How to boost curb appeal

Remember: With houses as with people, a fresh, well-kept appearance draws the best kind of attention.

Clean up

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Stand at the curb and take a good look at your home, its strong and weak points.

A good first step is to pressure-wash your walkway and driveway and the house itself. Gutters should be cleared of debris and in good repair. Trash cans and other clutter should be moved out of sight.

Upgrade hardware

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Your door hardware, lighting, mailbox and street numbers are like jewelry for your house; to turn heads, upgrade them to more distinctive examples that fit its style. Well-scaled entry sconces or above-door pendants cast an inviting glow, as do illuminated street numbers. You can use different types of landscape lighting to brighten your entry path (a big plus) and highlight trees, beds and the house itself.

Landscape

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While overgrown trees and shrubs should be trimmed back, new landscaping is a prime way to add interest. It can range from plants in containers that harmonize with the house to new trees. Consider expanding your beds, perhaps giving them a curving border to contrast with the lines of the house. Good spots for new beds: front corners of the yard, along walks and driveways and around trees. Aim for a variety of size, color and texture in your plantings, with plenty of evergreens and perennials that you can supplement with annuals if you like.

Freshen paint

Even if you’re happy with the color and condition of your trim, consider highlighting the front door with a vivid new hue. Beefing up the door moldings can also make it more prominent.

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If your entry walk and driveway are plain old concrete, apply a concrete stain or tinted re-surfacer in a tone that complements the house and yard. Edging one or both with brick or pavers, either flush or raised, creates a more finished look. Remember: With houses as with people, a fresh, well-kept appearance draws the best kind of attention.

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