(ARA) - Celebrity designer Chayse Dacoda from the hit TLC home improvement series, "While You Were Out" has built her reputation on helping homeowners refresh worn-out spaces. Here are her suggestions for minor cosmetic changes that yield big impact on a home's exterior appearance on a not-so-extreme budget.
1. Paint your house! This may be an obvious one, so I have to get it out of the way first. Even so, not enough people do it. Most houses need it anyway. Go crazy, do what you have always wanted. Many tones of the same hue can really add dimension to the house. And remember, decorative moldings on older houses give license to use more than one color. Good prep work, like sanding off worn and chipping areas and priming, can make an exterior paint job last a lot longer and look better.
2. Change out-dated light fixtures -- or add lights if you don't have some already. Light up your doorways and walkways. Better to have more lights at lower wattages than one, very bright one.
3. Add landscaping. Consult your local nursery for plants and shrubs that work best in your area. If you're an urban dweller, don't let cement stop you -- add potted planters. The right landscaping around a property will make all the difference in the world.
4. Replace a worn-out garage door with a new, decorative model. This will have a big impact especially if you have a front-facing garage. Manufacturers offer many designs and decorative accessories so it's easy to find a door that will complement the architecture of your home.
5. Illuminate your landscape. This will completely change the look of your property at night. Angle low lights to point up at trees and bushes and point down along a pathway for safety. Keep it simple. Use solar lights that charge during the day and you won't have to run wires.
6. Resurface your driveway. Instead of a tarred or cement driveway, consider installing one with a woven stone and grass pattern. This can do wonders for curb appeal.
7. Add details such as shutters, decorative moldings and fun elements like weathervanes to the outside of your house. Make bland windows come alive and define the architecture of your house with mullions, moldings, decorative eaves, fixed shutters or iron scrollwork.
8. Add a stone walkway or path going to the house instead of grass or a wide berth of cement.
9. Replace a chain-link fence with a wood one. Be unpredictable. Instead of a picket fence, put in one that has slanted multiple-height wood slats -- like the kind found commonly in Carmel, Calif.
10. Plant a tree. Nothing will appreciate more in value than what this tree will look like 10 years from now. Courtesy of ARA Content