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  • Writer's pictureDonna Baker

IT WASN’T ON THE TO-DO LIST: Embracing Spur of the Moment Projects

Updated: Aug 20, 2019

In early spring, when the weather was still cold outside, I looked out the window and saw a small patch of dead grass…and ended up with a brick paver patio. The “…” in that sentence seems minor but it involved some brief ideation, assurances that “we can do this ourselves” and ultimately a WHOLE LOT of work.

A well landscaped home can have significant advantage in both a sale situation and personal enjoyment. While summer is in full force you still have time to complete some projects. Perhaps the place to begin is asking yourself these questions:

1. What projects would look best with my home style? Following are style descriptions and some elemental ideas as described by Realtor Magazine:

Classic (including Georgian, Federal and Victorian styles): Earmarked by a strong symmetry and design elements that remain timeless, Classic style homes have impressive curb appeal because of their well-balanced front elevations. Exteriors are highlighted by columns, shutters, door surrounds and crossheads. Adding curb appeal: Classic rails and newel posts with trim collars, rail blocks, and baluster panels can enhance these house exteriors.

Arts & Crafts: Popularly referred to as Arts & Crafts, Mission, or Prairie style homes, these simplistic house designs feature both woodgrain and smooth textures on the exterior. Adding curb appeal: solid woodgrain closed-ended beam with a rafter end and a woodgrain bracket enhance the porch, which is commonly included on these home styles. A square top and bottom rail combined with a rail support block can help create a porch system when matched with square balusters. Dentil blocks, a timber trellis and fishscale panels also can help curb appeal on an Arts & Crafts exterior.

Mediterranean: Often associated with the 1920s and 1930s, Mediterranean style homes can be found in Spanish, Greek, and Italianate home designs. Known for having stucco walls and low-pitched roofs, Mediterranean style homes feature layouts inspired by lush gardens, courtyards, pools, and fountains. Adding curb appeal: Tile vents, corbels for under the roofline, woodgrain plank shutters, columns, and decorative accents for doorways.

Country/Cottage: Including Farmhouse and Cape Cod styles, these simplistic homes --- often with sprawling porches --- offer comfort and efficiency. Adding curb appeal: For farmhouse style homes with simple trim details, try louvered shutters, porch posts, louvers, and symmetrical brackets. Flat trim, crossheads and plain porch posts complete the farmhouse style. For a Cape Cod style home, try newel posts in straight and corner panel styles that can be coupled with a classic square baluster system. This straight-forward home design looks best when enhanced with crossheads over first-floor windows and dormer kits used to trim out second floor dormer windows.

Today's Traditional: Rooted in historical styles, Today's Traditional homes mix style with practicality, and Old-World touches with updated charm. Asymmetric entry doors and windows can be topped with crossheads to add instant curb appeal. Straight columns with minimal details at the base and cap flank the entryway, while small porches featuring square balustrade systems allow a place to relax. Adding curb appeal: Raised panel shutters and eyebrow louvers enhance the exterior of Today's Traditional homes that often sport window boxes of colorful flowers to complete the home's overall curb appeal.

2. What would I gain the most enjoyment from?

Landscaping improvement projects can run the cost and labor gamut and should be carefully considered from a return on investment of money and enjoyment as well as how it fits your particular home style. Some ideas include:

· Deck

· Patio

· Fencing

· Driveway

· Retaining walls

· Pool

· Fresh mulch in beds

· Fresh rock in beds

· Trees

· Shrubs/Flowers/Plant beds

3. What is my budget?

Project costs will vary based on materials, labor, and skill level required. It is best to make a Pros and Cons list of any difficult or expensive project.

4. What flowers/plants will do best in this environment?

Sun, shade, soil type and drainage should always be considered when selecting plants. Your local landscape supplier will be able to provide advice on these issues.

When contemplating expensive landscaping improvements, if you are concerned about whether it will add value to your home feel free to contact Donna or Delores, The DREAM Team of RE/MAX Preferred at for a professional opinion on home value.

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