I’m about to disillusion numerous home renovators here, but the truth must be told: painting your facade and landscaping your yard is not enough to truly transform the exterior of your property.

Painting will certainly refresh the look and give it a more modern appearance, but it’s like putting on a new jacket; it looks great, but underneath your figure is the same.

What I have learnt over the years is that landscaping and painting accounts for approximately 30 to 40 per cent of what needs to be done to truly transform a home’s facade. The real magic happens when painting and landscaping are supplemented by other clever modifications.

Changes that complement your facade are the difference between a makeover that is clearly DIY, and one that has designer dazzle.

This doesn’t mean you have to give your home a major overhaul and make expensive architectural changes. The best transformations often come from subtle and inexpensive alterations over and above what you were intending to do anyway – but the difference they make can be huge.

These could be updated paving, fencing and cladding, mature plantings, modernised garage doors, a fresh front door, and a mailbox that has design flair as well as function.

For example, if you were going to spend $30,000 to $40,000 on painting and landscaping your home anyway, adding a few extra modifications that might cost somewhere between $15,000 and $20,000 could be enough to give your home a completely new look (and add a lot more value than a simple paint and landscape update).

The biggest issue for home renovators is that they don’t even realise there are other ways to transform a house.

They assume that the only other option is to go to an architect who will give them over-the-top, and expensive ideas. You can achieve a predictably good result, no matter the style, location, condition or value of your home; and an exterior designer will help you, using well-considered touches of colour, materials and landscaping, composed together in a strategic way.

Jane Eyles-Bennett is one of Australia’s top exterior designers and owner of design firm Hotspace ConsultantsJoin Jane in her Facebook group Home Renovators Network Australia for design and renovation inspiration and insider tips for your home improvement projects.

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