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HomeHomes
Published: Thursday, 4/12/2007

Enhance Your Home's Curb Appeal

The hottest trend in fashion the past few years has been the makeover. Magazines, beauty salons, and personal trainers tout this as the way to show off your true beauty. Well, if it works for you, why not your home?

Spring days are perfect for exterior painting. So if the look of your home doesn t make you think, What a nice place I d like to live here, it s probably time for a new coat of paint.

Like clothing, exterior home colors follow trends, though they generally last for years, rather than a season or two. Ten years ago, slate-blue was all the rage. Today, a palette of three to four colors makes passers-by say Wow.

If four colors on your home s exterior sounds excessive to you, consider that most homes bear at least two colors the predominant color for the base and another, usually darker, for trim like shutters and porch posts. When you add an in-between shade or two on separate areas like gutters, fascia and either window or porch trim, you add an extra degree of dimension and texture to your home s appearance. Now that s curb appeal.

Scott Pratt Sr., corporate manager for Erie Construction, says that, typically, the siding and soffits are one color, with fascia, gutters and shutters in another color. If a third color is used, it is usually for the trim around the windows.

Natural, low intensity colors are preferred, where one has to look at a home carefully to notice the subtle differences in color.

Mr. Pratt says, In vinyl siding, you re limited to six or seven colors. They re just starting to come out with more colors.

He says darker colors have a high chance of fading and aging.

That happens because of what siding is. The back bleeds through, so the color wears out.

Consider these examples:

For the primary color of your exterior walls, let s say you d like to stay with off-white, maybe an ivory or pale sand tone. Now imagine the shutters and gutters a deep brick red. Complement that with a light, sandy red on the fascia and window frames. Then, expand the palette on the porch steps or railings with a gold that has a red undertone. With these tasteful colors against a mostly neutral canvas of the sideboards of your house, your neighbors will be asking for the name of the design firm you hired.

If you re going to do the job yourself, make sure you go through all the necessary preparations. The surface must be clean and free of blemishes. Flaking or bubbled paint has to be removed. The surface has to be smooth, so wood filler may need to be applied, or rotted fascia boards replaced.

Remember, though, that you re going to add value to your home in the long run, and at the very least, make everyone on the block think that a family of artists lives there.



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