Exterior decorating - increase your home's kerb appeal

Selling a home has rarely been easy but now more than usual, attracting buyers is a tough task. If you are hoping to make a property move, giving your house kerb appeal is essential - first impressions really count where buyers are concerned so it's time to tidy up that exterior.

exterior decorating

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Exterior decorating
Just as a lick of paint can work wonders inside your home, so too will a fresh look for your exterior. Doing the exterior decorating yourself could save you a pretty penny but there are a number of items you will need to make the best of the job.

Scaffolding can be expensive but it is possible to hire mobile towers and ladders from tool hire shops. If you opt for a ladder, however, don't take unnecessary safety risks - always have someone there to foot the ladder if possible, or secure it top and bottom if not.

You will also need exterior paint (estimate the amount required by multiplying the height and width of each surface wall to establish the area) and it is always better to buy a little more than you need. That way you won't be caught short and you will have some left over in case any last-minute touch-ups are necessary.

A fungicidal wash will remove and prevent mould on your masonry work, primer, undercoat and gloss paint are required for woodwork such as windows and doors, and filler, wood filler, sandpaper and exterior-suitable rollers and brushes should all be on hand before you start the job.

Proper preparation is the key to a professional-looking paint job, so take your time filling cracks and rubbing them down for a smooth surface, both on exterior woodwork and masonry.

And pay particular attention to the weather forecast before you start painting - rain or even fog can have a disastrous effect on your paintwork so try to time it right. A handy tip when it comes to windows is to paint them early in the morning so that you can leave them open for the remainder of the day, giving them the best chance of drying before they are closed again.

Guttering and downpipes, both metal and plastic, can also be painted with exterior paint, either to match the colour of the walls or black to give them a new-looking finish.

Outdoor planting
With your house looking shipshape, it's time to turn your attention to the rest of the exterior.

Try to look at your house through a buyer's eyes - stand a little longer when you return from work and take a walk around the property keeping your eyes peeled for untidy areas.

Even if you can't afford to landscape your front garden, keep it weed free and mown, with any hedges neatly trimmed. Tidy up beds and plant some new flowers to add a bright, fresh look, or add hanging baskets (which can often be bought ready-made from garden centres) or window boxes. Also consider buying new door furniture, including the name or number of the house, as this will create a good impression.

If you are likely to have viewers in the evening, outdoor lighting will add curb appeal and make your home seem welcoming. And last but not least... clean your windows!

What's the biggest outdoor turn-off for housebuyers? Leave your comments below...