Most people think that when you are looking to increase the value in our home, you should focus on the interior of the home only. This is mainly because people live inside the house but to really increase the value of your home, you need to focus on the exterior as well. Curb appeal is one of the biggest value increasers to a property and curb appeal can make or break a sell.
Here are our top ten home exterior maintenance tasks that will increase value and curb appeal of your home. Most can be completed on a busy Saturday when you have your “to do” list in hand.
1. Trim back your vegetation:
Make sure that your plants and flowers are not harming your homes exterior by limiting their growth. All too often, our plants and flowers have free rein to grow wild and free. Unfortunately, this can cause great harm to your homes exterior as plants can rub and scratch the homes roof or walls leaving the finish susceptible to more damage from the elements. Trim your vegetation so that there is at least 10” between your home and the plants. Salt Lake City home owners have a lot to worry about when it comes to this kind of stuff because we have so many plants!
2. Clean your gutters:
Gutters often get clogged with leaves, seeds, needles, and other dirt and debris. If left in the gutters it will lead to problems such as: gutters overflowing, mold and rot, and even pest infestations. Water shedding from the roof is supposed to flow into your gutters and drain down the downspouts. If your gutters are clogged water will overflow and can lead to very expensive flooding. Taking 30 minutes to clean your gutters will keep them flowing freely and give you peace of mind. Even though you live in Utah County and we have a little bit of a drought, you will want clean gutters.
3. Inspect your chimney:
We get dozens of calls a year for leaking roofs and upon inspection, it’s the chimney. Over time, metal rain caps rust, sealants break down, and mortar deteriorates. These issues result in costly leaks that have nothing to do with the roofing system. A simple inspection will determine if these issues are a potential problem area and could save you some considerable cash.
4. Inspect and clean your exterior doors:
Your front door should be inspected for damage to the door, weather stripping, and hardware components. Look for cracks in the glass or frame, moisture between the panels of glass, cracks or splits in the weather stripping or damage to the frame itself. Clean your front door with non-abrasive cleaners and wipe it down. A clean and tidy front door is welcoming to all who enter.
5. Clean your exterior windows:
Clean windows make your home look fresh and also protect the lifespan of the window itself. Exterior home renovations are always a good place to start. Over time, harsh elements such as dirt and water can damage the window surface. Pollution, minerals, rust, and other elements can cling to the window surface and buildup causing damage to the frame and glass. Dirt can etch the glass and dull the view. A water/vinegar solution will remove hard water stains and will make your windows sparkle.
6. Inspect the exterior walls:
Look for cracks, mildew, or rotting siding. Look for peeling paint. Make sure that exterior vents, covers, and dampers are in good shape and have space to breath. Make sure these items also have internal screens to keep out unwanted pests and animals. Repair any found items as soon as possible to avoid bigger problems down the road.
7. Remove debris and clutter:
Pick up fallen branches, rake leaves and actually dispose of them either by mulching or taking to the landfill. Check and drain stagnant water pools to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds. Clean up and dispose of old junk or wood piles. By removing the clutter and debris you open up the feel of the yard and make it more inviting to potential guests or buyers.
8. Rent a pressure washer:
A pressure washer is a great way to clean your deck, concrete, siding, fencing, and other areas that need a good scrubbing. A mild soap solution will also assist in removing grease and other stains that have accumulated from years of continual use and extend the life of your home.
A quick YouTube video or trip to your local hardware store can assist you in finding the right sealant for the job. Complete a visual inspection of your windows, doors, and other areas where you can lose heat/cold, or that can allow water into the house. If areas are found that need attention, seal them up with the proper product for that application. This could save you a lot of money in energy costs that is literally flying out the window.
10. Check the supports on stairs, railings, decks, and porches:
The supports to these areas of the home are critical in the functionality and safety of those who use these areas. If you find a loose area, secure it with the proper repair technique. Usually all it takes is the tightening of a few screws to complete the project. If more extensive damage is found, you may want to consult a professional.
At CK Builders we know that your house is not only an extension of your personality, but also your safe haven. By completing these top ten maintenance musts, you will extend the life of your home, increase its value, and give yourself peace of mind that your home is secure and functioning at its optimal level.