12 Upgrades and Exterior Accents for Homes

When you think of exterior accents for homes, you might think of white picket fences and garden gnomes, but we don’t mean that kind of accent. The home accents in this context refer to ancillary buildings, landscaping sans lawn accouterments, and house trim. Exterior accents or adornments also refer to the utility items viewable to those passing by or who visit your yard, like the HVAC system and septic system. Let’s consider how upgrading a few items around your home’s exterior can significantly upgrade your home.

1. Have a Beautiful Lawn

A lawn comprises the largest of the exterior accents for homes. Make your look gorgeous by keeping it a verdant green using a hydroseeding company. Hydroseeding refers to the process of spraying a green-colored mixture of grass seed, fertilizer, mulch, and nutrients onto a lawn. This mixture sticks to the ground in such a way that it appears the lawn received a coat of spray paint until spring rains cause it to grow.

As home improvement guru Bob Vila points out, hydroseeding lacks the instant gratification of laying sod but costs much less. Laying sod provides an instantly green, grassy yard; if you own a home with a large yard, buying and installing sod gets pricey.

2. Build a Storage Space

Keeping everything clean and neat offers the quickest way to create a lovely yard and home exterior. Consider buying or building a storage building, one of the exterior accents for homes that helps keep everything looking great and easy to find. Instead of piling items at the rear of your carport or in your garage, erect a storage building that matches your home’s trim.

This handy space provides you with an organized area in which to store your golf clubs, family bicycles, camping equipment, and much more. Choose from a variety of designs, available at most major retailer home improvement stores, like Lowe’s and Home Depot. This ranges from utilitarian designs to those that look like miniature European cottages complete with windows and double doors. Placed in a backyard, these outdoor buildings quickly help a household organize their outdoor equipment.

3. Clean Your Septic

Contact your local septic services to schedule a cleaning. Your septic tank resides under your yard, but if it leaks, everyone will see it and smell it. There’s nothing like raw sewage seeping up through the ground to ruin all the hard work that you put into your landscaping, home, and outbuildings.

If you’ve noticed that you need to have your septic tank pumped more often during the year, it may no longer suit your household’s needs. Septic tanks come in various sizes. If your family grew in numbers, such as you adopted a child or an elderly parent moved in with you, your household may have outgrown your septic tank. Contact a septic systems installer about upgrading your tank to a larger size.

4. Improve Your Internet

It may not seem like better Internet qualifies for a list of exterior accents for homes, but it does when you consider how connected our culture has been. Even at a cookout, people snap photos, post to social media, and hold Zoom calls for those who couldn’t make it to the event. Consider adding an improved router or upgrading to priority data with your Internet service provider, so your Wi-Fi reaches every nook and cranny of your yard.

If you don’t know how to do this, contact your local computer repair shop for advice. Many of these shops employ computer nerds who love improving their systems. Even if the shop doesn’t offer networking consultations, you can likely find a computer tech willing to walk you through the process of buying a better router or finding an Internet provider with better service.

5. Stay Warm All Year

Maybe you read Stay Warm All Year and thought of furnace repair, but since it has become common to spend time outside in all four seasons, let’s consider exterior accents for homes that keep you warm outside. Whether you choose a chiminea, a fire pit, or an in-ground outdoor fireplace, natural fire offers an ideal way to stay warm in the great outdoors. Other options include portable tabletop fireplaces that use gel fuel or liquid biofuel.

How do these differ? A chiminea, fire pit, or in-ground outdoor fireplace uses twigs, leaves, and firewood to build a traditional fire. You may need to use lighter fluid with it, but most fires should start without it. Using a portable tabletop fireplace that uses gel or liquid biofuel lets you move the fireplace around your yard, so you can enjoy it in the front or backyard.

6. Get Rid of Junk

Junk does not qualify as exterior accents for homes, so have it hauled away as soon as possible. If you have an old clunker parked in your yard, call an auto salvage yard to haul the vehicle off. Selling the vehicle for scrap can earn you up to $100 in some areas, more than that in others.

For other junk, you’ll need to locate a pickup service that hauls large items. Most trash services will not pick up large items, such as old carpeting or broken furniture. Ask each company you contact about the limitations of their hauling services.

7. Make Your Home Pet-Friendly

Make your home pet-friendly with exterior accents for homes with pets. Felines from Maine coon kittens to full-grown Abyssinian cats adore climbing, so install a cat run that blends in with your home’s exterior. A cat or dog run provides your pet with a fully enclosed outdoor place to run and play. They can come and go as they please from your home to the run, but never jump the fence, so you don’t have to worry about them running out into the road.

More rural homes might own more exotic pets. If you purchased a flock of chickens and a rooster, consider constructing a small henhouse for them. Paint it to match your home, so they have a miniature version of your house. Building a small barn using matching house paint colors makes a quaint home for your favorite pot-bellied pig, horse, or goat.

8. Update Your HVAC

Contact your local HVAC company to upgrade your heat, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) unit. Although not on most people’s list of exterior accents for homes, it should be. Stand on the sidewalk in front of your home and notice what you see. Unless you planted bushes or erected a fence around your HVAC system, the outdoor half of your system shows from the street.

Turn on your HVAC system and stand on the sidewalk outside your home. Can you hear the system running? If so, your home creates noise pollution. The latest HVAC systems run whisper-quiet quiet and, if you purchase an Energy Star model, these modern HVAC systems save you money, too.

9. Repair Water Damage

Your home’s siding and trim consist of one the largest exterior accents for homes and any damage causes an eyesore. Note and repair any water damage you see. Water damage on the outside of a home means water damage inside the wall. This repair won’t just make your home prettier to look at, it also makes it safer to live in it.

Besides water damage, check the exterior of your home for siding wear and tear. Inspect your roof while you’re at it to find out if it needs repairs or replacement. Asphalt shingles last about 15 years, but they can become damaged in storms more easily than metal or copper roofs. If you notice more than one area of damage to this type of shingles, call a roofing professional for a replacement estimate.

Consider replacing an asphalt roof with a metal or copper one. Metal roofs last about 50 years, and copper roofs last even longer than that. That means once you have it installed, you probably won’t need to replace the roof again while you reside in the home. Metal roofs also stand up better to extreme weather and offer the same wide range of colors as asphalt shingles.

10. Paint Exterior Additions

We’ve covered storage unit painting and provided ideas for pet structures, but let’s consider the rest of the ancillary buildings in your yard. Those exterior accents for homes – your home – need an upgrade. Paint these buildings to match your house and keep the paint job looking new by doing spot touch-ups each year. Patch any broken wood or framing with new lumber and paint it to match.

This means your garden shed, the detached garage, any workshop, or the shed gets painted to match. When every building on a property matches in main color and trim color, it adds continuity to the home. You instantly boost curb appeal by painting everything to match.

11. Small Ideas With Big Impact

Some exterior accents for homes take the form of tiny improvements that create a huge positive impact. These options don’t cost much to install, and they make a home look lovely. Most cost less than $50 to buy.

Plant a garden bed. Choose brightly colored flowers to brighten the yard and provide a focal point. Planting more than one garden bed offers an opportunity to enliven a large yard that seems like a solid expanse of green

Add a few lawn chairs to create a seating area. Choose matching chairs and organize them in a semicircle or circle, so people can face each other while talking.

Add an outdoor dining table and chairs. Also called a patio set, this type of table and chair set offers durability and a design meant for use outdoors. Many patio tables include an umbrella to shield those sitting at it from the sun.

Paint or stain your deck. Make the oldest deck look new again with a wood stain like Thompson’s weather sealant. This type of wood stain creates a water-resistant barrier and makes the wood look brand new by adding color to it, such as walnut or cedar.

Put in a gazebo. Large yards need hardscapes like a garden shed for storing items. They also need something like a gazebo or pergola to break up the vast green space. A gazebo provides a place for people to sit and enjoy some shade, while still admiring the entire landscape from its circular seating.

Install walkways. Pick a path material, such as decking boards, bricks, stepping stones, cobblestones, or large flat rocks. Put in pathways that connect the areas of your yard, such as a path from the back door to the swimming pool and from the pool to the gazebo. Put in a front walkway from the street to your home’s front door.

12. Invest in Exterior Accents

Tackling home improvement doesn’t mean doing it all at once. Sometimes, getting started means choosing one small item you can easily accomplish in one afternoon or an hour. Starting with a small item gets you started and provides you with a sense of accomplishment.

Choose a day with decent weather to get outside and make a difference in your home’s presentation. Whether you need to rake your yard or build a deck, start small and work your way up to the huge tasks. Even a large project, like constructing a deck, seems manageable when broken into smaller tasks. Here’s how to do that, using deck building as an example.

Do one task per day in the following order:

    1. Measure the exterior area where you want to construct the deck. Write down these measurements.
    2. Choose the deck design you will use and buy the plans.
    3. Make a materials list based on the deck plans.
    4. Price the materials using various home improvement websites.
    5. Purchase the materials and have them delivered or pick them up.
    6. Have your deck builder construct the deck or build it yourself with a buddy. Stick to the purchased plans for the best results.

You can break down any massive project using this same method. It reduces one large project to six smaller tasks that take only a few hours each. By the end of one week, using this method, you’ve constructed a new deck. Pick a project to improve your home’s exterior and get started.

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