Category: Home Maintenance

Spring Curb Appeal Tips for Your Portland Home

Spring has sprung, so it’s time to head outside and see how your house has fared this winter. In addition to doing necessary spring home maintenance, you may want to work on your home’s curb appeal, too. A little freshening up helps any home, so here are some of our favorite spring curb appeal tips for your Portland home.

Create an Ecosystem in Your Yard

Creating an ecosystem in your yard is smart for several reasons. An ecosystem that suits local conditions attracts beneficial birds, insects, and wildlife. It will also thrive under our climate’s natural conditions with fewer pesticides.

Portland’s most recognizable ecosystem is filled with conifers. Include columbine, hellebore, Douglas firs, azaleas, and sword fern.

If you want to make more extensive changes to your yard, check out Oregon’s Backyard Habitat Certification Program. This groundbreaking program helps residents create healthier cities for us and wildlife. Once you apply, a tech will assess your entire yard and identify invasive weeds, listen to your goals for your yard, and make recommendations. You’ll receive a report full of plant recommendations and steps to take.

Plant Seasonal Flowers

Get a few large pieces of pottery and fill them with an array of native, seasonal flowers. They do so well in our climate that you can have real beauty in your yard for long parts of the year. Great options for this time of year include:

Here’s a very helpful tutorial for making sure that you plant your flowers correctly and that they look great when you’re done, too.

You can also install flower boxes on the exterior of your home and fill them with flowers. This tutorial shows you how to make and install them, but you can also buy them pre-made.

Thin Out Your Trees and Shrubbery

You know what makes a home look dated? Overgrown shrubbery and trees, especially if they’re ones that have been there since the house was built. Those old juniper bushes aren’t doing your home any favors.

Here are some tips for trimming trees and shrubs.

If you’re in need of some new trees or shrubbery, don’t miss our blog post about the best Portland varieties for your yard.

Paint Your Front Door

Portland has so many lovely, old homes. But weathered doors can make a home look shabby and outdated. A home’s front door has a big impact on whether or not the home feels inviting.

Bring a bold color (blue, yellow, red) to your front door. If you have a wood door, try a rich stain. You’ll be surprised to find that your home has a whole new look!

This tutorial shows you how it’s done. (It’s surprisingly quick to accomplish.)

You can also replace a threshold, repair sagging screens, repair a damaged doorjamb.

If your door needs more character, add some molding and trim to it.

Paint Your Home’s Exterior Features

Portland’s homes typically have a lot of character, especially the older ones. All that architectural detail is just begging to be played up with paint. Don’t be afraid to paint columns, door details, and porch ceilings to contrast with the color of the home. You can also tackle your trim and shutters.

With exterior paint running around $30 a gallon, this is an inexpensive way to make a big difference to your home’s look.

Here’s a good place to start your research on exterior home color combinations.

Repair Rotten Wood

Rotten wood looks bad and can quickly spiral out of control. If you fix problems while their small, you won’t have to do a lot more work later.

Wet rot is pretty easy to spot. Dry rot is a much bigger problem and can be a little harder to spot. It can be fed by moisture in the air, so the wood doesn’t necessarily have to be wet. It also starts small and quickly gets out of control. Here are symptoms of dry rot you should watch for:

  • Mycelium growth: a white or gray cotton-like substance on the surface of the wood
  • Wood that’s affected by dry rot has had its moisture removed and seems dried out. It shrinks somewhat as a result and is often brittle and warped
  • Wood surfaces are covered in something resembling a mushroom or mold
  • Wood has a damp, fungal smell

Go here to learn more about repairing and replacing damaged wood.

A Couple Other Easy Spring Curb Appeal Tips

Mailbox

It’s easy to ignore your mailbox, but if it looks bad, it’s really brings down your house’s entire look. Something like this kit instantly makes your house look like a million bucks.

Solar Path Lights

Solar path lights look classy and expensive. Plus, they’re really useful. See a good option here or here.

The Best Portland Plants for Your Garden this Spring

Are you itching to see some spring color? So are we! The month of March marks the beginning of spring planting season here in Portland. Because we have such a wet climate, lush greenery and gorgeous flowers thrive in our own backyards. We’ve looked high and low to help you find the perfect flowers, shrubs, and trees for your spring garden. Check out the best Portland plants for your garden this spring. Continue reading “The Best Portland Plants for Your Garden this Spring”