When it comes to curb appeal, some houses have it and some miss the mark. Especially the people that live in my neighborhood. Whether you are ready to put your house on the market or just looking for ways to liven up your space, investing time and money to improve the first impression your home makes can pay big rewards in the end.
Spanning everything from large projects to minute details, here are six ways to boost the curb appeal of your home.
1. Go Big
When you’re willing to invest some money, there are several big projects that can transform the look of your home. While usually thought of as a way to add living space, additions can vastly improve curb appeal. A new porch or portico entryway can make your house feel more welcoming. Replacing a cracked driveway or an old garage door can also do wonders to improve your home’s appearance.
If you want to invest in a project that has a high return on investment, both roof replacement and new siding fit the bill. Not only will a new roof add to your resale value, it will also make your home look like new. Likewise, installing new vinyl siding can take a home from aged and worn to clean and bright.
2. Put in a Little Elbow Grease
If you don’t have the budget for large home improvement projects, don’t despair. Instead, spend some time and effort to spruce up what you already have. First, repair anything that needs it. Perhaps you’ve been ignoring some rotting wood on a windowsill or putting off fixing a loose board on your porch. Tackling these small repairs can make a big difference in curb appeal.
Beyond repairs, don’t overlook the power of a good clean. If you have vinyl siding, grab a garden hose and wash it off. It’s easy to overlook years of dust and pollen when you see your house everyday, but you’ll be amazed at how much better it looks freshly washed. Don’t stop with your house either. Turn your attention to your driveway and sidewalks as well. A power-wash will make them look like new again.
For the yard, a little elbow grease can also go a long way. Be sure to weed flowerbeds and rake any fallen leaves in the yard. Don’t forget to spread some fresh mulch around trees and in flowerbeds.
3. Revamp Your Landscaping
No single improvement makes as big or as immediate of an impact than landscaping. The plants surrounding your home define its style as much as the house itself. Like a fresh coat of paint, careful landscaping can frame your home’s best qualities as well as camouflage any problem areas.
To get the most out of your landscape, there are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Choose a color scheme:
While you don’t want a monochromatic yard, you also don’t want a haphazard mix of competing color. Choose a color palette with a few complimentary colors and a single contrasting color that is used sparingly.
- Tear out what’s not working:
Overgrown bushes and plantings that are the wrong size can undermine the appearance of your home. Don’t be afraid to pull out old bushes, remove unattractive trees, and transplant shrubs and plants to new, more suitable locations.
- Don’t neglect your lawn:
A lush, green lawn creates a canvas for the rest of your landscape.
- Plant a mixture of fast-growing and slow-growing plants
The fast growing plants will create some immediate visual interest while the slower growing layers are still filling in.
- Don’t overlook the hardscape:
Landscaping is more than planting flowers and shrubs. Adding rocks, borders, and walkways are also part of the job. Choose materials that compliment each other as well as the plants surrounding them.
- Consult the pros:
Even if you are an avid do-it-yourselfer, some professional advice can make the difference between a pulled-together landscape and an expensive disaster. Your local home and garden stores, hardware stores, and plant nurseries are staffed with knowledgeable professionals who can give you pointers.
4. Replace Your Entry Door
Your entryway is the focal point of your house. Make it attractive and welcoming. If you have the funds, replacing the front door is worthwhile. With so many styles, colors, and finishes to choose from, you can find a door that compliments your house. If you’re not ready to replace your door, a new coat of paint can dress up its appearance. Consider going bold with a red door for some added drama. For an elegant timeless look, try a black door.
5. Dress Your Windows
The humble window is often overlooked as an area for improvement. For old houses with equally old windows, replacing them with new, energy-efficient models is a great way to cut your energy bills. However, if you already have good windows, there are still some things you can do to enhance their appearance.
First, add shutters to frame the windows or, if you already have shutters, paint them a new color. Adding a window box overflowing with flowers adds beauty and charm. Finally, take some time to clean your windows. No amount of window dressing can make up for dirty glass panes.
6. Tackle the Details
Curb appeal isn’t limited to big projects. There are plenty of small details that you can upgrade that can improve the overall look and feel of your home. Here are a few examples of small projects that pack a big punch:
- Replace your bland house numbers with big, bold black numbers.
- Paint your mailbox or install a new one.
- Upgrade the outdated hardware on your front door.
- Add a new entryway light or spray paint an existing light in black or bronze.
- Add solar lights to spotlight flowerbeds.
- Edge your sidewalks with pavers or stone.
- Put some big potted plants on either side of your entryway.
Don’t let a drab exterior detract from an otherwise cozy home. No matter what your budget, there are plenty of projects, both big and small, that will enhance the appearance of your home. From planting lush landscapes to washing the windows, the time and effort you spend beautifying your space will pay off with immediate results and a serious upgrade to your home’s curb appeal.