“Nobody wants to see a dilapidated porch with a dusty old couch on it, ” builder Colin Campbell, of Camstruct Carpentry, said. “Attract the right kind of attention to your front door by replacing or upgrading your porch, adding a deck or overhangs.”

He also suggested renewing old fascias with a clean, neutral render, and adding interest with a coat of paint. “Apply a neutral render over the facades and add a bolder colour to accent your front door and window treatments; it will instantly brighten your entry, ” he said. Drawing the eye to the front door with colour and texture would also divert focus from rundown features. “Guide the eye with lines towards the door by putting in a boardwalk or front path defined with plantings up to the entrance, ” Mr Campbell said. “Installing effective lighting is also a simple way to boost the appeal.”


“Gestures such as replacing tired windows and doors, rendering over aged facades, tuckpointing or a simple, good-quality paint job with a professionally selected colour scheme will make an enormous difference, ” Stuart Redwood, from Australian Renovations Group, said.

Renovation expert Sasha deBretton-Gordon, of Million Dollar Makeovers, said materials could also be applied over existing surfaces for a quick-fix solution to a tired facade. “Simple render and paint always add value and modernise dated brick quickly and easily, ” she said. “Mixing things up with feature cladding, porcelain tiling to fascias, stone renders and real stone are on-trend and look smart. Panelling installed in large wood sheets is also perfect for resurfacing contemporary homes.”


If the patch of grass on the verge is looking lacklustre, consider replacing it with a native garden. “Update your verge with waterwise planting schemes of low-growing species which are much more low maintenance, ” Jackie Hooper, from Zanthorrea Nursery in Maida Vale, said.

“When designing your verge, remember to use low-growing varieties closer to the road, limit the number of species and plant them in bulk for impact.” Grasses and tufting plants looked especially effective when planted en masse in sweeps across the verge. Before starting, check with your local authority about regulations on verge planting.


“Any timber product will need to be looked at at least once a year, ” Troy Stockden, of Screenstyle WA, said. “However, the main way to refresh your fences is to wash them down.”

With steel, aluminium or powder-coated products, a gentle wash with warm soapy water would do the trick. “If you’re restoring your timber, a light sand would be best to remove any loose or peeling parts of the old coating before you re-treat the timber, ” Mr Stockden said. It also paid to ensure your fence was treated according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. “I like Timber Glow XUV, it’s water based so it’s safe, easily cleaned up and very easy to work with, ” Mr Stockden said. “After we have sprayed this on the timbers, we get a great finish that is guaranteed not to require a re-coat for two years.”

Another simple option was to cover a dated fence with attachable panels. “For a cost-effective quick fix that can be done DIY, wood panels can be attached to the fence surface to easily mask unsightly areas.”


“You don’t get a second chance at first impressions, ” Sean Adomeit, from Boral, said. “To give a driveway a fast and effective facelift, you can clean your pavers with a high-pressure water cleaner, then seal it for longer-lasting good looks. “If you have clay pavers you can simply turn them over and re-sand the joints, because the colour goes right through.” Mr Adomeit said a concrete stain would hide any flaws as the acid-based paint would soak into the porous concrete. Or, consider adding a border of your favourite material or renovating only the apron of the drive (the front portion that meets the street).


For homeowners looking to revamp an ageing, sun-bleached deck, Mr Campbell suggested three things. “Punch or countersink any nails or screws protruding from the deck to combat warping and flatten the plane, ” he said. “Then sand the existing finishes back to raw timber and apply a deck reviver. Reseal it before the fresh layer of timber absorbs any water. “The important things to note when you revamp your deck are the type of timber, which determines the treatment applied to the finished deck, and which fixings need to be replaced. Factors such as foot traffic, exposure to the elements and position — particularly if it adjoins a pool — will also establish which treatments and seals are best.


When cleaning paving, Austral Bricks’ Carli Dunchue recommended consulting an expert. “We offer comprehensive cleaning guides and safety precautions through the Austral website, ” she said. “Most common stains can be removed by scrubbing with a stiff brush and an industrial-strength detergent (mixed with a degreaser and kerosene for tougher problems), or high-pressure water cleaning.” Salt build-up was water-soluble while iron stains, or acid burn, was caused by hydrochloric acid or bore water and rusting iron or steel. Treat with a phosphoric acid solution, then wash off and apply a solution of sodium bicarbonate.


IMAGE: Eco Outdoor Traditional Format

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