Home improvements can add value to your property.
When many homeowners think of home improvement projects, kitchens, bathrooms and other details may come to mind.
But what about the exterior of your home?
Exterior improvement projects can increase your home's value, boost its curb appeal and even impress your neighbors along the way.
1. Repair and restore masonry
If your home's masonry is showing signs of age, it may be time to call out an expert to repair or restore it to its original pristine glory. Concrete, stucco and brick masonry can often be restored without major disruption to household activities. These repair services can also protect against continuing water damage due to cracks or gaps.
For exterior stone walls, keeping them in good repair will ensure the beauty and elegance of your home's landscaping. Adding a fireplace, barbecue pit or a new brick or stone walking path will make outdoor living more enjoyable.
2. Replace or resurface the driveway
A well-maintained driveway can create an inviting and appealing first impression. Cracks, weeds and other damage can significantly diminish its appeal, so replacing or repairing your driveway can make a major difference in your home's curb appeal.
Replacing your existing driveway with a new concrete drive can create a fresh, updated look for your home. Stamped concrete is an affordable option that allows a wide range of custom looks. Cobblestone, slate, sandstone and river stone patterns are among the most popular, but most contractors can provide you with a complete selection of patterns, colors and styles to complement your exterior decor.
For asphalt driveways, resurfacing is essential in order to maintain its integrity and prevent further damage. If your driveway is already showing small cracks or signs of settling, it may be time to apply a new coat of asphalt sealer.
A well-kept lawn and carefully chosen accent plants can beautify your home and enhance its exterior charm. Professional landscaping and lawn care companies can help you pick flowers, plants and trees that will flourish in your specific climate and create landscaping plans based on your yard's configuration.
4. Chimney repair
This is one home improvement project you should leave to a chimney repair professional. Maintaining and repairing chimneys requires extensive experience in order to prevent fire hazards and other risks to your home and family's safety.
Over time, chimney liners can deteriorate and brickwork can become dislodged due to water damage and temperature changes. A properly installed chimney cap can prevent much of this damage, so ensure that your chimney repair includes inspection of this vital element. Cracked chimney caps should be replaced immediately to prevent further damage to your home.
Painting your house is one of the most affordable ways to give it a complete new look. Change the color, add a new accent trim or simply give your house a fresh coat. Another option is to paint your front door in an attention-grabbing bold color like red or green. You'll love the new look and the compliments you'll get from the neighbors.
Editor's note: This is an updated version of an article originally posted on July 24, 2012.
What projects do you think adds curb appeal? Share your opinion with us in the comments section below.