Color Me Sold! the Guide to Choosing Exterior House Paint

By: Adam Coyle

Increasing the value of your home can be a complicated affair, with renovations, curb appeal, and general repairs all eating away at your time and budget. One of the simplest measures you can take to increase your property value is to give the exterior of your home a fresh coat of paint.

Chipped and faded siding gives buyers the impression that your house is old and poorly maintained. After all, if you don't care enough to make the outside look its best, then what other things have you let fall into disrepair?

You want potential buyers to drive by your house and take notice. A quality paint job can do just that. Be sure however, that you choose the right colors, or else buyers will take notice for all the wrong reasons.

So where do you start? One place is the inside of your home. While it isn't necessary to match the interior decor with the outside, it is a good idea to use complementary colors to ensure a feeling of harmony from the inside out.

Look at your architecture. The structural design of your home will have a huge impact on whether colors look chic or tacky. You want to enhance architectural features, not overpower them, so be sure to take the style of your home into account before painting.

It is also wise to take a look at the neighborhood you live in. Are the houses painted with neutral colors like beige and gray? If so, then painting your home magenta will do more than make your home stand out; your house will look garishly out of place. While kitschy businesses can get away with bright, crazy colors, the average homeowner cannot, unless it works with the rest of the neighborhood. It is also considerate to think about your neighbors in case they themselves plan on selling in the future. You not only don't want to lower your property value, but you also don't want to take the whole neighborhood down with you.

Roofing materials also have a color, so consider this in your plans. Work with what is already there in terms of style, age, and colors.

Another question to ask yourself is: how many colors will I use? For more intricately designed homes, having a few complementary colors can really highlight architectural detail, and give your home a sophisticated look. Using multiple colors on a plainly designed home, however, overwhelms the structure and looks ill-placed.

As far as shades go, the darker the color, the smaller the home will look. It will also fade much quicker and therefore be more difficult to touch up at a later date. Dark colors also retain heat, so think about what kind of weather conditions you will be dealing with. On the positive side, dark hues can look very refined and elegant.

Lighter shades will make your home appear larger, and will reflect heat. Unfortunately, any marks and stains on the house will be much easier to spot than on a dark colored home.

No matter what color you choose for your exterior house paint, your home will look brighter and ten years younger with a fresh coat on its siding. It really is the easiest and most cost effective way to improve the look of your home, as well as increase your property value.

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