Increasing the curb appeal of your home isn’t something that has to cost the average person a ton of money or take a lot of time. The outside of your home is like the front page of a magazine (remember those)? It’s the first impression and often can set expectations for the inside of the house.
You don’t have to be selling your home to consider increasing your home’s curb appeal. Often people want that first impression to be better than it is now. Improving your home’s curb appeal doesn’t have to be expensive or take much of your time. Many of these tips are simple and can be done in a short time while also helping to increase the value of your home.
Here are 10 curb appeal tips you can start implementing today.
Paint/replace your front door
The main entryway to your home should be eye-catching and inviting. Take time to pick a color or door that “pops.” Don’t be afraid to add color to a front door like red. When working with your front door and the area surrounding ensure that you have a certain amount of symmetry as well. Matching bushes on each side and lighting. Wall sconces or lanterns next to the door not only help light the area but also are pleasing to the eye. If all else fails and the door is beyond repair look to replace it with something visually appealing.
Another additional fix is changing out hardware on your door. A new handle or lock can add further detail to increase your visual curb appeal.
Fix your lawn
Many of us have a love-hate relationship when it comes to our lawn. We either love keeping up our green carpet, or we despise it. It’s not as hard as you think to keep up a nicely manicured lawn. Make sure you take time to cut at the correct level and water and fertilize regularly. Also, if you front yard has flower beds, be sure they are designated from your lawn. Cut them out using a hoe or spade shovel and make sure you edge this area regularly when taking care of your lawn.
Add flowers and shrubs and trim existing shrubbery
Overgrown bushes and shrubs are an eye-sore. If you can’t see out your front windows of the home, then it’s time to take out the trimmers and get working. If you need to plant new bushes, look to include evergreens that will continue to add color to your house even in the middle of winter. Add seasonal flowers for color in your flower beds and containers on the porch. Water them regularly and make sure to “deadhead” or remove any withered blooms.
A power washer can be your best friend when it comes to cleaning the outside of your home. You can rent or buy one at a hardware or big-box store or borrow one from a friend. Power washing will help remove any mold, algae, and dirt from services such as your siding, brickwork, cement paths, and wood fences and decks.
Pay close attention when power washing wood or concrete to not stay in one spot too long. The pressure of the water can cause wood to splinter and cement to “pit” or break apart. Smooth motion with a power washer is always best.
Have a clear path to the door
I’ve mentioned the importance of an inviting front door but even more so is clear access to that door. Many homes might have old brick or concrete paths that are worn and broken. If it’s possible, try a quick power wash to remove any debris. If a new brick or paving stone pathway isn’t in the budget, then there are less expensive alternatives.
Many home stores or garden centers sell stepping stones that you can purchase to make a defined walkway. Measure and decide how many you need and then lay them out accordingly, removing any old grass where the new stones will go. I like to use a drywall saw to remove stubborn grass. It’s essential to place a layer of sand beneath each stone to level them out properly. When done applying the sand, place the stone down and tap the edges to “seat” the stone in place.
Reseal the driveway
Everyone wants to have a new freshly paved driveway, but if it’s not in the budget, there are alternatives to get that newly paved look. One method is to call a professional and for $100-$150 you can have them apply a fresh coat of driveway sealer on your old battered asphalt. Most times they will fill in any visible cracks as well to prevent water from seeping in under the driveway which can cause future damage.
If you can’t afford to bring in a professional, then do it yourself. Home centers like Home Depot sell all the necessary tools you need including crack filler, a broom to spread the sealant and the sealant itself. For under $50 you can cover a 400 square foot driveway.
Clean out your gutters
Dirty gutters are not only detrimental to your home’s structural condition, but they can also be an eye-sore and take away from your curb appeal. Cleaning your gutters on the inside and removing any debris like twigs and leaves will ensure that they are working correctly to divert water away from your home’s foundation. Cleaning them on the outside with a gentle cleanser or power washer will make them look like new again and make a visible difference in your curb appeal.
Replace your old and worn out mailbox with a new one or at the very least paint or clean your existing one. Replace your house numbers as well when making any repairs. A new mailbox might set you back anywhere from $50 – $200 depending on the style you choose. At my home, we have a simple white vinyl covered post and white mailbox. If you are crafty, you can paint images on the mailbox and seal coat it with an outdoor lacquer or polyurethane to protect it from the elements.
Add shutters or change the colors
Adding shutters to your home can drastically improve your curb appeal while also adding symmetry and dimension to the house. Shutters should adorn both sides of your windows. Don’t be afraid to add a splash of color without going too crazy.
Let there be light!
Along with proper lighting by your front door also look to include either solar or low voltage landscape lighting. Both are simple to install and relatively inexpensive. At my home, I use low voltage lighting as it tends to last longer than the solar options and also remain on all night. Malibu makes an excellent starter set like the one below that comes with all the necessary parts you need to light up a pathway and shrubs and be able to expand later. Set up for these low voltage lights is as simple as burying the wire under a thin layer of mulch or dirt and connecting the lights.
Adding curb appeal to your home doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money, with many projects completed in a few hours to a weekend. Often it just requires a little bit of sprucing up and not a major renovation. It’s easy to access videos and tutorials for just about every project via YouTube that you’ll never wonder again how to complete a project. If you take just a little bit of time and effort, you’ll be surprised at the results.
What have you done around your home to increase your curb appeal? Let us know below in the comment section.