The term “curb appeal” refers to the impression the exterior of you home presents to visitors or potential buyers. Some of the key features that are important in creating this initial impression include siding, roofing, driveways and walkways, front entries or porches, and landscaping. Today, we would like to focus on how you can improve specific aspects of your home’s exterior to make it more accessible for folks of all ages and ability. Keep in mind that this includes parents with young children just as much as an individual who requires assistance walking.
Naturally, a smooth surface will be the easiest to navigate. Be sure that the area is wide enough to allow entry and exit from a vehicle without having to step off the driveway. If you have concrete or asphalt, be sure to have cracks or uneven surfaces repaired regularly. If you have pavers, cobblestone, or another uneven surface, create a flat and even walkway from the driveway to the front entry of your home.
Here again, smooth surfaces are ideal. If possible create walkways that are wide enough to allow two people to walk side-by-side and avoid right angle curves if you can. Always incorporate lighting whether it’s solar, motion-sensor, or timed devices that will come on in the evening.
The best-case scenario for easy access is to have no steps into the home’s front entry, but quite often this isn’t possible. If you have steps, make sure that you have handrails on both sides and if you can, extend them a bit beyond the stair to allow an area to grab onto when approaching or leaving. Lighting is critical here as well, particularly on the steps themselves.
When ramps are necessary, accent them with decorative railings or add landscaping as a screening to make them feel more integrated with the rest of your exterior. Be sure to have proper lighting and areas for resting or turning for those in a wheelchair.
An entry door of 36” or wider with a threshold of no more than 1/4” is ideal. Lever handles are much easier than knobs.
Does your home’s exterior need some updating? Please give us a call to discuss your needs and we will be happy to help!