Upgrading your home? Don't forget the exterior aspects

When it comes to home trends, most of the focus is on interior aspects like layout, colour schemes, kitchen design and the latest décor

Tatenda Nyandoro

By Tatenda Nyandoro in Legal

Published 2022-07-03 12:24:20

When it comes to home trends, most of the focus is on interior aspects like layout, colour schemes, kitchen design and the latest décor however, considering that kerb appeal is where first impressions are formed, the exterior is perhaps even more important in the grand scheme of things.

This is according to Grahame Diedericks, Manager Principal for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International realty in Midrand, adding that a thoughtfully-designed and well-maintained exterior sets the tone of the whole property, inside and out.

“Most people realise that kerb appeal is an important aspect when selling one’s home, but we don’t always notice when the exterior starts to look shabby or outdated as easily as we do the interior,” says Diedericks.

“And we often don’t stop to consider how much an appealing outdoor space also adds to our lifestyles and enjoyment of our homes - which is equally important.”

Diedericks says current trends include both large, bold design elements and also smaller upgrades that one could tackle in a weekend.

“Even the simplest of changes can make a significant difference, adding unique character and style – and very often value - to a property. Buyer’s perceptions will impact the offer they make and these begin to form from the minute they first pull up outside your home.”

Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett, encourages sellers to first consider if the market conditions are favourable and secondly, take some time to decide what the next move will be once the home is sold.

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“The property market works in cycles. At times, the market will favour buyers and at other times, the market will favour sellers. It all depends on the economic environment and conditions that surround the local housing market. It is important to remember that while there is a market trend throughout the country, there will also be certain areas that buck the trend due to specific, circumstances that influence that particular area,” Goslett explains.

READ: 7 Upgrades that will improve your home's kerb appeal dramatically

If your home’s exterior needs primping or you’re renovating or even building a new home, Diedericks recommends the following:

Textured surfaces

Integrating visual texture into the home’s façade can help to highlight the home’s strongest architectural features and bring added depth to the exterior. Visual texture can be achieved in many areas, including the window trim, roofing, and fascia, and a number of materials can be used, including wood sidings, stone, shake shingles and board and batten.

Black accents

Various shades of black can be used, including ebony, onyx and charcoal and can be used for door trim, window trim, porch banisters, eaves etc. The accents can be partnered with paler colours like grey, brown, stone or white.

Tone variation within one colour

If you prefer a less stark contrast, this is a more subtle way to introduce interest through colour. In other words, sticking within the same colour family when selecting accent colours for trim and roofing. For example, light grey walls with a dark grey trim or light brown siding with dark brown trim.

READ: Upgrades that can actually lower your home’s value

Feature walkways

Walkways are not merely a path to the front door, they also guide the eye to a home’s entrance and should therefore not only be a feature, they should be kept neat and tidy at all times. Use interesting stone or paving, line the walkway with colourful flowers or perhaps have it meandering instead of straight.

Outdoor fireplace

Fire pits have long been a popular addition, especially warmer climates where evenings are often enjoyed outdoors, but the new outdoor fireplace is a less informal and more permanent fixture designed to make the patio or garden feel like an extension of your home.

Indigenous plants in landscaping

Not only are indigenous plants easier to care for, you’re also benefiting the environment as they are water-wise and species like bees will thrive. Plus, South Africa has an absolute wealth of indigenous plant species ranging from hardy succulents and fynbos to delicate flowers, majestic trees, shrubs and bulbs.

Freestanding outdoor lanterns

Exterior lighting is not only a good safety precaution, it can also have a massive impact on your kerb appeal and, in this respect, freestanding lights are also making a comeback – for two good reasons. They’re very attractive features and the light they give off is closer to eye level than that of path or overhead lights, making them useful additions to long walkways.

READ: What is influencing interior design trends in 2022?

Durable and sustainable materials

When you invest in your home, it’s important for you and prospective buyers to know that the materials you used will last but it’s becoming more and more important that they are from a sustainable source because not only is it the right thing to do, buyers are increasingly including sustainability in their list of questions.

“The exterior of your home is not only the first impression that others will get but it’s also the first thing that you see when you arrive home and where you and your family will spend a considerable time in warmer weather, so it makes all-round sense to ensure your home is looking it’s very best,” says Diedericks.