Aside from location, location, location, curb appeal is perhaps the most important term that gets mentioned in real estate. And for good reason. The exterior of your home is, of course, the first thing people see when they visit. A beautiful exterior and yard is the house equivalent of a strong handshake and a confident smile.
But when you’re in the planning or construction phases of your custom home journey, what do you need to remember when it comes to ensuring that your house has great, easy-to-maintain curb appeal? We’ve got a simple checklist to make your life easier—keep reading!
Curb Appeal Checklist
1. Include outdoor spigots in your plan.
Whether your yard includes a postage stamp-sized plot of grass or a much larger green space, watering the lawn is something you’ll need to do, especially during the hot summer months.
At least one outdoor spigot is typically standard, but if your house or yard is large, a second (or even a third) spigot is really convenient. Garden hoses are deceptively heavy, so the less you have to drag them around your property, the better. And when a job is easy to do, you’ll be much less likely to put it off!
2. Don't ignore water drainage.
A water drainage plan is easy to forget about until you realize that rainwater is puddling on your lawn or you notice that telltale musty smell in your basement. Even if your lot is completely flat or the grading looks like there won’t be any drainage problems, double-check with your builder or consult a lawn drainage expert once the house is built and the yard has been either seeded or sodded.
French drains, downspout extensions, and other drainage solutions are much easier (and so much less disruptive) to install before you’ve moved into your new home and the final landscaping touches put into place.
3. Be realistic about maintenance.
Lawn maintenance isn’t everyone’s cup of tea—and that’s totally fine! But if you know that yard work and exterior home maintenance fall dead last on your list of preferred weekend activities, work with your builder to make sure your house and yard are as low maintenance as possible.
Grass needs to be mowed often, especially during the growing season. For a lower-maintenance alternative, look into xeriscaping and landscaping with native plants. Both options result in a beautiful yard that doesn’t require much (or any) mowing or watering.
Depending on the direction your house faces and the exterior cladding material you select, you may have issues with mildew growth. This is an easy issue to fix with a pressure washer or a sponge, soapy water, and elbow grease, but talk to your builder to make sure that you choose the best siding product for your needs (and your climate).
4. Consider an irrigation system.
Watering your lawn can be surprisingly labor intensive. And it can be a guessing game to ensure that the grass is getting enough water. If you don’t have the time to worry about under- or over-watering the grass and other plants in your yard, consider having an irrigation system installed.
Automatic irrigation system technology has improved measurably in recent years. Bluetooth connectivity is more or less the default, as are rain sensors and easy-to-use apps to control the system remotely. Irrigation systems are easiest to install during the home construction process, so talk to your builder to include this perk in your custom home plan.
Planning for Fantastic Curb Appeal
Planning and maintaining great curb appeal for your new custom home doesn’t have to be a major time investment. Remember that your builder has years of experience and is a fantastic resource for designing not only your dream home, but also a beautiful yard and house exterior that matches your lifestyle. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and be honest, and watch your ideal forever home take shape!