Pleasanton Weekly

Real Estate - October 15, 2010

Add value and appeal with four simple home maintenance projects

Nothing is more important than the first impression

Regardless of whether you're staying or thinking of selling, you want your home to look its best and be an asset to the neighborhood. Attractive homes accrue in value and help build strong, thriving communities. Plus, you'll enjoy living in your house more if you're happy to come home to it every night.

Projects to improve the value and appeal of your home don't have to cost a lot of money or take a lot of time to accomplish, according to Lou Manfredini, Ace Hardware's home expert. "There are four easy and inexpensive projects that I recommend every homeowner undertake."

Update your curb appeal

Curb appeal is, quite simply, what everyone sees first when their car pulls up to your house. "Your mother's advice holds true here -- nothing is more important than a good first impression," says Manfredini. "Strong curb appeal will help set a positive tone for the rest of the house."

Walk out to your sidewalk and take a look at the front of your house, checking for anything that needs to be cared for. A good first step is to update your exterior hardware, including house numbers, which often become dirty and dated over time.

Create a luscious lawn

Green, lush lawns always receive a lot of attention. Help your lawn reach its full potential by providing it with the proper fertilizer and grass seed. Manfredini recommends making sure that your lawn receives between 1 and 1-1/2 inches of water per week, including rainfall.

Groom your garden

Nothing compliments a great lawn more than a well-manicured garden. After the cold winter months, gardens and flowerbeds can be left looking unruly. Everyone wants outdoor spaces where they can enjoy spending time, so it's important that you tidy up these areas.

An easy way to do this is by spreading new mulch. Traditional mulch is a great option, but if you are looking for something that will last, consider Rubberific Rubber Mulch, which will last for 10 years.

"Homeowners should also trim and prune shrubs and trees to create a refined look," says Manfredini. "A 'jungle theme' makes your house look unkempt." Electric hedge trimmers can make this project simple and easy.

Finally, give your garden a pop of color by planting inexpensive annuals, such as marigolds and snapdragons.

Spruce up with paint

Now that the exterior of your home is looking great, spend some time on your interior. "Interior painting is one of the most inexpensive and simple projects that homeowners can do," says Manfredini. "And, it makes a huge difference!"

Choose neutral paint colors over bold ones. Equally important to the color is the type of paint you select. Ace Paint recently launched a new paint called Royal Finest, which is the first paint to combine ultimate stain resistance and environmental friendliness.

--ARA Content

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