It’s summer here in Ottawa. I’m in my backyard working on a new patio. I’m already thinking about ‘my next project’. 

It’s currently a lovely sunny day. I am looking forward to enjoying a coffee on the new patio. And I see a couple of quick projects that deserve a spot at the top of the list. 

Thinking of selling your home this year? I’ve got some projects for you to think about. These will make life more enjoyable for you. And will get the outside of your ready for sale. 

I’ve boiled the list down into three main buckets of work: yard, curb appeal, and outdoor living.  (Just don’t share this to-do list with my wife, please!)

Spruce up the yard

A nicely landscaped property sells better. You don’t need to create a botanical garden. Start with these basic tasks to give your yard a little TLC.

  1. Do a basic clean-up

We all, ok I, tend to let yard work slip from time to time.  But it’s really easy to get done and costs pennies. Do these before you tackle any other projects:

  • Mow the lawn
  • Add fertilizer
  • Pull weeds
  • Pick up sticks
  • Remove debris and leaves
  1. Trim shrubs and bushes

Overgrown shrubs and hedges can be an eyesore. Trees with dead limbs or branches pose a hazard.

If you haven’t already, invest in a cordless battery-powered hedge trimmer. Give your hedges and shrubs a quick manicure. Be careful not to over-cut. Hire a professional if you have a ‘big job’. (I know a guy!!) 

  1. Apply mulch liberally

Add mulch to any garden you have. It protects the garden and wards off weeds. Pick up some bags of brown shredded bark from the local hardware store. Spread it where appropriate as an easy upgrade.

Big garden and weeds? Put down a landscaping fabric that acts as a weed barrier for lower maintenance. Then apply two to three inches of mulch on top. Lots of garden space? It may be more efficient to call in a local company to deliver mulch to your driveway in bulk.

  1. Plant low-maintenance perennials

Perennials offer the least amount of work for the best landscaping improvement. For sunny spots, go with coneflower, coreopsis, sage, or false indigo. Plant your hostas and astilbe in shaded areas.

Exterior improvements that enhance curb appeal

Great curb appeal routinely increases what buyers are willing to pay for a home. Below are tasks specific to improving the exterior of the home that also help with curb appeal.

  1. Replace or paint the front door

If your door has chipped or faded paint, add a fresh coat of paint to your front door. When a buyer visits your home, they will spend some time examining the door as they wait for their agent to unlock it. Chipped or faded paint will fail to impress.

Need to pick a front door colour? You typically can’t go wrong with traditional colours such as navy, dark green, or black. Red doors are also eye-catching and welcoming while adding a pop of colour.

If your door is sticking, sagging, or has a drafty frame, a replacement may be in order. 

  1. Install a new garage door

A garage door that runs smoothly is a must for everyday function. If yours is dated, replace it to transform your curb appeal and add resale value.

A new door will increase energy-efficiency, better security, and need fewer repairs. 

If your garage door remains in decent shape, a spruce up may suffice. Rinse down the door using a sprayer attachment on a garden hose. Apply mild detergent for a quick garage door refresh.

  1. Clean up your siding

You can make your siding look like new with only a few supplies. To clean vinyl siding, grab the following:

  • A broom or soft-bristled brush with a long handle.
  • Bucket of general-purpose cleaner and warm water. (add vinegar instead of cleaner to tackle mold and mildew)
  • Garden hose with sprayer attachment.

Start at the bottom of your siding. Move your cleaning tool along the whole length of the panel. Rinse with water before going to the next section. Pressure washers can come in handy for a particularly dirty job. Make sure you limit the pressure so as not to damage your siding material.

Exterior home improvements for better outdoor living

It used to be that backyard entertaining areas were mostly for personal enjoyment. COVID helped people take their social gatherings to the back yard.

Outdoor living areas rank as the third most desirable home attribute to buyers. Behind a home office and quality school district. 

  1. Dine al fresco with an outdoor kitchen

My backyard dream – an outdoor kitchen! Put on the kabobs and pour a glass of wine. Having a grill, bar, countertops, sink, and a small fridge all outside is a dream shared by many Canadians. An outdoor kitchen/dining area creates wonderful memories made with friends and family.

  1. Build a deck or patio

Outdoor gathering spaces are increasing in demand. You’ll recover what you spend on a deck or a patio. And then some. 

Decks are often built with a connecting patio. Patios are a great place to unwind outside. To have a meal, sip coffee, or read a book. Patios are popular for buyers to see as they seek the new home of their dreams.

  1. Provide a shade element

We love long, sunny summer days. If you want to spend time entertaining outdoors you WILL need sun shades for everyone’s comfort. Canopies or retractable awnings are great investments. Pergolas add some cover from the sun and a unique visual structure. There are a lot of choices!

There’s a lot more you could do outside. If you want to. If you have the time and the budget. But I’ll talk about that another day. 

Any of these projects you tackle will make your summer life more enjoyable. AND they will improve the resale value of your home. Some help with home maintenance. Others will make a house more eye-catching from the street. Decks and outdoor kitchens turn a regular backyard into an entertaining oasis. Love gardening or cooking? Let your passions guide your next project while keeping broader resale value in mind.

If you want or need help prioritizing what to do, give me a shout. I will help you figure out what to tackle. And “I know people” who can help you out. 

Talk soon