Fresh Coat: Painting on Curb Appeal

by Jon Nunan

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Of the many things that can increase you home's curb appeal, few can have as dramatic an effect as a coat of paint. Whether you're moving in, moving out, or somewhere in between, there are many benefits of painting your home's exterior. Not only does paint protect the materials it covers from the elements, but it can also make a property a more attractive place to purchase or dwell in. It is important, however, to make sure that the painting you pay for will have the desired effect on your home's appearance. If done right, a fresh coat of paint will go a long way in creating a home that looks great and compliments its surroundings; a poorly painted property, on the other hand, can set you back in more ways than one.

Painting to Increase Curb Appeal
If the exterior of a home is in bad shape to start with, any type of improvement will probably be a welcome one. The growing trend of purchasing a property that is somewhat run-down and turning it into a place that anyone would be happy to call their own has prompted many new homebuyers to look into purchasing "fixer-uppers". The nice thing about starting with a shabby exterior is that it can quickly be improved with just a few small adjustments. There is, however, a big difference between a house that looks better and a house that looks great.

For most homes, the exterior is most likely in moderate to decent shape to begin with and simply needs to be enhanced. Sometimes this can be accomplished with small accents like painting exterior shutters or trim a different color; in other cases, the house itself can benefit from a new coat of paint. Modern homeowners have an advantage over their predecessors because the internet can provide a ton of exterior design ideas at the click of a mouse. By finding several homes that you find attractive online, you can get a more concrete idea of what you'd like to accomplish with your own property; finding examples of what appeals to you can also make it easier to convey exactly what you want to a painting company.

Professional House Painting vs. DIY House Painting
When it comes to painting the outside of your home, there are a number of factors that can influence who you pick to do the job. Though some homeowners might opt to do this job themselves, there are a few very convincing arguments for hiring a professional. First off, exterior painting is a big job, and it gets even bigger if you don't have the equipment and experience you'll find with a professional crew. It's certainly possible to rent professional painting equipment, but unless you have experience using it, there's a good chance that (at least at first) you'll waste a fair amount of paint and have a coat that is too thick in some areas and too thin in others. Additionally, unless you have an above average number of friends who are willing to do quality work for free, the likelihood of getting a quick and efficient paint job is pretty slim.

Do-it-yourself jobs are, of course, likely to be cheaper than hiring professional painters, but when you consider the cost of renting equipment, the hassle of transporting it, and the large amount of time you'll have to spend getting professional (or less than professional) results on your own, it's easy to see why so many homeowners choose to hire a pro. In addition to the great work professional painters will provide during the job, their service can be extremely important before the work begins, too. With precise knowledge of which varieties, brands, and even colors of paint tend to do well in your area, a local painting company can add valuable advice to the list of benefits homeowners get by hiring their services.

Hiring a Landscape Designer
If you have the means, you may want to consider hiring a designer to help plan the exterior of your home. Much like an interior designer will have knowledge and training in enhancing an indoor space, professionals such as landscape designers can take the guesswork out of the outside of your home. A great paint job will make a huge difference in your home's curb appeal, but if it is paired with a sub-par landscape, the effect can be devastating. When your exterior paint and your landscaping compliment each other, you'll be well on your way to having the kind of home that is worth a second, or even third, glance!

Jon Nunan is a freelance writer who draws on his experience in construction, ranging from landscaping to log home building, for his articles on home improvement.