5 Tips to Better Curb (and Yard) Appeal
April, 2009 - Issue #54
Your home's value might be in the gutter, but that shouldn't mean that your rain gutter goes into disrepair. The old adage, "What goes up must come down," surely is inversely true when it comes to SCV housing. As you wait to see home values climb again, don't put off pragmatically (or aesthetically) necessary improvements. Because while your home may only be a good investment some of the time, it's the place you live all of the time.

1. Don't Skimp on Quality Paint - or Prep
"Saving money" on lower-quality paint will end up costing you. Choose a paint that is designed for the job you're doing. In most cases, a 100-percent acrylic, resin-based paint will be the best choice. These paints adhere better, are more flexible, and last longer than ordinary paints. Using a lower-quality paint just to save a few dollars will end up costing you more in the long run, as you will have to repaint much sooner than if you used a top-quality product. A two-coat job is almost always better than one coat, too. Probably the most important aspect to a long-lasting paint job is a good prep job. This involves aggressive scraping and sanding, as well as intensive caulking and filling to lock out moisture. A. Albright Painting makes prep work a high priority and they make and use the highest-quality paint. Anything less would be a waste of time. painting services available from A. Albright Painting 294-1159

2. Select Small Improvements that Pay Off Big
In this economy, your list of "wish we could do's" probably has been replaced with "what we have to do's." But that doesn't mean that these here-and-there home improvements won't result in a significant aesthetic upgrade. It may only cost you $75 to mend a broken wood fence, or half that sum to replace a missing lock on your side gate. But while the price tag might be tiny, the added overall visual and practical benefit is not. If cracked stucco, rotted wood fencing, loose shingles, crooked doors, missing bricks or any other home "boo boo" are eroding your mental health - and your home value - get it fixed today. repair and construction services available from Top Construction 775-9945

3. When it comes to Stone, Go Natural
When you step out onto your patio, you should feel the rhythm and texture only natural stones can offer. Natural stones permeate warmth and monumental quality like no other surface. Popular, and increasingly affordable, options include tumbled travertine, Versailles patterns and slates. Natural stone, combined with a top-quality designer, will fulfill both your practical and aesthetic needs. free design service and wholesale prices available from Advantage Tile Stone Design, Inc 295-9819

4. Choose "Green" to Save Green
Major home improvements don't have to break the bank - or the environment. When adding onto an existing structure, installing a new power source or beautifying your space, choose a Green Awareness company. Also keep in mind that many environmentally-sound upgrades, as is the case with many solar power additions, pay for themselves even faster when tax breaks and credits are calculated. Top Notch Design & Construction has been making green-savvy upgrades like roof gardens, graywater systems and wind and solar power improvements since 1986. services available from Top Notch 268-1937

5. Don't Ignore the Wood Trim
Curb appeal is at the heart of every homeowner's pride. Traditionally, stucco is an exterior building material noted for its durability and versatility, and most homes with stucco have a wood trim accent. These areas need to be maintained on a regular basis to hinder the wear and tear from changing weather conditions. Mint Condition Painting is disciplined in the area of exterior painting, staining, repairing and finishing, with an end goal of complete customer satisfaction for every job. painting and repair services available from Mint Condition Painting 251-5521
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