boost your curb appeal by updating the exterior of your home

Resolve to Boost Your Curb Appeal

Every year, millions of people make New Year’s resolutions, only to break them before January is even over and it tends to boil down to the fact that too many people choose goals that were too vague to begin with and had even more vague outcomes, or they didn’t have their heart set on attaining it anyway. So this year, why not make a New Year’s resolution that will have a concrete outcome and have a lasting effect throughout the year, like improving your home’s curb appeal?

Paint and Lighting

Improving the curb appeal of your home does not have to turn into a complete overhaul of your front yard. Start closer to the house and work your way outwards to get yourself in the mood of updating things, like painting your front door a new color, or replacing the outdated door fixtures with something more modern. The benefit of Christmas and New Year’s being so close together is that if you end up in a hardware store for some Christmas shopping, you can head on over to the paint section and pick out a few chips that you think might look nice as the new focal point of your home. Have you been considering replacing the lighting on the front porch? Take a walk by the lighting section on your way to the check out. You can begin to make note of things that you know will make your home look brand new with minimal effort and time.

Gardening

Winter is a good time to trim your trees and shrubs, as it will help them grow more healthy leaves and branches when spring arrives. If you live in areas of the country with milder winters, this task can be done at nearly any time of the season. In areas where the winters are more severe, this is a task best done before winter truly sets in, or just as it’s beginning to ease off. Either way, come spring time, your healthy, fully blooming shrubs and trees will add a tremendous amount of curb appeal to your home.

Now that you’ve made it to your garden, don’t forget to mulch your gardens once the winter sets in. Whether you prefer flowers or shrubs in your gardens, they will mostly withdraw during the winter months, but putting mulch down before the soil begins to freeze will keep the roots of the plants warmer and will give you a much richer soil to work with in the spring. Winter is also a great time to repair or build any raised planters that you may have on your property, before any of your plants come back for the spring or to line any flower beds to help keep the weeds out. Doing these things when the plants are dormant makes the overall tasks far easier than they would be if you wait for spring.

There are many reasons to improve your home’s curb appeal: you want to sell your home, you have a home owner’s association monitoring your yard, or for personal enjoyment; you deserve to live in a beautiful home. Should you decide that you’d like to improve your curb appeal in the new year, and are unsure of where to begin, call Liberty Builders. We are always happy to help you with your home improvement projects.

winterizing your home exterior

Winterizing Your Home Exterior: A Checklist

In Texas, no one waits for the temperature to drop before breaking out their coats and scarves but as the cold weather starts to roll in, wrapping your house up for the winter is just as important as wrapping up yourself. Neglecting exterior home winter maintenance can lead to costly repairs, long waiting lists, and possible emergencies at the time of year when most can least afford them. So here is your checklist for making the outside of your home winter-proof so that you can enjoy winter the way it’s supposed to be enjoyed; inside, warm, and safe.

The Roof

Head up to your roof to inspect for any damage. Missing shingles and other damage should be immediately repaired in order to avoid possible leaks during winter storms. While you’re up there, you should go ahead and clean your gutters so that you can avoid icicles and ice dams throughout the season. Detritus built up in gutters can cause a back-up of water that will freeze and could ultimately damage your gutters or roof if not taken care of quickly. It’s best to just clear your gutters before it gets cold and stormy than to have to go out into the cold later and knock down dangerous ice dams afterwards. While you are focused on the top of your home, if there are any exposed pipes in the attic, insulate them to protect them from freezing.

The Windows and Doors

Give your house a once around and search all of the windows and doors for drafts. There’s nothing inherently wrong with cold weather, but you shouldn’t have to be cold inside your own house. Gaps between doors, windows and your walls will lead to that. Any gaps wider than a nickel should be filled with caulk, and any old window putty should be replaced as soon as possible to prevent any heat loss during those frigid winter nights.

The Exterior

Winterizing your pipes and outdoor spigots is essential to ensuring that you don’t end up with broken pipes and an expensive emergency call to a plumber. Any exposed water pipes outside should be insulated to protect them from freezing during cold nights, and the same should be done for any pipes in basements or attics. Meanwhile, outdoor spigots should be drained by shutting off the water valve in your home long enough for all of the water to be removed from the pipe, and the same should be done for all water hoses. If you have an underground irrigation system, which should be drained to avoid frozen pipes throughout the winter.

Additional Items

  • Have your chimney cleaned before its first winter use to prevent any unwanted fires. Experts recommend that you cover you’re A/C with something sturdy to protect it from damage from falling objects like tree limbs or ice dams.
  • Trim any tree limbs that look dead or have grown too close to your house. In the event of an ice or snow storm—they do occasionally happen in Texas—weaker tree limbs can become weighed down by snow or ice and fall, damaging whatever is in their path. Since it’s better for the overall health of the tree to remove these limbs anyway, removing them while you’re winterizing your homes’ exterior is a good idea, as it solves two potential issues before they ever have a chance to become a serious problem.

Even if you live in parts of the country with traditionally mild winters, performing winter exterior maintenance will only benefit your home in the end, and with this handy checklist, the maintenance will be faster and easier than ever. For more information on winterizing your home, or for expert advice on how to perform these tasks, contact Liberty Builders.