Did you know that fall is an ideal time to focus on outdoor home improvement projects? That’s because you want to get your home ready to brave the elements during winter. Checking on the health of your yard is also a good idea before leaf drop goes into full force. A bonus of these upgrades is that they can also add value to your home when it comes time to sell. Here are the top 10 exterior home improvements that real estate agents are talking about to help you get a head start on getting your home in shape.

  1. Do a basic yard clean up

One of the easiest home improvement projects that can elevate your home quickly is spending a weekend on basic yard clean-up. You’ll want to mow the lawn, pull weeds, remove any debris and leaves and create a clean slate to begin thinking about what you can add to update your front yard.

  1. Trim shrubs and bushes

The next level of basic yard clean-up is to trim shrubs and bushes. If your front yard foliage is really unruly, you might want to consider hiring a professional. But you can also do this job yourself, trimming back anything dry and creating a generally uniform shape. You may even want to consider paring back shrubs and bushes to create more light and space in your front yard. If the project is too overwhelming to take on yourself, even hiring some help for a day can do wonders to change the look of the front of your home — if you find yourself putting this off because you don’t have the time, getting help is the answer.

  1. Replace or paint the front door

Curb appeal is what real estate agents call how the outside of your home attracts potential buyers. When you are preparing a house to sell, upgrading curb appeal is a must. One of the number one tricks to increase your home’s curb appeal is to paint or replace your front door. This relatively inexpensive upgrade can change the entire look of your home. A front door in a pop color like red, yellow, or blue can take it from drab to modern and give a refresh that people will notice when they pass by.

  1. Refresh your mulch

If the areas around your flower beds or your lawn are looking bare, refreshing them with mulch can be a quick fix. Mulch has many uses and can be a tool as a unifying element for a rock or succulent garden. Be sure that you have enough mulch to really fill in bare areas so that the mulch is seamless in your yard.

  1. Plant low-maintenance perennials

If you are concerned about keeping your yard looking its best, especially during the winter months, or if you are thinking about selling your house soon, then adding perennials can be a good option. These plants will go with the flow of the seasons and will withstand changing temperatures and weather patterns. For sunny areas of your yard, you could go with coneflower, coreopsis, sage, or false indigo. Meanwhile, hostas and astilbe are best for shady areas. If you aren’t sure, consult with your local nursery and they can advise you about plants that will be happy in your garden all year.

  1. Add hardscaping to your entry

Rethinking your entryway and backyard can create a polished look that will add value to your home. A defined entryway like a landing or front porch which leads to a paved walkway is another curb appeal update that can make a big difference. If you already have pavers and there are areas that are cracked, replacing them is a must for making your yard look its best.

  1. Install a new garage door, or paint the one you already have

While you are thinking about your front yard, it’s also a good time to consider updating your garage door. One option is to select a garage door that will coordinate with your front door, but whatever you pick, a contemporary and modern design can elevate your home’s exterior. Like the front door, it could be that a fresh coat of paint can offer an update without the investment of having to install something completely new.

  1. Refresh your siding

Spring isn’t the only time to clean, fall can also be the right moment to check on the status of your siding. If it is covered in mildew or other dirt, a hose and long-handled brush can give it the TLC it needs to look like new again. Before you think seriously about painting your home’s exterior, give your siding this refresh and see the difference that it makes. There’s nothing like a good deep clean to help your home look new again.

  1. Build a patio

If you want to take your entryway or backyard to the next level, a patio that’s a dedicated lounging space is one amenity that potential buyers will love. For the backyard, this could even include a patio with a built-in kitchen, or, for the ultimate luxury, go for an on-trend outdoor fireplace that real estate agents have seen an increased demand for across the country. If you want a similar experience of an outdoor fireplace, without the expense, you can add a firepit that will add a cozy atmosphere, while giving you the freedom to move it around to different locations in your backyard.

  1. Add an element of shade

While you probably aren’t thinking about it in the fall and winter, when it comes to spring and summer, you’ll be thankful if your backyard offers shade. Unless you already have a decades-old tree, you can add a retractable awning or a pergola to provide some much-needed protection from the sun. This upgrade could go along with adding a patio to create an outdoor area that is a living room all on its own.

Outdoor home improvements are just as important as how your home looks inside. Making these upgrades can show your home in the best light to potential buyers and increase your home’s value.

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