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September 2015

Four ways to boost a home's exterior appeal

Home Advisor, the free nationwide online home improvement marketplace, suggests four exterior projects to enhance a home's curb appeal - and possibly prevent major repairs. They include landscaping, exterior paint, roofs/gutters, and fencing.

Spruce up landscaping. Overgrown shrubs, worn-out mulch, and brown spots in lawns project a tired, rundown image, but can be remedied with pruning, laying sod and new plantings and mulch. In the course of planning the improvements, HomeAdvisor suggests examining the grade surrounding the home to make sure it isn't compacted and sloping toward the house, which could threaten the foundation.

Touch up paint. Chipped and peeling paint could lead to rotting, mold or warping on a home's siding. A little preventative maintenance can help preserve the life of the paint (typically about 15 years). Taking time to prep the chipped areas with sandpaper and primer, and then painting the damaged area can help prevent costly repairs if maintenance is deferred. The pros also recommend pressure washing the home in the spring to remove dirt and help prevent mold and mildew.

Repair roofs and gutters. Missing shingles and sagging gutters are more than an aesthetic concern - they can lead to spendy repairs. HomeAdvisor notes water takes the path of least resistance, and those routes include cracks, gaps and holes. Deferred repairs could mean water in sub roofing. Unrepaired gutters also have costly consequences. Periodic roof inspections are advised.

Fix fences before they tumble down. Prompt repairs can save the time and expense of replacements. From pressure washing to replacing damaged boards and resetting posts, or applying a fresh coat of stain or paint, these simple measures can enhance the appearance and extend the life of an existing fence.

Since its launch in 1998, HomeAdvisor has grown to become the nation's largest online home improvement marketplace with a network of more than 90,000 pre-screened home service professionals. Free to homeowners, it enables finding and connecting with pre-screened home improvement, maintenance and repair professionals.  Built In Colorado named HomeAdvisor the largest digital tech employer in that state.