Give the front of your home the boost it needs!
Are you feeling a little jealous of your neighbor’s yard these days? If yours looks a little worn and weathered, it may be time to up your curb appeal game. Whether you hope to impress potential buyers, or you want a freshened up front view you can be proud of, there are some great low-cost and easy ways to add a little pizzazz to your home — even if you’re not super crafty. Gather your supplies and let’s get started!
Curb appeal ideas for any budget
While you could spend lots of time and money on improving the front of your home, you’ll often find that small updates can make a big impact. Here are some inexpensive, low-effort things you can do to make a great first impression:
A dingy house doesn’t dazzle anyone. Cleaning the exterior is one of the easiest (and cheapest) ways to improve curb appeal.
Power up the pressure washer
It’s amazing what just spraying off the dirt and grime from your house, porch, and sidewalks can do! If you don’t own a pressure washer, borrow from a neighbor, rent one from a home improvement store, purchase one, or hire a service. If you’re going DIY, scrub off stubborn areas first, then spray the house top to bottom. If you add cleaning concentrate to the water, be sure to rinse with a clean spray after. Expect to spend an hour or two spraying a mid-size home, and another hour for walkways or driveways.
Gutters full of leaves and twigs look messy. Grab a ladder, some gloves and a trash bag, and scoop out the debris. If you want to avoid doing this over and over, consider installing gutter guards to keep them clean year-round.
Tidy up outdoor spaces
Pick up and organize kid’s toys, tools or other clutter. If you normally keep things like your trash bins in the front, find a place to stash them to the side or back of the house. Or you may even consider building an easy storage area. This tutorial uses just 10 boards, lattice and stain.
Make the windows sparkle
Exterior windows get a lot of built-up dirt and grime. Clean them in two steps — first the screens, then the windows. Remove the screens, then use a soft scrub brush and soapy water to clear them. When you’re finished, rinse them well with clean water. For the windows, use a cloth or soft sponge to remove debris, like bugs and leaves, then spray with a 1:1 mixture of vinegar and water, and squeegee them dry, wiping the squeegee with a towel after each pass. Then replace the cleaned, rinsed screens.
Scrub the fence
With age, wood fencing gets discolored from weather, mildew and algae. A good scrub can help make it look new. You can do this by hand or with a power washer. Follow these tips to get it looking good again.
A Fresh Coat of Paint
Don’t worry! We aren’t talking about painting the whole house (though you surely can)! Instead, put a fresh coat of paint on some key areas, like the porch or front door — it can really transform your overall curb appeal.
Freshen up light fixtures
Are your exterior lights looking dingy? Not so happy with the brass-colored finish anymore? Remove the light fixtures, and clean and dry them. Then spray them with a new color using metal spray paint — matte black, antiqued bronze or a fun hue. Once they dry, hang them back up — you’ll be amazed at how something so small can make such a big difference.
Make the door pop
Some say different front door colors have meanings for your home: green for prosperity and black symbolizing control. Whether you believe that and want to bring a certain energy to your house, or just want to change things up, a new door color can change the whole look. Paint it in place or remove it from the hinges — whichever you prefer. Start with a clean, dry door (sand any imperfections before cleaning), and use a roller or brush to paint. Many people prefer a glossy paint for this since it highlights architectural features and holds up better against nicks. For most doors you’ll just need one quart of paint.
Upgrade the mailbox
If your mailbox factors into your curb appeal, give it a fresh look. Same thing here: clean it and spray it whatever color you want. Add some decorative stickers for your address, and boom! Instant upgrade.
Give outdoor furniture a fresh coat
Outdoor furniture often takes a beating after sitting out in the weather. Spruce up any peeling, flaking and fading by scrubbing off loose particles and dirt, then either use spray paint (specific to the furniture type: metal, plastic, wood) or a paintbrush for a fresh look.
Install New Features
Time to break out the tool kit and add some simple, decorative features to your home.
Add decorative shutters
They’re great for adding character and charm to the front of a home. Your local home improvement store carries a variety of shutter options — from wood-stained to eye-catching colors. This tutorial covers easy steps for installation.
Put in exterior lights
It’s not just the daytime that matters. Create curb appeal at dusk and dark! You can pick up solar garden lights at a local home improvement store that easily stick in the ground. Consider lining pathways with these lights to help guide guests to the front door or highlight architectural or landscaping features.
Hang window boxes
Depending on how DIY you want to get, you can buy or build window boxes to add flowers or greenery to the exterior of your home. Talk with a local garden center to find out which plants are best for your climate and setting.
Place house numbers
There are unlimited options for decorative address markers — things like vinyl stickers you can place on the door, a metal sign that sits in the yard, DIY tiles and license plates. Use this Pinterest board for inspiration to showcase your personal style. Bonus: having your home number more prominent is better for first responders, and it also allows potential buyers to easily identify your home.
Put up a wreath
Grab a hook (over-the-door, suction cup or hook and loop), and place a beautiful wreath on your front door. You can make your own using just about anything, or you can buy one. Go seasonal, or choose one with greenery, like eucalyptus or boxwood, for year-round use.
Spruce up the garage door
Add appeal to this part of your home by adding some simple hardware. It’s an easy way to turn a boring garage into something that looks upscale and modern! Decorative pieces are super easy to fasten to the existing door with a drill, and kits cost around $40.
Think of your yard sort of like accessories to your home. The right pieces can really set it apart! You don’t have to go crazy at the garden center, but a few simple steps can make a big difference.
Set out potted plants
They bring color and texture. Use big urns to add oversized topiaries to your entryway or add color with hanging plants. Make sure to use plants that will survive in your climate and sunlight setting.
Put down new mulch
If your mulch is looking faded, it’s time for a flower bed makeover! Start by pulling out the weeds and adding new mulch. This is easier than you may think since you can add the new right over the old. As old mulch breaks down, it adds nutrients and organic matter to the soil.
Add layers in your flowerbeds
When adding fresh plants, it’s important to think about how they will look once grown and flowered. Add varying heights, with taller plants in the back. Think about creating a tall base layer, then do a couple of rows of smaller flowering plants. Mix up the texture with some thicker bushes in the back, wispy grasses and individual buds.
Manicure the lawn
Maintaining a well-manicured lawn and neatly trimmed hedges is the easiest way to add curb appeal. Cut overgrown bushes, remove low-hanging branches, and mow the lawn frequently. You’ll be surprised at how inviting your home looks by simply spending some extra time on the yard.
Share your curb appeal projects with us!
Everyone loves a good before and after photo! After you shared yours with your friends, we’d love to see them, too! Post them on our Facebook page or tag us on Instagram (@upackmoving).