Outside influences and exterior motives

    Improving the facade of your home will not only make it more attractive, it could also add value – and it’s not hard to do

    Exteriors

    If your home has a painted exterior, it won’t stay looking good forever because the weather will take its toll. The easiest way to give the exterior a new look is to paint it a different colour, using a high-quality masonry paint.

    Even if you’re happy with the existing colour, repainting it can work wonders. Discoloured, peeling and patchy paint isn’t pretty or practical, and can lead to damage that’s expensive to repair.

    While you can rarely be as adventurous with the colours you use on the outside of your home as the inside, you don’t necessarily have to stick to white, cream or magnolia.

    However, you do need to consider what will go with your neighbours’ houses, if there any restrictions (such as planning ones) on the colours you can use, and what suits the style and period of the building.

    Having the exterior of your home rendered can really smarten it up, even if it’s just the front. Coloured renders are available, so if you find a colour you like, you won’t need to paint the render, saving time, effort and money.

    With modern-looking properties, wooden cladding (or faux wooden cladding) can work well, especially on the front.
    Another good way to improve the front of your home, especially if it’s plain and lacking character, is to add a porch.

    The porch should, of course, be in keeping with the style of the building and needn’t be elaborate. A small roof and something to hold up the roof may suffice.

    Changing the windows and front door, or replacing an unsightly porch, can also make a big difference to the look of your home.

    If it’s a period property with ugly modern windows, for example, fitting period-style windows will transform the exterior, and interior, and probably make it warmer and quieter too.

    Before you start changing the exterior, find out if there are any restrictions on what you can and can’t do. Listed buildings usually can’t be altered without obtaining listed building consent from the local council, for example.

    If you live on ‘designated land’, which includes conservation areas, you may not be able to do what you want with your home’s exterior, or you may need planning permission, especially if your home’s permitted development rights have been removed.

    For more, visit the Interactive House at www.planningportal.co.uk

    TOP TIP

    A quick way to paint pebbledash is with a (deep-pile) roller, but you’ll also have to go over it with a paintbrush to cover all the bits the roller has missed.

    You’ll need to work the brush in well, so don’t use a good one.

    If you just use a brush, you can cover all the pebbledash in one go but, be warned, it will be time-consuming.

    Painting brickwork is similar; the roller will cover the faces of the bricks, but the mortar between the bricks will usually have to be done with a paintbrush, so it will take a while