Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Curb Appeal #1: Getting From Curb to Door

Your first thought about your house's curb appeal should not be what color to paint the front door, where to hang hand-crafted wreaths, or what to plant under the windows.
Neglected house

Having the cutest front door on the block doesn't matter if it's hard to get from the curb to the front door.  I'll expand these bullet points later into posts with examples, explaining why they are important, but for now, here's some things to think about.

Curb Appeal Functional Tests:
  • Is it clear where the entry walkway is when a visitor approaches by car and by foot?
  • Can two people walk side by side up to the door? 
  • Are the steps at least as wide as the door?
  • Is the walkway at least as wide as the steps?
  • Can you stand on the top step or the porch and open the screen/storm door outward without having to step back or fall off?
  • Can one person on crutches use the walkway without stabbing a crutch tip into the lawn?
  • Can you get an appliance dolly, wheelchair or 2-wheeled wheelbarrow up the walkway?
  • Can you comfortably carry a large package up the walk, up the steps and into the house?
Curb Appeal Safety Issues: 
  • Do the walkway and step materials have good traction?
  • Are flights of steps of equal height, with adequate width for feet?
  • Does the lighting clearly illuminate the steps and walkway, or just the door? Can you find the path at night?  Will you trip over toys?
  • Will it be easy to keep the walkway clear of snow and ice? (I've seen a house plan that would have TWO gables dumping snow onto the front entry steps!)
  • Is any of the landscaping thorny or spiny? Or squishy and slippery like iceplant? Does it drop squishy slippery berries?
Curb Appeal Cosmetics:
  • Does the landscaping hide the entry, or reveal it attractively?
  • Is the view OUT from house to curb attractive?
  • Is the landscaping in proportion to the house?
  • Does the landscape enhance the color of the house?

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