If you are thinking of selling and want to make a good first impression, or you simply want to improve ‘kerb appeal’ for your own pride, then making the front of your house more attractive is an obvious step to take.
The basics are pretty self-explanatory - have a good tidy-up, give tired woodwork a lick of paint and do any necessary repairs, especially to the walls, roof, windows and front door.
The other area to focus on is the front garden, which can make an enormous difference to the overall appearance and appeal of your home.
This time of year is ideal for brightening up the garden, using window boxes, hanging baskets, troughs and tubs planted with colourful bedding plants. To define the entrance, strategically place topiary bushes or tall shrubs in nice pots to guide people to the right door. Hedges provide privacy if your home is close to the pavement, but can make the front room dark.
If you don’t want the hassle of maintaining a front lawn, or you don’t have room for one, stick to low-maintenance options like gravel, pebbles or slate chips.
In some locations, especially urban ones where parking is expensive or in short supply, off-street parking in your front garden can be a valuable addition to your home.
In some cases, you’ll need planning for both the parking and a dropped kerb (if you don’t already have one), which are separate applications.
Also, while off-street parking often adds value, it isn’t very environmentally friendly. Plants have lots of benefits, and can help water drain away quickly.