(ARA) -- With the housing market showing its first signs of improvement in years, many homeowners say they hope to attract interested buyers this spring. Replacing old or damaged exterior trim is a great way to freshen up your home today and make it stand out among others tomorrow.
After location and price, curb appeal is one of the top factors for choosing a home. Curb appeal sells 49 percent of all homes, according to National Association of Realtors. In fact, even before putting your home on the market, your realtor may recommend ways to make it look its very best from the street. The evaluation process starts as soon as buyers pull up.
"Exterior trim that is cracked, rotted, peeling or falling apart gives a bad first impression," said Bob Merrill, president and CEO for Chicago-based CMI, which makes MiraTEC Treated Exterior Composite Trim. "Homes with beautiful exterior trim have that wow factor that attracts buyers. Making a good first impression can be the difference between getting a signed contract and keeping the 'For Sale' sign in the yard."
Inspect your trim
Spring is an ideal time to inspect your home's exterior trim. Walk around your house and look at the trim around your windows and doors, at the corners, and near the roofline. Warning signs of potential problems include peeling or blistering paint, green algae, warped boards, and spongy or soft spots.
If the trim is damaged beyond repair, the only solution is replacement. Depending on your carpentry skills, replacing exterior trim can be a do-it-yourself project, but it is often best to hire a local contractor or remodeler.
Find the right trim
Although traditional wood trim often looks good when installed, it can split and swell, and is prone to knots and defects. Other materials, such as PVC and fiber cement trim, may be difficult to install and have performance limitations. Look for an option that best fits your needs and incorperates the best qualities of both trim options.
Before putting your house on the market, take a look at your exterior trim. If it doesn't look inviting at first glance, replacing it now could help make your home stand out on the block.