Everyone knows that curb appeal is one of the easiest ways to add value to your home. Sprucing up the front porch and yard will create an inviting atmosphere and a better chance at selling if that’s on your radar. Curb appeal includes all parts of your house that are visible from the road, including the yard and landscaping, driveway, porch, shutters, and front door. Here are five projects to add curb appeal without spending a ton of money.
How to make your home more attractive
Step 1: Survey your house. Obviously you can’t do anything until you clearly identify what could use the most work. Take some time to walk out to your curb and put yourself in the place of a potential buyer. What would you be looking for? What would turn you away?
It’s easy for a homeowner to get used to faults in their house, or not realize something has appeared after years of gradual build-up. Perhaps a crack in the driveway started as an inch and has grown a couple feet over time, a corner of the gutter has gradually stained after years of build-up in one area, or the garage door is peeling.
This is why it’s important to look at your house as someone who might be seeing it for the first time, maybe even get an outsider’s opinion on might drive down the value of your home.
Step 2: Start at the top. Unless it’s very clearly messed up, most people probably don’t give their roof a second thought. But odds are, it could use some tender loving care.
Just getting up and cleaning the roof (or hiring a professional since it’s the safest route) can go a long way since it probably hasn’t had a good cleaning in awhile. Clean out the gutters and remove any eyesores.
If you’re really serious about selling and the roof looks dingy or is missing shingles, it might be worth going ahead and getting it replaced. This is a major factor in a homebuyer’s decision.
Step 3: Freshen up dull doors, trim, and shutters with paint. A cost-effective home fix-up that will instantly add curb appeal is a fresh coat of paint.
Repaint your front door and shutters in a bright color that matches the rest of your home. Be sure to properly treat the surfaces (sanding and primer as needed) before painting and look at photos online for inspiration if you are feeling stuck.
Step 4: Assess the walls since they’re the largest surface area. Most homes have a lot of wall surface around the house and this can make or break the overall appeal. Whether you’ve got siding or brick, a thorough clean of the walls can go a long way.
If you do have a brick home, a good cleaning is the best you will probably get. But if you have siding, it might be worth looking into a new paint job. It’s something you can even do yourself to save money and will instantly take years off the appearance of your house.
Step 5: Replace your mailbox and upgrade your house numbers. A small trick that goes a long way, upgrading your mailbox can boost the curb appeal of your home.
You can choose a style that matches your home or neighborhood, but you don’t have to spend a lot of money. You can easily find a suitable mailbox for $20 - $30.
The old standby house numbers might still serve their purpose, but installing new ones can update the look of your home. This is another inexpensive item that can add major appeal. Find house numbers online or at your local home improvement store.
Step 6: Add some green. Planting trees and flowers can spruce up your yard and create a more beautiful landscape in your neighborhood. Add some simple shrubs or trees to take your yard to the next level.
When planting trees always consider the size of the tree and where the shade will fall. For flowers and plants, pay attention to the amount of sunlight they require and the climate in your area.
Step 7: Dress up your porch. The front porch welcomes visitors to your home, so it’s only natural that it deserves some of your attention. Invest in a nice doormat and a table and chair set if space allows.
Use this space for seasonal decorations and subtle details that add to the overall curb appeal. Keep your porch clean and free of debris like leaves and tree limbs. Repaint any areas that could use some extra coverage.
Step 8: Update light fixtures. The lighting around your home offers safety benefits as well as curb appeal. Update old light fixtures to newer styles, and keep them clean and free of cobwebs.
The light fixtures should match the style of your home while also providing the proper amount of light for entryways and walkways.
If you are replacing existing light fixtures, look for products that utilize the same mounting system as what is currently installed. Check home magazines for ideas, and visit your local home store to explore some options. You can also find inspiration from other homes in your neighborhood.
Step 9: Don’t forget the small details. There are so many little elements around the exterior of your house that can be replaced or fixed for very little money in very little time. Addressing some of these little items could take a day and be the factor between selling or not selling your home.
One small thing that makes a huge impact on a viewer’s eye is actually the house number. Is yours faded or even missing? These numbers are so cheap (starting around $2) and even fancy, custom-designed plaques can be purchased for less than $100 to attract more attention.
Other things to look at would be touching up the trim, repainting the mailbox, cleaning and shining the doorknob and/or knocker, placing a tasteful door decoration up and tidying up the porch if you have one.
Whether you have plans to sell or you just want to make your home more inviting, curb appeal is one of the most cost-effective options for homeowners to add style and value. Choose products and plants that fit with the style of your home and neighborhood and comparison shop to find the best prices.