Pick Up a Paintbrush
Painting your home's exterior is one of the most cost-effective ways to update its look. When devising your color scheme, consider your home's architectural style -- elaborate Victorian homes might be able to handle four or five colors, while Colonial styles look best with two or three. Also consider colors that can't be changed, such as stonework on the home or in the landscape, roof color, and the palette of surrounding homes.
Update with Colorful Siding
Vinyl siding was once offered in only a handful of neutral colors, but today's products provide nearly unlimited color choices so it's easy to find siding to complement your home's exterior.
Make a Statement with Windows
Cladding -- the aluminum wrap on an exterior window frame -- lets you have the beauty of wood inside and a low-maintenance covering outside. Manufacturers offer cladding in various colors, so you can make your windows stand out or blend in with existing siding.
Coordinate Hardware and Lighting
Entrance hardware, door knockers, house numbers, mailboxes, and porch lights all add character to your home's exterior. Choosing the same color or finish for these elements creates a sophisticated look.
Create a Welcoming Entrance
Your front door is a great place to add a dash of bold color -- and boost home value. If you want to add color, look for doors that come ready to be painted and opt for a high-quality acrylic latex paint, says Sara Theiss, a Therma-Tru spokesperson. Decorative glass inserts offer additional color and complement a range of house styles.
Whether operable or decorative, these accents add color and bring a historical touch to a Federal or Colonial home. For easy maintenance, look for fiberglass models, high-density PVC, or composite wood materials; they offer the look of wood but don't crack, split, or rot.
Set It in Stone
The natural colors of real stone enhance any style of home. Stone veneer, a lightweight alternative, makes it even easier to add the appeal of this natural material to exterior walls.
Consider Roof Color
It might not be sexy, but this practical aspect can have a big impact on your home's overall look. For cohesiveness, choose a tone in the same color family as the paint or siding on your home -- or pick out a color that repeats hues found in the brick or mortar.
Go Glam with Copper
The eye-catching metal comes with a high price tag, but the finished look can be worth the cost. For example, copper gutters transform an overlooked feature into a design element. "If you have a bay window with a copper roof or a porch with a copper roof, and you couple that with copper downspouts and gutters, it can be very handsome," says Washington, D.C.-based architect Bruce Wentworth.
Curb appeal extends from the front door to, well, the curb! By staining existing concrete, you transform a drab patio, sidewalk, or driveway into a stunning surface that resembles stone, wood, or leather. Acid-base stains are available in earth tones, such as tan, brown, terra-cotta, and soft blue-green, while water-base stains expand the color palette.
Upgrade the Garage
Boost your home’s curb appeal with an eye-catching garage door color. Many manufacturers offer colorful garage door designs, but if a new door is out of the question, you can update your current garage door with paint. When choosing a garage door color, consider your home’s architecture and exterior color scheme. Take your shutters, siding, and roof color into account, as well as colors used throughout your neighborhood. Some neighborhoods have restrictions on exterior colors, so check with your local homeowner’s association before making changes.