8 Ways to Update the Curb Appeal of Your Home

Let’s face it, the first thing that people notice about your home is the exterior, so why is it that the exterior of our home is sometimes one of the last things we update? You may be busy finishing the basement, updating your appliances, painting the bathroom or whatever else that may be on your list, but there is something to be said for driving up to a home that is very well kept. The home’s exterior should be extremely inviting and give you a hint as to what the interior of your home is going to look like.

Updating the curb appeal of your home can be very easy. Some projects can be little and others much larger, so pick the ones that best fit your home, budget and style! Here are some fun ideas for ways to boast your curb appeal.

  1. Give your front door and garage door a new paint job. Your front door and garage door get a lot of use and can look “tired” or faded quickly. Consider repainting or even using a new, fresh color on the front door.

    Blue Painted Front Door

    Blue Painted Front Door

  2. Add garage door hardware. This is something that is simple, but really adds character to your home! Consider adding carriage door hardware to give it some flair!

    Updated Garage Doors

    Updated Garage Doors

  3. Add a striking door number to your home. You want this to be visible from the road! This update is not only functional, especially for guests trying to find your home, but it adds to the curb appeal of your home as well!

    Customized Address Numbers

    Customized Address Numbers

  4. Make customized planters. Want your initials, name or even your address? There are so many options for having some fun customized planters on your home that will add color to the exterior of your home.

    Customized Planters

    Customized Planters

  5. Cover your air conditioning unit. Let’s be honest – A/C Units are not the prettiest things to look at. Consider building lattice around it, or hiding it with some type of shrubbery (make sure to check with your manufacturer for maintenance tips and also make sure that you can still get to it for maintenance!)

    Lattice Covered Air Conditioner

    Lattice Covered Air Conditioner

  6. Decorate your front door with a wreath for the season. Feel free to buy one, but making a wreath for your home can be a lot of fun!  For the summer time flip flops are fun, and for football season?  Show off your favorite team!  The options are endless!

    Flip Flop Wreath

    Flip Flop Wreath

  7. Change your doormat! This is so quick and easy to do! After the winter months you probably need a new doormat, anyways.

    Sweet Home Floor Mat

    Sweet Home Floor Mat

  8. Replace or repair your window screens. It updates your home but also helps to keep bugs or other critters out of your home when you have the windows open. You definitely don’t want to welcome a mosquito into you home just because of a ripped screen, do you?

Hopefully some of these updates (if not all) sound appealing to you! It’s amazing what a little bit of TLC to the exterior of your home can really do to your curb appeal. You most likely will start a trend in the neighborhood, so be prepared for copy cats!

M/I Homes of Charlotte Hosts “Business After Hours”

It was a memorable afternoon of networking in a gorgeous home.  Actually, make that two gorgeous homes.

M/I Homes of Charlotte was proud to host Business After Hours, a casual event with fun, food and networking sponsored by the York County Regional Chamber of Commerce.  About 50 Chamber members mingled and toured models of M/I’s new Hanley and Preston home plans in the Hawk’s Creek community in Fort Mill, South Carolina.

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“The homes were beautiful,” says Alisha Rosenthal, communications manager for the chamber.  “And just like at any party, guests congregated in the kitchen and living room.”

The model homes provided a relaxed, intimate setting for making business contacts.  Hosting the Chamber event demonstrated how well the two-story Hanley and Preston plans work for entertaining and family living. Attendees enjoyed the chance to win door prizes including a $100 Target Gift Card.  Adding to the festivities were treats from Melanie Rowe Catering including fruit tarts, citrus meringue tarts, chocolate decadence bites, and butter rum melt-aways.

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Several potential homebuyers dropped by and got to see the home plans in action.  “At this Business After Hours event, it almost felt like you were at a friend’s house,” says M/I Homes Sales Associate Paul Eagle. “Everyone had a really good time.”

Learn more about Hawk’s Creek here.

M/I Homes Sells Benefit Home in Houston, Texas

Closing for Benefit HomeThirty four years ago the Greater Houston Builders Association Board of Directors created a charitable project to bring vendors, builders, developers and volunteers of the GHBA together for one cause: to find a way to give back to Houston. The overall goal of the program was to build quality homes to be sold at market value for a profit that would then be donated to charity. This program is still going strong today.

This year, M/I Homes of Houston was given the opportunity to build this “benefit home” in the Woodlands – Villages of Creekside Park community. M/I Homes donated the construction and management of the home, while The Woodlands community donated the homesite.

The Steffany II floor plan was selected for this event. This home featured 2,629 square feet of space with 3 bedrooms, a study and an open concept kitchen looking into the family room.

When looking for a new home Jennifer Simmons fell in love with this home, the community and the location.  She adored the open concept kitchen and the large variety of upgrades that were included in this home, as well as the spacious game room, media room and full bathroom upstairs.  The icing on the cake was when she learned that this home also benefited three local charities; the Texas Cancer Center, the Alzheimer’s Association and HomeAid Houston. Jennifer’s decision to purchase this home became an even simpler one.

Jennifer Simmons New Home

This benefit home closed on June 20th, 2014. The program that was created 34 years ago by the GHBA has raised over 9 million dollars for local charities throughout its existence. With the help of generous vendors, hard working volunteers and the Greater Houston Builders Association, M/I Homes was proud to be a part of such an amazing project.

To learn more about this program go to the GHBA website.

Guest Blogger: Dishwasher Do’s and Don’ts for an Open Concept Kitchen

For most families, the kitchen is the hub of the home. It’s where you prepare and often partake of daily meals; it’s where you create culinary delicacies and congregate for parties and holidays; and more often these days, it’s also an integral part of your main living area.

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Whether your family is comprised of one or ten members, the underlying premise for open concept kitchens is the same: You want your dishwasher to be the subtle supporting actor that contributes to an overall “best picture,” not a demanding diva that needlessly steals every scene for all of the wrong reasons.

So to help you find the perfect dishwasher for your open concept kitchen, here are some things to keep in mind.

Sound Matters: Whether you’re hosting a party, having a family dinner, or watching a movie in the living room that’s only 10 feet away, the last thing you want is to have to listen to the dishwasher working away while you’re trying to enjoy some well-deserved down time!

Lower decibel levels and super-quiet features are huge assets when you have an open concept kitchen. This is because a dishwasher that is rated even four decibels higher than another is twice as loud (the lower the decibel number, the quieter the machine). In practical terms, this means that although a model with a decibel rating from 41-50 will be virtually silent, a rating of 60 or above makes conducting a normal conversation difficult.

To achieve a lower decibel rating, look for models with stainless steel tubs and good quality insulation

One trade-off you may need to consider is a dishwasher with a built-in disposal. This feature will make it louder, but it may be worth it to you if you and your family (based on your pre-rinsing habits) stand to benefit from the disposal’s grinding capability.

Size Matters: When you spend a ton of time cooking, baking or preparing food, selecting a dishwasher with a large internal capacity is key. Look for models that come equipped with an extra-large capacity or a tall tub.

Newer dishwashers have adjustable racks that you can lower or raise as needed. These come in handy because they affect more than just the rack; when you raise an adjustable rack, you automatically create more room for the taller sheet pans or serving platters below. The more you can fit in a single cycle, the less time you spend loading, unloading and washing dishes!

Time Matters: If you run the dishwasher at night before going to bed, the cycle duration doesn’t matter as much as it does when you are waiting to use the clean dishes. This happens most often during the holidays–when you have to wash the lunch dishes because you need to use them again for dinner.

But what about those times when you don’t want to run a full-length normal cycle at all? If you have a smaller load or just need something sanitized in a snap, you may need a dishwasher that comes equipped with more time-sensitive and soil-conscious options.

Design Matters: In the realm of marrying form with function, you want a dishwasher that packs a major aesthetically appealing punch but also works exactly how you need it to. One example of how this might come into play is a model with a touch pad control system.684a86f4-2830-4eab-89fe-c8fc5ca83a7f_400

Dishwashers with touch pads in place of traditional dials are handy, but the easily-triggered mechanisms can activate the machine when you bump into the panel.

A better solution if you find yourself congregating around this appliance is to select a model with the touch pad concealed “inside” the dishwasher on the top ledge of the door, or a “top control” model. This way, you have the fancy touch pad without the hassle of false starts (literally!) when you casually brush up against the outside of the dishwasher.

What’s your favorite feature on your dishwasher?

***  Rheney Williams writes about home appliances and home organization for Home Depot. Rheney spends many hours in the kitchen of her Charleston, S.C., home, so she’s quite excited when she can provide advice to homeowners on appliances such as dishwashers. A large selection of dishwashers available at Home Depot can be found on the Home Depot website.

M/I Homes of Charlotte Opens a New Model at Huntington Forest

Charlotte – M/I Homes has opened a new model home in Huntington Forest in southwest Charlotte.  The scenic community near Lake Wylie offers six different home plans, ranging from 2,360 to 3,271 square feet, for homebuyers who want great design at an affordable price.  Homes here range from $213,990 to $276,935, depending on options selected.  Huntington Forest is an established neighborhood with many wooded home sites.  The community has convenient access to I-485 and I-77 and is very close to the new Tanger Outlets.

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The model home features the Newport plan.  In this versatile “ranch-plus” design, buyers can have everything they desire on one level, or add a half-floor for additional living space upstairs with an optional full bath.  Highlights include a large, yet cozy kitchen, with center island, a light-filled breakfast area, and formal dining and living room.  The living room could be changed into a study with optional French doors.  This home gives buyers more than 2,800 square feet if the bonus room is added.

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The Newport is one of six M/I home plans available in Huntington Forest.  Others include The Marvin, The Davidson, The Galloway, The Westport, and The Pinnacle.  Ranches and two-story homes with up to 7 bedrooms can be built here.  The community also has move-in ready homes available now.  All are part of M/I’s Eco-series, designed to give buyers an energy-efficient, environmentally friendly home and every M/I home comes with a 30-year transferable structural warranty.

This beautiful community, located off of Hwy. 49 and Steele Creek Road, includes a pool with children’s pool area, cabana, pavilion, and playground.  Carowinds, a 398-acre amusement park, is just a few minutes away and additional shopping includes Ayrsley and Rivergate Shopping Centers.

Schedule your tour of Huntington Forest Today!

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