Curb Appeal 101: Exquisite Exteriors

The next time you drive

through an upscale neighborhood in

your community, take the time to admire

a few particular homes that seem to

stand out from the crowd.Though you

may not recognize it at the time, there's

often a common reason why these

properties catch your eye. More than

likely, the homes incorporate exterior

materials and designs that embrace the

natural environment, creating a look that

is a harmonious blend of architecture

and nature.

Most realtors call this eye-catching

aspect "curb appeal"- and it easily

influences the home's value. So what is

the best way to improve your home's

curb appeal? According to the latest

annual survey by Remodeling Magazine,

renovating the home's exterior with

upscale features provides the best

financial return on investment. On

average, homeowners can expect to

recoup 103 percent of the siding

construction cost when it comes time to

sell - higher than most other home


So when moving forward with

renovations surrounding your home's

exterior to blend architecture and nature,

taking the time to do some thoughtful

planning and creative thinking will pay

off in a big way:

Upgrade Your Siding

The exterior body of a home is the

face it presents to the world, defines the

mood and character of the home and

reflects the image desired by its owners.

Choosing the proper siding material is a

crucial step when updating the exterior.

While a number of alternative wood

products have hit the market in recent

years, all-natural Western Red Cedar is a

popular choice as an upscale exterior

siding due to its exceptional beauty,

versatility and durability. Cedar brings an

all-natural warmth and character to

exteriors that will last for years to come.

Composite or plastic materials just can't

compete when compared to the beauty

and feel of all-natural cedar.

In addition, advancements in cedar

manufacturing mean you can spend time

relaxing and enjoying your home's

exterior, rather then maintaining it.Today,

many manufacturers offer Western Red

Cedar siding pre-finished on all sides.This

finishing technology is important as it

ensures the highest level of qualityfinished

products, thus greatly increasing

consistent coating, longevity, and overall

resistance to moisture; allowing you to

choose the preferred finishing color and

simply install. Properly finished,Western

Red Cedar siding will offer decades of

low-maintenance protection.

Even better,Western Red Cedar siding

is an ideal choice for its all-natural beauty,

durability against harsh environments and

excellent thermal conductivity that helps

keep the home cool in summer while

reducing heating costs in winter. In

addition to low thermal conductivity, its

low density makes Western Red Cedar a

great acoustical barrier as well.

Incorporating Nature

Real Cedar siding is available in a wide

variety of standard and custom profiles,

and by mixing these styles with other

natural materials such as stone or river

rock, your home will blend naturally with

the surrounding environment.

Also, incorporating cedar landscape

structures like pergolas and trellises can

really add to the home's character and

further integrates nature with the overall

look and feel. For instance, a decorative

overhead cedar trellis beam blends nicely

with exterior dentil accents of similar

shape, thus melding style with nature.

This type of cohesiveness really creates a

harmonious blend towards increased

curb appeal.

Decorative Accents Add Value

Exterior accent details are the

finishing touches on a home of

distinction; they really set the home apart

and are actually quite affordable. Give

your home that elegant appeal of

handcrafted beauty with decorative

accents like: shutters, gables, cedar soffits

or dentil mouldings.These upgrades all

provide an affordable, yet beautiful

complement to your home's design and

give it some individuality. Even better,

ornamental accents at the peaks of

dormers or gables give traditional charm

- especially when these decorative

accents are finished differently from the

siding.This two-tone palette helps

emphasize the visual details and gives the

base of the house a pedestal-like quality.

"Exterior decorative accents offer

homeowners a choice in their home's

appearance so they feel like their home is

not only unique to them on the inside,

but on the outside as well," says Peter

Lang, general manager of the Western Red

Cedar Lumber Association."They

customize the home so when you drive

thorough the community the house

doesn't look like everyone else's on the


Ready to improve your curb appeal?

With the right planning and all-natural

materials like Western Red Cedar, you'll

be able to create a home that stands out

from the crowd.


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