied to the exterior. A new sprocket roof with new roof tiles was also added. The triple glazing and whole house ventilation with heat recovery has also helped to reduce the energy costs to a much lower amount than the smaller, older house. The latest valuation has suggested that the cost of the refurbishment would be recovered if the house was sold.
For many home owners whether you are looking to potentially sell your home in the future or looking to stay long-term, kerb appeal is very important as to how you feel about your home. However, as we have shown there are many solutions out there from simple options like repainting, rendering and cladding through to refurbishment or remodelling of your property. Whichever route you decide to take it is always advisable to contact a professional to let you know what is and isn’t feasible before you start any work and be sure you get a few quotes before starting work. If Building Tectonics can help you with any ideas of what could work for you and your property; please do not hesitate to contact us on 01908 366000.