curb appeal

Home Improvement For National Curb Appeal Month

Your Seattle, Washington home inspection company, The Home Detective, is pleased to share with you projects you can do at home to celebrate National Curb Appeal Month.

Can the look and condition of your roof affect the resale value and curb appeal of your home? What about your window frames, entry door or shutters? The answer is absolutely.
During National Curb Appeal Month in August, building product companies are urging homeowners to focus on improving their home’s exterior. Investing in key products now can make your home more marketable in the future.      
Sixty-one percent of homeowners say that when house hunting or designing their home, the most attention-grabbing exterior feature was the style of the home, followed by how the house looked on the property (43 percent), according to the 2011 DaVinci Roofscapes’ Homeowners Exterior Preferences Study conducted by Harris Interactive.
And, when it comes to adding curb appeal to a home, color counts. Fifty-nine percent of homeowners place a lot of emphasis on the role that color plays when they think about replacing major exterior home features.
“To enhance curb appeal it’s all about creating top down color by working from the roof down through the different elements of the exterior such as siding, windows, trim and doors,” says Kate Smith, president of Sensational Color. “For example, a colonial style home with a warm Autumn Blend polymer shake roof could be ideally matched with a home exterior in a neutral stone color.
“Then, add pops of color for curb appeal, such as chocolate brown vinyl window frames, like those available from Simonton Windows. Shutters and trim around the home could use the same deep brown color. A stand-out color like pine green or marine blue would then be added to the entry door to add personality to the exterior.”
Smith, who has authored the free online FRESH Home Exterior Colors and FRESH Color Schemes for Your Home Exterior guides, spends a good deal of her time advising homeowners, remodelers and builders on selecting the perfect colors for the exterior of the home.
“It’s important to remember that it all starts on the roof,” says Smith. “When you’re working top down with unlimited color options from a company like DaVinci Roofscapes, a homeowner has an open palette for designing the perfect home exterior.”
Smith recommends that other key factors to enhance curb appeal can be found by selecting products for the home that are easily painted and maintained. “For me, it’s all about adding color to easy-care products,” says Smith. “That’s one reason why I like Fypon decorative millwork pieces so much. These smooth polyurethane pieces come primed and ready to paint. We’re talking about shutters, louvers, door and window trim, balustrade systems and even brackets and mouldings to increase the exterior appeal of a home.
“And, of course, nothing pops with color like the front door. I recommend homeowners consider stylish and paintable fiberglass entry doors from Therma-Tru. This company invented fiberglass doors and they offer many options for adding warmth, color and elegance to the home exterior.”
Replacing worn out exterior home features is a smart investment for homeowners. Many products added to the home have a high return-on-investment at the time of a home sale according to the 2014 Cost Versus Value Study conducted by Remodeling magazine. Adding energy-efficient vinyl windows as a mid-range project to a home can have a cost recoup value of 78.7 percent, while the addition of vinyl siding can have 78.2 percent recoup rate.
The same study reports that the replacement of an entry door with a fiberglass door can result in 70.8 percent of the cost recouped, while a new roof on the home has a 67.6 percent cost recoup. The study What Today’s Home Buyers Really Want from the National Association of Home Builders reports that the three most-wanted outdoor features consumers desire for their home exteriors are lighting, a patio and a front porch.
National Curb Appeal Month was launched by Fypon. The free comprehensive and colorful online guides created by Smith are available for downloading at www.sensationalcolor.com/colorforyourhome.

Reid Guthrie has owned and operated his Home Inspection Seattle company, The Home Detective, since January 1995. As a licensed home inspector, Reid covers Seattle and the surrounding area. If you or someone you know are looking for a thorough Seattle Home Inspector, look no further than The Home Detective ~ The More Thorough We Are, The More Defects We Find, The More Money You Save!

You can view last weeks post here.

How To Create Curb Appeal

Your Seattle, Washington home inspection company, The Home Detective, is pleased to share with you how to be the best on the block with curb appeal.
Spring is in the air, so it’s time to give your home an exterior makeover and add curb appeal. A few simple tricks can help boost your home’s profile, and ensure visitors get a good first impression when they arrive on your doorstep.
Make a statement with your front door
Your front door is one of the first things people notice about your home. Is your door drab, drafty or just plain past its prime? Make a bold statement and improve your home’s energy efficiency with a new Energy Star-qualified front door. Consider options with decorative glass accents and stunning sidelights to add more natural light while maintaining a sense of style and privacy.
“Pella entry doors feature stylish options in a variety of popular materials from wood to fiberglass and steel options, and the real beauty is in their performance,” says Kathy Krafka Harkema of Pella Windows and Doors. “When replacing your old front door, choose from one that accents your home’s style, with high-performance features that help keep out air and water, and low-maintenance convenience like durable prefinished options with coordinating trim.”
Accessorize with new hardware
Replace your front door hardware for a quick, easy facelift. Choose hardware finishes consistent with those of your home’s light fixtures, mailbox and house numbers to maintain a polished, cohesive look. You’ll be surprised what a difference new hardware on your front door can make in creating a positive look and feel.
Refresh exterior and trim colors
Now’s also time to add a new storm door to help keep out the elements, or to add a refreshing coat of paint on your existing exterior doors for a fresh look.
For a dramatic change, repaint your home’s exterior. You can also change trim color to refresh your home’s exterior impact. When updating trim, choose color schemes that match your home’s primary exterior color, or complement it with a fresh twist.
Accent with lighting
For night-time curb appeal and safety, add a row of exterior accent lighting to illuminate a walking path with ground-insert solar lights. Or consider solar spotlights to bring out landscaping or architectural focal points. Install new matching light fixtures outside your front door, garage door or patio door to create an inviting feel and provide well-lit doorways to greet you and visiting neighbors and guests.
Create points of interest with plants
Add pops of color by arranging potted plants around your front door, or on a porch or deck. Incorporate planters or container gardens of varied sizes, shapes and colors to add visual interest. Also, planting flowerbeds along driveways and walkways gives your home a softer, more inviting feel.
For more curb appeal inspiration, visit Pella Windows and Doors on Houzz, on Pinterest.com/pellawindows or to connect with a Pella representative to discuss your home improvement project visit Pella.com/News.
Reid Guthrie has owned and operated his Home Inspection Seattle company, The Home Detective, since January 1995. As a licensed home inspector, Reid covers Seattle and the surrounding area. If you or someone you know are looking for a thorough Seattle Home Inspector, look no further than The Home Detective ~ The More Thorough We Are, The More Defects We Find, The More Money You Save!

The Best-Kept Secret

For Your Home’s Exterior
Unique versatility, unrivaled durability, breathtaking beauty – all are qualities that have made cypress a longtime favorite building material in the coastal regions of the South. But the secret about cypress is out, and homeowners across the country are acknowledging its virtues for upgrading their homes’ curb appeal and outdoor living spaces.
“We are seeing more cypress being used in a wide range of exterior applications, from siding and decking to ceilings and even built-in furniture,” says Shepard Haggerty, president of the Southern Cypress Manufacturers Association, www.CypressInfo.org. “Clearly, homeowners continue to favor the look and feel of wood, and not only does cypress provide long-lasting performance, it has the versatility to be stained or painted to match the style of any home.”
Architects side with cypress.
As part of the renovation of his own home architect Kevin Owen Winston-Salem, N.C., chose to replace the existing siding that was in need of repair and a fresh coat of paint.
“My wife and I spent years updating our home’s interior, but we saw this as an opportunity to give the outside a different look,” he says. “We knew we wanted to use wood siding and ultimately chose cypress. It’s locally available, competitively priced, and we especially liked its durability and resistance to insects and decay, which are serious concerns for homes in our area.”
As Owen learned, cypress comes by its durability naturally, thanks to a preservative oil produced in cypress heartwood. “It doesn’t require pressure treating like some other species,” he says. “The cypress gave a warm and organic look to our home. We are very happy with the result.”
Architect Ann McKenzie Aiken used cypress siding for a custom home in Chattanooga, Tenn. that she designed several years ago. “This was my first experience working with cypress,” she says, “and the homeowners and I were thrilled with the finished project. I have to admit, I’ve been recommending cypress ever since because other materials just don’t seem like they are of the same quality.”
Cypress decking floors homeowners and builders.
Compared to alternatives, wood decking is cooler underfoot, can be sanded if scratched, and refinished if dulled by the sun. Those qualities are what attracted homeowners, Dan and Rose Jaeger to cypress when they added two decks to their house near Akron, Ohio, 12 years ago.
“We like the feel of wood and loved the look of cypress,” Dan says. “It also was competitive in price to treated woods, but without the concern over chemicals. We’ve refinished our decks every three years, and today, through weather, parties, and family fun, they’re still performing and looking great.”
Custom deck builder John Paulin, owner of Tailor Decks in Statham, Ga., agrees. “That’s why I like cypress decking,” he says. “It offers magazine-quality looks, provides durability that lasts, and is affordable.”
Cypress has outdoor living covered, too.
Paulin says he also recommends cypress for often-overlooked exterior ceilings. “A lot of people with porches put up some plywood, paint it, and forget about it,” he explains. “But ceilings add a visual impact to an open-air space. We build a lot of covered porches here in the Atlanta area and I’ve produced some of my best-looking work, thanks to cypress.”
What sets cypress apart, according to Paulin, is the versatility it brings to selecting a finish. “Because cypress is a naturally light-colored wood, it offers a range of options. It’ll take a light or dark stain better than most woods, it can be painted or whitewashed, or it can be left in its natural state.”
Yes, the secret about cypress is out. Add its versatility, durability and beauty to your next home improvement project. It’s what the experts choose.

Reid Guthrie has owned and operated his Home Inspection Seattle company, The Home Detective, since January 1995. As a licensed home inspector, Reid covers Seattle and the surrounding area. If you or someone you know are looking for a thorough Seattle Home Inspector, look no further than The Home Detective ~ The More Thorough We Are, The More Defects We Find, The More Money You Save!

Curb Appeal Tips To Transform Your Home

Sprucing up your home’s curb appeal brings new energy and life, not only to your property, but also to the entire neighborhood. It creates a welcoming and appealing environment, while also making it a better candidate for resale, if that’s in your near future.
Curb appeal improvements can range from giving your home a facelift with a new paint color to changing out the landscaping for a fresh look. Here are some curb appeal projects you can take on this summer to highlight the wonderful qualities of your home:
* Enticing lighting – Lantern-lit walkways, under-shrub lighting and even soft twinkle lights illuminating a front porch all provide a welcoming atmosphere that invites visitors to your front door. Lighting can also help increase safety outside a home, as it brightens dark corners of your yard and reduces tripping hazards along walkways. Evaluate your home from the street at night and look for ways you can improve the lighting.
* A fresh new color – Everyone loves the look of a new coat of paint and whether used on your front door, shutters, trim or siding, it can really impact the look and feel of your home’s exterior. “When homeowners are planning to paint the exterior of their home, they want to make sure to use the very best paint to achieve a beautiful color that lasts,” says Scott Richards, senior vice president of marketing for Behr Paints. “We harnessed the most advanced technology to create BEHR MARQUEE Exterior Paint & Primer, our top-of-the-line exterior paint designed to achieve a freshly painted look that lasts a long time. It not only repels dirt, which can make your paint finish look dull, but it also provides early rain resistance, so it repels rain showers as early as 60 minutes after application.” BEHR MARQUEE Exterior Paint & Primer is available exclusively at The Home Depot and comes in 64 unique new colors and can be tinted to any color in Behr’s existing palette of 2,000 hues or custom color-matched. Visit colorfullybehr.com to read about everything color – from contrasts to the latest coloring techniques.
* Green and growing beauty – For green thumb gardeners, incorporating beautiful flowerbeds in strategic areas like around the mailbox, next to the driveway, along the sidewalk to the front door and around the front of the home, is a great way to add beautiful curb appeal. Continue to rotate new flowers into the flowerbeds as the seasons change, allowing you to vary the accent colors in your yard frequently.
If you don’t have the time or interest in flower gardening, however, you can create more perennial landscaping beds using hardy plants that require little maintenance. Check with your local garden shop for information about low-maintenance perennial plants, trees and shrubs to incorporate into your landscaping.
With these changes, your home’s curb appeal will invite visitors – or potential buyers – to stop and admire your house from the street. Whether you decide to DIY or hire a professional, you’ll be able to enjoy the transformation for many years to come.
Reid Guthrie has owned and operated his Home Inspection Seattle company, The Home Detective, since January 1995. As a licensed home inspector, Reid covers Seattle and the surrounding area. If you or someone you know are looking for a thorough Seattle Home Inspector, look no further than The Home Detective ~ The More Thorough We Are, The More Defects We Find, The More Money You Save!