Tag Archives: neighborhood

How To Spruce Up The Exterior Of Your Home

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How To Spruce Up The Exterior Of Your Home

Your home’s exterior can have a huge impact on its overall aesthetic, as it’s the first thing that you or your guests see when arriving at your property. If your home’s exterior is drab and dreary, then it may give off the false impression that the inside of your property is unkempt too – even if your home’s interior is as pristine as can be! Fortunately, figuring out how to spruce up your home’s exterior doesn’t have to be as tricky as you might imagine, because there are several simple steps that you can follow to transform it in no time at all:

Revamp Your Windows:

Revamping your windows is an ideal way to spruce up your home’s exterior, as they contribute massively towards the overall aesthetic of your property. Choosing to use old and damaged windows that boast one single pane will detract from the look of your home while also impacting on your energy efficiency too, so it’s best to think about upgrading your windows to double or even triple glazing in an attractive style so that you can boost your curb appeal like never before.

Windows come in so many shapes, sizes, and styles, so you can find an alternative to better suit your property. Finding top quality specialty and custom window installation can put your mind at ease, so make sure you seek out a reputable provider that has lots of positive reviews so that you can put your faith in their products and services. If you don’t have the funds to invest in a whole new set of windows for your home then do not fret! You might be able to get away with a deep clean and a quick lick of paint on any surrounding wood just to help inject a little life into your aging windows.

Gain Control Over Your Garden:

If your front garden is overgrown and unruly, then this could be detracting noticeably from your property’s exterior. Overgrown grass, low hanging trees, and weeds sprouting up between your paving stones can be an eyesore so it’s vital that you gain control over your garden if you want your home to really flourish.

Mow your front lawn regularly and add some pops of color in the form of a few potted plants or even a variety of hanging baskets that boast an array of beautiful flowers to brighten things up. Stay on top of weeding and reward your hard work with some cute lawn decorations to add some fun, quirky touches.

Pressure Wash Brickwork & Paving:

Last but not least, if you want to spruce up your home’s exterior and encourage your property to look as fresh and vibrant as possible, then pressure washing your brickwork and paving will help to achieve total revitalization. Over time your exterior walls and any paving or driveways that sit outside your home can fall victim to wear and tear, whether this means staining, discoloration, or any other unsightly issue that can make your home seem drab.

Investing in a pressure washer or hiring a professional is an option that you should consider exploring, as it’s such an affordable and fast way to transform your home’s exterior without the need for any skills. Just make sure you don’t pressure wash any surfaces which aren’t strong enough to take the power, as you may accidentally blast away the surface layer or even break straight through if the material is particularly weak (such as rotting wood on old decking).

Spring cleaning is out and summer projects are in. Take advantage of the beautiful weather with some outdoor chores – starting with your home’s exterior!

Featured Image By: Pexels

How To Find The Perfect Home

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How To Find The Perfect Home

Selling your house to buy a new one is a major decision that should not be made lightly, as it can take a significant amount of time, effort, and money to identify and find the ideal property for you. Fortunately, when you know how, choosing the right property doesn’t have to be as challenging as you might assume, and there are just a few important areas in which you should concentrate your efforts to guarantee that you can remain cool and calm during your move. If you’re looking for the perfect house and want to learn some of the most useful ideas and tactics for accomplishing your goals in no time, then read on:

Plan And Prepare:

One of the most common mistakes made by house movers is a lack of preparation. It’s surprising to learn that almost two-thirds of home buyers don’t have a list of questions to ask the real estate agent before they visit houses or apartments to view them. When planning, it’s helpful to make a list of your negotiables and non-negotiables. Other factors to consider include which house characteristics are essential to you and which you are ready to compromise on.

When searching for a new house, an extensive web search will save you time and provide a good starting point. We recommend contacting your local real estate agents as well, as they may have a house on the market – or even one that’s just about to come onto the market that is just right for you.

Know Your Budget:

You’re contemplating a move, but how much can you really afford? Find out how much your present home is worth by getting at least two or three estimates from local real estate professionals. You’ll have a better idea of how much money you have to work with if you do this. Your calculations should include:

  • Any outstanding bills or mortgage payments.
  • The cost of new furnishings.
  • Any additional funds that may be required in the future.

Working out your finances in detail can help you achieve your goal of moving. Knowing your budget from the beginning is essential if you want to erase debt and save for the future.

Think Ahead:

Smaller houses will not accommodate large families effectively, so if you want to grow your family soon, think accordingly and get that additional room. This is also true if you work remotely (or are planning to once you move). It would be beneficial to have an extra space that can be converted into a home office. A smaller house, on the other hand, can suffice if you are single or a couple who does not want to have children in the near future. If and when the time comes, you can always sell and move into a larger house.

Check Out The Neighborhood:

Searching online is one thing, and it’s almost certain that you’ll find a few houses that tick all the boxes for you. However, it’s crucial that you take the time to check out the neighborhood too – it might be that the house you love is in a place that won’t suit you, perhaps because it’s far away from work or school, the parking is a nightmare, or there isn’t enough green space (or too much of it – it all depends on your preferences).

When searching for a new home, it is all about the preparation and research on your end to keep the process running smoothly. Good luck!

Featured Image By: Ketut Subiyanto

4 Steps To Take After A Break In

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4 Steps To Take After A Break In

Home invasions are often pretty scary, and can shake a person’s nerves for years after they happen. Although most home invasions are non-violent, the perpetrators are only interested in your belongings most of the time, it can be worrying to spend time at home afterwards, for fear it will happen again. If you have ever experienced a home invasion in your current house, you’ll know what we’re talking about.

When you discover your home has been burgled, either while you are at home or while you were out, it can be overwhelming. However, if you don’t take the necessary steps right away, you could put yourself in a worse position. Today, we will explore four key steps to take after a home invasion, and why these are so important:

Contact the relevant authorities:

When you discover your home has been invaded, the first instinct you might have is to look through the house in detail to see what has been taken. However, it is important that you refrain from doing this, and that you immediately contact the police. All the evidence will be relevant, so if you go through your home and move items, it could compromise the investigation into the home invasion.

In addition to contacting the police right away, you should also contact your insurance company after the police have confirmed what has been stolen. This will allow you to claim compensation for your stolen items, making it easier to replace them fully. For this reason, it is crucial that you keep your insurance policy up to date, so you don’t realize it’s expired before it is too late!

Replace broken windows, doors, or other structures:

Next, you should go about repairing or replacing any structures that have been broken or damaged during the break-in. Unless the person had a key to your home, it is likely they will have incurred damage to the property in the process. Your home insurance may cover the cost of replacing these items; this allows you to complete the work right away, and ensure that it is done to a high standard.

Some replacements you could make include:

  • Replacing windows that have been smashed, cracked or pushed open during the home invasion. You can find window replacements here.
  • Changing the locks and replacing door handles or frames that have been busted.
  • Repairing any scuffs or damages to the floors and furniture in your home.

Update your home’s security system:

After you have contacted the authorities, your priority should be making your home safe for future living. Break-ins can happen in even the safest of homes, but there are ways to make your property less vulnerable to home invasions.

Here are three ideas for updating your home’s security system:

  • Install CCTV on your front doorstep and other entry points: Security cameras are the easiest way to deter people who are looking to break into your home – if they see cameras, they are unlikely to continue with their plans. If they do, you will catch them on camera, making it easier to report to the police.
  • Have multiple front door locks: Many homes still have a traditional one-key lock on their front door, but if you have been the victim of a home invasion, you should install multiple front door locks for safety.
  • Get a dog! Although you shouldn’t just get a dog for the purposes of home security, having a medium or large sized dog is one of the biggest deterrents to criminals. Even the smallest of dogs will bark if they hear someone at the front door, and while they might be cuddly, their bark will frighten anyone who was thinking of breaking in.

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Change your routine to reduce the likelihood of break-ins:

Some home invasions happen because the inhabitants of the home make common mistakes that attract burglars. Although it is never your fault if somebody decides to rob you, you can take simple steps in your routine to divert home invaders away from committing a crime.

One easy way to deter potential home invaders is to set up a system that makes it appear you are home, even if you aren’t. Some people leave on one small light while they are out at night or leave a radio or TV playing when they leave the house. This will definitely reduce the likelihood of your home being invaded. Similarly, make sure you don’t leave valuables within window view while you are out. Close blinds and put computers, smartphones, and televisions out of street view.

Home invasions are very scary, but there are steps you can take to deter them from recurring like the ones above.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Is Your Home Vulnerable To A Break-In?

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Is Your Home Vulnerable To A Break-In?

We all have the nightmare that one day we’re going to come home and find that our house has been broken into. Even if you have the right insurance coverage, it will still be a horrific experience. You will question whether you are safe in your home and struggle to build back up the feeling that you are secure. It can also be difficult to replace everything that was stolen. Particularly, if you have one-of-a-kind things in your home that you never want to lose. That’s why it’s important to think about whether your home is vulnerable to a potential break-in. There are a few possibilities to think about:

On Display:

One of the key things that you need to ask is whether you are showing people the expensive items that are inside your home. Part of this is about how you layout your furniture and things like the TV. Ideally, you should make sure that you’re not placing your TV somewhere that can be seen from outside the property or even the road. If you do this, then you’re essentially just tempting criminals. There are of course other ways to hide expensive items that might be inside your home.

For instance, you can think about the windows. If you get the right windows, then you can make it impossible for people to look inside your home. Tinted windows are ideal and not as expensive as you might imagine. They make your home look distinct too. For a more subtle choice, you might want to think about using screener trees. These trees have thick foliage and are fast-growing to ensure that they completely conceal an area.

While You’re Away:

It’s fair to say that your home is going to be most vulnerable while you are away from it. However, there are a few steps that you can take to correct issues here. For instance, you might want to think about investing in a CCTV system for your property. With the right CCTV system, you can better protect your home. CCTV systems can act as a deterrent but will also provide peace of mind while you’re not at the property. Some of the latest CCTV systems will even allow you to check-in remotely and ensure that there’s nothing worrying happening.

You might also want to think about getting your neighbors involved too. If you can trust them, then you should consider giving your neighbors a key to your home for when you are away. They can remove some of the signs that you have not been there like the build-up of mail by your front door or the lights always being on.

Poor Maintenance:

When you are thinking about how to secure your home, you should make sure that you consider different entry points. There are likely to be multiple different entry points to your home and some of them could be more vulnerable than others. For instance, the locks in your doors could have seen better days. If your locks are stiff or old, then you might want to think about replacing them. Don’t forget, you should always change the locks when you move into a new property. You never know who might still have the keys to your home. You should also repair any entry points that have been damaged like the garage door. A garage door repair company will be able to fix issues like this for you with ease.

Neighborhood Watch:

A neighborhood watch is another excellent way to deter crime in your area and it also gives you some added peace of mind to know that your neighbors are looking out for you. If you don’t have one, then you may want to consider speaking to your local community members about setting one up.

Better protect yourself, family, and home with the tips above!

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The‌ ‌Keys‌ ‌To‌ ‌Hosting‌ ‌A ‌Perfect‌ ‌BBQ‌

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The‌ ‌Keys‌ ‌To‌ ‌Hosting‌ ‌A ‌Perfect‌ ‌BBQ‌

It feels like it’s been a long and cold winter. Indeed, it probably feels even longer and colder than it has been because fun and good times have been in short supply thanks to the coronavirus pandemic and other global issues. However, if there’s one thing that we should all remember, it’s that winter doesn’t last forever. In the not too distant future, we’ll all be able to enjoy all of the pleasures that can come from spending time in the sunshine with friends and family.

And what’s the best way to enjoy these moments? By having a BBQ! In this post, we’ll run through some tried and tested tips that will make you the host with the most:

Prepare‌ ‌the‌ ‌Yard‌:

The food will take center stage, but it’s important to remember that the yard will provide the backdrop for the BBQ. As such, it’s worthwhile getting it into shape beforehand. There are numerous ways to do this. A little bit of landscaping will go a long way, so there’s no need to go overboard and create an oasis (unless you want to). The most important aspect will be to have plenty of comfortable seating options and, if possible, to make the yard feel private.

Simple‌ ‌and‌ ‌Delicious‌ ‌Recipes‌:

People are going to judge the quality of the BBQ by the overall atmosphere of the day, but there’s no avoiding the fact that the quality of the food is important, too. The good thing about BBQs is that even the simple classics will do the trick. Hamburgers and hot dogs are the way to go! Just make sure that it’s high-quality meat. Don’t forget dessert, too; there are plenty of easy fruit salad recipes that are perfect for summer afternoons. If you don’t want to be responsible for all the food, then you can ask your guests to bring some with them – if everyone brings something small, then everyone will eat well.

Remember the Drinks:

What’s a BBQ without drinks? All meals should have drinks by their side, but it becomes even more important for BBQs since it’s usually so hot out. While you can provide the basics, such as soda, beer, and wine, it’s also fun to push the boat out a little. Could you make some homemade lemonade or create a cocktail station where people can make their own colorful and delicious drinks?

Bring the Music:

BBQs are all about sinking into all of the good times that summer can bring. So do your best to create a fun and light atmosphere, one that allows people to escape the worries of everyday life. The best ways to do this are to play a killer summer playlist and to provide some games. If you’ve got some reggae or otherwise good-vibe music on the stereo, and people can play twister or other fun yard games, then your BBQ will be a hit.

Enjoy the weather, food, and good company with the tips above to make your BBQ the best on the block!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Five Tips For Improving Your Home’s Security

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Five Tips For Improving Your Home’s Security

Your home’s security is important not only for you but for the rest of your household. The best security will help give you and your family peace of mind and keep it as safe of a haven as possible. Try out these five tips to boost your home’s security today:

Get Your Doors & Windows Replaced/Checked Over:

Windows and doors are the vulnerable areas of your home. It’s not like the bricks and mortar where you’d need more than just your hands or a blunt object to get through it. With your doors and windows, they can easily be smashed in or compromised if they’ve got a weak lock system or you’ve had them for longer than advised.

You will want to get all of your windows and doors checked over at least once a year to make sure that they’re the best they can be. It might only take a bad bout of winter weather to really do some damage, especially if they’re old windows or doors. If you find that your doors or windows need replacing, then it’s worth looking at Provia entry doors as these can be an ideal solution for those wanting to improve security.

When considering your windows and doors, don’t forget about your gate too if you have one. This is especially important if you have a code for it that other people might know. A cell gate could be a good option for an added boost of security as it eliminates the need for a code and lets you control the gate from an app. Let’s call it a “smart gate”!

Install A Home Security System:

Home security is something to take seriously but we don’t often realize just how important it is until it has been compromised. A lot of homes nowadays have home security systems in place. This could be a simple coded alarm that you set when leaving the house or last thing at night before going to bed. It’s there so should anyone try and break-in, the alarms will go off in order for you to be alerted and the police will be called. It is something that is better to have and not need than need and not have.

Keep Valuables Out Of Sight:

Valuables are a temptation for any passersby and it seems completely innocent to leave car keys out in the open or perhaps a laptop that you’ve left on charge in the living room. However, it’s important to make sure that you hide all your valuables out of sight so that they don’t become a quick break-in and grab opportunity. It’s worth making sure you go around your property at the end of the day or before you leave in the morning to make sure that you’ve hidden away anything that might have significant value so that it’s out of sight from anyone who might pass by and see it.

Get Motion Sensor Lights Outdoors:

Motion sensor lights are a great thing to install when it comes to your property. These might be high-beams or lights that offer enough light to deter anyone from stepping further onto the property than they may have already done. They’re very easy to get and install around parts of your property. Just make sure that they are placed in the correct manner so they’re not waking up your neighbors at an ungodly hour!

Be Part Of Or Create A Neighborhood Watch:

Neighborhood watches are usually found via social media now and it’s good to be part of one so that you can keep yourself updated with all the goings-on around your area. If there isn’t one, then you could try your hand at creating one and getting your community involved in it. It will help keep others informed of any dangerous or suspicious activity that might be going on. It’s also nice to be able to get to know your neighbors as many people can tend to keep themselves to themselves. So if you’re able to, create a neighborhood watch or look for one in your local area or online.

Improving your home’s security is important and something you should actively do, wherever you are based. Even if you live in a quiet area, there’s always a danger that someone might try and break into your home. The more vulnerable you leave your home to the outside world, the more you might attract those unwanted visitors to your property.

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How To Save Money & Stress When Moving

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How To Save Money & Stress When Moving

We all know the cliche about moving house being one of the most stressful and expensive things you can ever do. But those negatives aren’t necessarily as inevitable as you might think they are. There are so many ways in which you can reduce the costs associated with moving to your new McArthur Homes property, while also making the process as minimally stressful as it can be. And that’s exactly what we’re going to talk about today. Read on and benefit from these tips:

Plan Your Move Around Your Work Schedule:

If you can schedule the day of the move for a time when you’re not going to be working or when you can book paid leave from your job, that’s the right thing to do from a financial standpoint. People often think about the fees and costs of moving to a new home, but the money you lose by being forced to take unpaid time away from work is something that also shouldn’t be ignored.

Declutter Before the Move:

Your move will be a lot less stressful for you if you can take the time to declutter your property beforehand. Spending time, energy, and money moving things that you don’t even want or need is pointless from an efficiency and financial point of view. By clearing out your property today and simply getting rid of the things that you really don’t need anymore, you’ll be able to avoid that level of wasted resources.

Try to Move Off-Season if Possible:

The costs associated with moving differ depending on the time of year. If you want to move in summer when everyone else is also trying to move house, you’re going to face higher demand and competition for people looking to secure the services of good movers and solicitors. The process will also be longer as well as more expensive because of the delays caused by that high demand for the necessary professional services.

See if You’re Entitled to Any Discounts:

When looking to secure the help of moving professionals, you should take the time to see if you’re entitled to any discounts often offered by those kinds of services. For example, people over a certain age level, students, and people who have served in the military or government agencies are very often entitled to discounted services. It’s a great way to save money, so don’t miss out if you’re entitled.

Work with Reliable Professionals:

Working with reliable moving professionals who are going to be able to make the move as smooth for you as it can be will make your life a lot less stressful. The right moving professionals have the knowledge and experience necessary, which will help alleviate some of your worries. Try to find people who are skilled and trusted in their niche – that applies to movers, solicitors, and everyone else in between.

Source Free Packing Materials:

Sourcing packing materials is one of the best ways out there to save money. If you’re paying for boxes and tape and all of the other wrapping and protective materials you need, you’ll be wasting money. All of that stuff is out there and you can usually get your hands on it very cheaply. Ask around because everyone has boxes that they no longer need after their own house move. Better still, find a moving company that offers this stuff at no extra cost to you.

Saving yourself stress and time when moving house is essential to making the experience a more positive one. Get started with the tips above so you can focus your attention on the more pressing matters of your move.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Remember These Tips When Moving Out For The First Time

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Remember These Tips When Moving Out For The First Time

Moving out of the family home can be scary and stressful but it is also a really great start to a new chapter in your life. You are sure to be juggling a lot right now from furniture shopping to figuring out an internet service and it all can feel overwhelming. But a place that is your own is an exciting light at the end of the tunnel of seemingly endless apartment hunting and budgeting. Here are a few things to remember when you move out for the first time that might be missed or forgotten:

Find Your Local Go-To’s:

If you have moved into a different area or completely different town it is a good idea to get a feel for the place before you move. Find out where your new doctor’s office, the closest hospital, banks, supermarkets, restaurants, and pharmacy are. Knowing where all of these places are is important and can be a deciding factor in where you choose to live. You don’t want to be far away from a hospital when you are in an emergency!

Cleaning Appliances Will Be Needed:

When you move into your own place you will need to clean it. That’s right, it is all down to you now. So try to get yourself motivated to do it by buying all of your cleaning gear! There are all different types of things that you will need, like a spray mop, iron, washing machine, dishwasher, and a vacuum cleaner. There are so many different models, price ranges, and types so read about different brands to find the ones that are best suited to you and your needs.

Prepare For The Emotional Side Of It:

Moving out of the family home can be really exciting but it can also feel a bit scary. It is important to remember that even though you are moving out, your family is there for you no matter what. A good way to ease out of it is by having a weekly dinner where you go and spend quality time after you have moved out. So it could be every Sunday you go and have a big family meal. No one says you can’t pop by during the week too! They are also only a phone call away if you need any support.

Make A List For Chores:

When you are the sole responsible person for all of the cleaning, you will need to make sure it gets done. A quick and easy way to make sure this happens is to make a list. A chore chart is a great way to map out the additional time that it will take to keep your apartment as clean and bright as it was when you first moved in.

Meet The Neighbors:

Meeting your new neighbors is not only polite but you could end up becoming lifelong friends with each other! Knowing your neighbors is also beneficial if you ever need them. It will be nice to know that you can go on vacation with the peace of mind of your place being watched over and your mail getting picked up.

Moving out is challenging, scary, rewarding, and exciting all in one. There is much to do and it is a big change so follow the tips above to keep the process going smoothly.

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Three Steps To Add Value To Your Home

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Three Steps To Add Value To Your Home

If you might be moving in the future, try to think about some of the best ways of being able to improve the value of your home and add appeal to it. When you’re looking to sell for a high price, it is important to think about the changes you can make that will allow you to be successful with this. Make sure you do as much as possible to present and provide a home that will be appealing to owners and add value to any sales price.

Work out what you can do to take things to the next level in your home to blow potential buyers away. Here are some of the most essential things that play a part in this and there is no better time than the present to get started!

Extend:

Extending your home is one of the best ways to add value to the home. Whether this be a sun room in the back of your home, building a second or third floor, or simply adding some additional bathrooms, your property value is sure to go up with these fixes because you will have more home to sell!

Sort the Garden Out:

Improving on the landscaping in your back and front yard are also surefire ways to add more value to your home. You can do so much to sort the garden out and add value, like hiring a tree company to remove the trees with problematic branches in your back garden, installing a koi pond, or – if you really want to go wild: building a new green house or shed.

Get a New Boiler:

There are a lot of changes that will help you when it comes to improving your home’s value, and one of the key things you can do to achieve this is to install a new boiler. There are a lot of factors that you should think about here, and a new boiler can make all of the difference to helping you improve the functionality of the home, as well as being able to boost the value as well in the process. Don’t forget to get all of your appliances repaired before you put your house on the market, too.

From extending your home to tending to the landscaping, there are ample ways for you to add more value to your property. For an even bigger boost to your curb appeal, give your home a fresh coat of paint and use a statement color for your shutters or front door!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Boost Your Curb Appeal With These Ideas

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Boost Your Curb Appeal With These Ideas

You can only rearrange your furniture, redecorate, and clean so much inside until you have exhausted all of your ideas to change up your space. So turn your focus to the exterior of your house, instead! Spring is going to be here before we know it and with warmer weather, you can finally get started on outdoor projects. Not only will you love making big changes but they will definitely help boost your home’s curb appeal, to boot! Try out the following:

New windows and doors:

Installing new windows and doors can totally transform your home’s exterior. If you have been living at your place for several years now and are starting to feel blah with its appearance, this might be just the boost it needs. Don’t forget to have fun with your choices, too! A bright colored door can sure make a statement and it will set your house apart from the rest in your neighborhood.

Fresh paint:

If the paint on the outside of your home has seen better days, then perhaps a fresh coat is in order. Chipping paint and discoloration can really lower your curb appeal and makes your place seem less inviting. Fresh paint can fix this quickly and give your house a much needed face lift.

A deck or porch:

Having a place outside for your friends to sit this summer is so important so that you can finally socialize! Maybe your porch is just too small and could be expanded to accommodate company? Or if you have enough space in the back yard, you could go big and have a deck installed. There is nothing like enjoying the sunshine with your friends and a porch or deck will give you the opportunity to do so while boosting your curb appeal.

Repave your driveway:

The driveway might be one of the last things you think about but it is one of the first things that people see when they look at your yard. If winter weather has left your driveway cracked and damaged, then repaving it will definitely be in order as it will stick out like a sore thumb on an, otherwise, well taken care of property.

Expand your garage:

If you have a single garage and more than one car, your property can look a bit jumbled with multiple cars parked on the driveway. Not to mention that playing musical cars every morning when people are leaving is super annoying! Expanding your garage is always a good bet to boost your curb appeal and you will never have to go into a freezing cold or insanely hot car again.

We have had ample time to improve our home’s interior and now we can turn our focus outwards as we transition into spring!