You never get a second chance to make a first impression, especially when it comes to your home’s curb appeal. After all, if your home doesn’t look up to snuff from the street, it’s not only an eyesore for you, but many potential buyers will automatically assume the interior has seen better days, too.
Rest assured, giving your home curb appeal doesn’t have to cost you a lot of time and money. Here are a few quick, inexpensive, and time-tested tips and tricks to make your home look great without emptying your wallet.
Take a Walk Around Your Home
Chances are you walk to and from your driveway to the mailbox or front door every day without paying much attention to how your home looks to others passing by. Before planning your upgrading strategy, walk around the circumference of your home. Pay particular attention to details like shrubbery, lighting, the front door, porch, flower beds and the driveway. Be objective. Does anything seem in need of some TLC? Congratulations, you’re on your way to putting together a plan of action!
Give Your Front Door a New Look
One of the most effective – and least expensive – ways to improve curb appeal is a fresh coat of paint on your front door. Try a color that fits in well with other homes in the surrounding neighborhood. Or be a bit bolder and experiment with a vivid red, blue, gold, or green (it’s easy enough to just repaint). Clean the fixtures and doorknob with a good metal polish and complete the effect with a wreath, decoration, or flag treatment. If the door itself is in bad shape, consider replacing it entirely.
Power Wash Your Place
Is your home’s siding looking a bit dirty or greenish from mildew, dirt, and moisture? Pressure washing is a quick, inexpensive way to brighten up your place without resorting to a full-on paint job. Heavy-duty pressure washers can usually be rented from your local home improvement store. And while you’re at it, give your driveway and sidewalks a “power” boost, too.
Add Window Boxes
Window boxes full of colorful plants and flowers are a fantastic way to brighten up your home’s curb appeal with minimal financial outlay. Mix and match flowers and plants depending on whether they’ll get full or partial sun and choose ones that align with your home’s color scheme. One they’re established, be sure to weed the boxes and prune and water the plantings regularly to keep them looking their best.
Replace Old Hardware and Outdated Fixtures
Over the years, things like house numbers, door hardware and the lights over your entranceway may have become a bit dated, mismatched and weather-beaten. To make your entranceway look its best, make sure all elements, old and new, coordinate well together. When buying overhead or wall-mounted light fixtures, make sure they provide adequate illumination for your entryway and choose ones that mount the same way as your existing ones.
Give Your Garage Door a Tune-up
In many homes, garage doors are very prominent features from the street and something that homeowners can easily overlook. Moreover, many garage doors seem almost an afterthought when it comes to exterior décor, and they often lack visual interest and appeal. In addition to a fresh coat of paint, a quick and easy fix would be to add new, more decorative hardware like new handles, or even faux window panels.
Light Up Your Yard
Low-voltage landscape lighting not only lets you highlight your yard’s best features, it’s also an effective way to make your home safer and more secure. Consider putting a spotlight on an ornamental tree or unique architectural feature and definitely use lighting to illuminate any walking paths on the property. Don’t want the hassle of installing electrical wiring? Solar lighting is even simpler to set up and just as impactful.
Don’t Forget the Mailbox
Whether your mailbox is curbside or mounted to your home, giving it an upgrade is a great way to show potential buyers you care about the details and make them eager to see what’s inside your front door. Pick a color and finish that matches your home’s paint and trim. For a mailbox that’s near the street, consider planting flowers around it to provide some extra color and visual appeal. For one that’s mounted near the doorway, be sure it complements the surrounding décor and color scheme. Personalized vinyl decals are another way to boost curb appeal without a lot of trouble and expense.
Touch Up Foundation Plantings & Flower Beds
Keep the flowers and shrubs around your home looking their best. Pull weeds, trim shrubs and consider planting new ground cover and low-maintenance flowers to create a neat, well-manicured look. Add fresh mulch to make your plantings “pop.”
Get Your Driveway a Facelift
When it comes to curb appeal, a driveway that’s full of cracks and weeds is a definite turn-off. If it’s an asphalt or concrete surface pull out the straggling weeds and repair the cracks with the appropriate sealant. If the surface is concrete, you can really boost your curb appeal with a stain that hides flaws and picks up your house’s color scheme. If you’re a bit more ambitious, adding pavers to the sides of the drive is another relatively inexpensive way to make your driveway look great.
Want more helpful tips and tricks on everything from planning your move to decorating once you’re there? Be sure to check out our blog.