(BPT) - First impressions happen at the curb. A good first impression raises the value of your home and pride in home ownership. If you are considering listing your home, it's important that its curb appeal entices potential buyers to come inside and see more. A few improvements to the home's exterior will go a long way in making it more inviting and desirable to buyers on the market. It's also a great investment. Curb appeal can increase the value of a home as much as 5 percent, according to Realtor.com.
Even if you're not planning on selling your home anytime soon, simple outdoor improvements can make a dramatic difference. Consider the following tips to add curb appeal to your home without emptying your bank account.
* Create a clean slate - Dirt, grime, mildew and more collects on siding, fences, decks and sidewalks, and if it's not removed periodically it can permanently damage your home and decrease its value. A quick wash will return your home to its original color and provide your driveway and pathways with a fresh, new look. Pressure washers such as the Powerhorse pressure washers from Northern Tool + Equipment will make the task of removing buildup easier.
* Build or install a new structural element - For a bigger transformation, consider building a deck, porch or walkway, or installing a decorative fence. All of these elements can make your yard more welcoming and create spaces outdoors. Before building, be sure to check local building codes, especially if you live in an association.
* Install outdoor lighting - Show off all the work you've done in your yard and enhance your home's appeal with outdoor lighting. Lights such as NPower barn lights from Kotula's can be used to highlight different architectural and landscaping features such as your front door, steps or bushes. You can also use lights to illuminate a walkway, driveway or front entryway to make your home more inviting and safe.
* Keep your lawn and gardens well maintained - A well-kept yard not only adds instant curb appeal but also dramatically changes the overall look of your home. During the growing season, it's important to nourish and trim your trees, shrubs and lawn for optimal growth. Creating a garden can also create a colorful appeal and set your home apart. Gardening tools such as a mini cultivator make it easy to control weeds, work with fertilizer and mix soil to keep your garden looking its best.
Investing in all of these outdoor improvements will catch the eye of both envious neighbors and potential homebuyers.