It takes potential buyers and renters no more than eight seconds to decide whether or not they like a house. Whether you’re selling or not, a tidy entrance, neat drive and rubbish-free front garden all help to make a good and welcoming first impression.
A poll conducted by MyGlazing found that 65% of potential buyers consider an attractive exterior important when choosing a home, with 44% saying an unattractive exterior would put them off even if the inside of the house appealed.
The unappealing features found to put people off included chipped paint, damaged windows or doors and damaged windowsills.
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Give your front door a makeover
More than one third of participants in the MyGlazing poll said liking the colour and style of the front door is essential when buying or viewing.
A new coat of paint will work wonders for your street cred. Strip off blistered and cracked old paint – a hot air paint burner can be more effective and less work than a sander – fill any cracks, prime, undercoat and then paint with a specialised outdoor finish.
A strong colour on the front door makes a real statement: current favourites include matt finishes in dark grey, acid yellow, darkest aubergine and sage green, but according to a study using Zoopla data blue is the colour most associated with higher house prices, shortly followed by white, and the could found to bring the price down was brown.
Replace tatty door furniture. Many hardware stores have a good range but don’t feel you have to keep in tune with the period of your property. Modern, brushed steel knobs and knockers look sleek paired with deep, rich door colours, for instance.
Read our guide to choosing the right paint for the job
Tidy up the façade of the house
Spruce up a tired façade by repainting, re-pointing, or rendering over ugly brickwork.
Paint colours should be in keeping with the period of the house, and also with other houses on your street.
If you live in a conservation area, you’ll be bound by certain rules on colour, so do inquire what shades you’re allowed before splashing out on paint – your local council can usually advise.
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Add some outdoor lighting
Front doors need light, both to keep you safe and so you can see where you’re putting your key. Security lights that come on as you approach (those with an infra-red detector, or PIR) are made in a variety of styles.
Place lanterns symmetrically either side of the front door, or hang just one statement light fitting in a porch.
Lights concealed in trees or up paths will help brighten a path or drive. Solar lights hidden in ‘rocks’ are unobtrusive yet effective.
Read our guide to buying outdoor security lights
Work your windows
Dirty windows scream ‘uncared for’, so get yours cleaned regularly.
Rotten window frames should be replaced in a design that suits the rest of the house.
Paint frames in a colour that complements the brick or stonework of the rest of the house – they don’t have to be white and can be matched with the front door for a streamlined appearance.
Continue the ‘tied together’ effect by matching the curtain linings and blinds that are visible from the front of the house.
Add a window box for instant, pick-me-up colour.
Spruce up the drive and front garden
Remove rubbish, sweep up leaves, prune trees and hedges and weed borders.
Add tubs of colourful seasonal flowers or elegant topiary either side of the front door or spaced along the driveway.
Touch up paths and driveways by cementing down loose tiles and slabs. Weed between slabs.
Hide bins and recycling boxes neatly behind screens.
Pile logs neatly in a purpose-built log store with a cover, so they don’t get wet.
Make sure your house number is clear. From number stickers on a fanlight to a plaque on the wall or garden gate, your house number should be visible from the road.
Make sure fences and walls are in a good state of repair.
Read our guide to doing up your garden to improve your chances of selling
On the pavement outside
If you feel like you're losing kerb appeal because the pavement outside your house is damaged it might be worth contacting the council. Councils have strict obligations to maintain pavements and, if the damage is causing a danger to the public, they are obliged to repair it.
Cosmetic issues such as weeds growing on the pavements are the responsibility of the landowner (usually the council) who will usually spray them with weedkillers or, in some cases, hot water, a couple of times a year. If you are finding maintenance unsatisfactory contact your local council with your concerns.
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