Driveway improvements speed home offers, lower costs
(ARA) - With a 'For Sale' sign in your front yard, you want potential buyers to take a good, long look at your property. And even if you're not planning a move, you want to be sure you protect and maintain your home to keep future repairs at a minimum.
Real estate is a tough market today. If you're a seller, creating curb appeal is a key to entice potential buyers to come inside for a second look. Home selling experts predict that as many as 40 percent of potential buyers reject a home based on their first impression of the front of the house. The general appearance of the front yard is the single largest factor shaping impressions of your home.
Even if your home is not on the market, projects that improve your home's curbside appeal can also create a safer home, help protect your assets and give the entire front of the house a beautiful look.
"Driveways and sidewalks are the first impression people have of your home. Well-maintained driveways and sidewalks create a strong first impression. On the other hand, if they are worn, cracked, stained and faded, that creates messages about what someone might find inside the home," says home improvement industry expert Gordon Blickle of Gardner-Gibson.
Driveways are often overlooked, spoiling an otherwise manicured landscape. Unless it is severely cracked, crumbling or poses a safety hazard, there's no need to spend thousands on removing and replacing it. There are easier options to make over a tired driveway that will boost the curb appeal of a home.
Seal of approval
Restore damaged asphalt by filling cracks with an asphalt crack filler or drive patch. Then renew the look of old, worn blacktop driveways with fast-drying Black Jack Ultra-Maxx 1000, a flexible, long-lasting filler and sealer with a 10-year guarantee. Or seal with new Gardner Pro7, with no mixing required and a jet-black seven-year finish.
Enlighten your view
An economical way to create a custom-home look is adding inexpensive landscape lighting. Low-voltage or solar lighting creates a softly-lit path to border the driveway, sidewalk and garden beds. While upgrading the look of the entire home, lighting deters unwanted visitors, improves home visibility, welcomes guests with a safe lighted path and decreases the chance of someone accidentally driving onto the lawn.
Refresh your sidewalks
Dirt, mold and algae that settle on sidewalks, pavers and driveways create a really dismal first impression. Clean them with Driveway Kleen, a garden-safe spray solution that attaches to a garden hose. To protect stains from coming back, coat concrete, bricks, pavers and edgers with Krystal Brilliance, a waterbased clear acrylic sealer.
Beautify the borders
Instead of having to keep the edge of the lawn trimmed against the driveway, create a "buffer" strip with a decorative rock garden or plant flowers along the path to build an inviting drive up to the home. If your driveway is adjacent to your neighbor's driveway, plant shrubs and flower beds between them for a small privacy wall.
Get an edge
Edge the driveway with pavers in colors complementary to the home and pavement. Use pavers in different shapes and sizes to create an interesting focal point and frame the driveway.
"Consider your front yard as 'open arms' that welcome visitors into your home," says Blickle. "Without a warm welcome, guests and potential buyers may just keep walking."
For more information and ideas on how to protect driveways from the elements, visit www.gardner-gibson.com.
Courtesy of ARAcontent
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