Builder Focus: Nail the Details

2013-07-27T12:00:00Z Builder Focus: Nail the DetailsMichelle Krueger Times Correspondent
July 27, 2013 12:00 pm  • 

If the first two most important things to buyers of real estate are location and lifestyle, the third would have to be curb appeal – the quality of a home’s exterior appearance.

Builders know that if a home’s curb appeal makes a great first impression, people will want to see what’s inside. Elevation styles are important to buyers, so it’s important to have multiple options that accommodate individual preference and are flexible enough to fit in different neighborhoods.

With many buyers placing a premium on pride of ownership, architectural style must be attractive and memorable. A home is usually considered appealing when it has a positive, striking character and charm that adds value to its neighborhood.

With that in mind, well-designed style often takes a fresh, new approach to the classics – reintroducing and enhancing elements that have withstood the test of time.

That’s why traditional architecture is still appreciated. Classic looks with authentic styling - Arts and Crafts, Classical Revival, Colonial Revival, French and Mediterranean/Coastal for example - are timeless.

Transitional architecture has been taking on a new twist. Hybrid styles of this familiar favorite mix historic and contemporary elements. Strong character and design restraint are important no matter what the size of the home, and the beauty is truly in the simplicity - from straighter, stronger lines to less ornamentation and stronger colors.

For those who prefer Contemporary/Modern architecture, think Mid-Century Modern (homes built in the ‘50s) - a modern to contemporary style blended with a bit of Prairie style a la Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood.

Along with the right architectural features, there are few other things that will complement and enhance a home’s curb appeal.

Start with the right materials and an appropriate color palette. Select products and hues that suit the style as well as the neighborhood as a whole. Staying within a similar boldness and intensity of color adds cohesiveness.

When it comes to the yard, in addition to enhancing the look of the home and the enjoyment of the property, good landscaping should be easy to maintain. Using plants that are appropriate for the style of the home and local climate are the key to long-term success. Here’s where some advance planning can make a big impact. Starting with the fact that there are many different shades of green in nature to the great variety of trees, shrubs and annual/perennial bedding plants, this can actually be a bit tricky without a carefully thought out plan in regard to color and placement. Then, beyond the actual plants, landscaping typically includes mulch or rock – with a multitude of choices – at the bare minimum.

There’s also lighting since it’s also important to consider your home’s appearance at night. However beyond the look, lighting should actually be about safety first. You can use stylish fixtures for this, and then add some accents that illuminate the best features of your home – both architectural and landscape.

Once you’ve nailed curb appeal, you’ll appreciate it every time you come home. So will your neighbors and also potential buyers.

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