Now that many of us are at home, exercising social distancing and doing our best to stay mentally and physically well, this is a great opportunity to boost the curb appeal of your home.
You don’t have to be readying your home for sale to reap some of the benefits from enhancing your homes curb appeal: You and your neighbor’s property values will increase and your ego will get a boost from the increased pride of ownership. Not to mention that you will soak up some natural vitamin D and get a little exercise to boot.
Many of the following suggestions can be done with little to no cost, some imagination, and a little resourcefulness.
Paint your front door
One of the easiest ways to transform your home's exterior is to paint your front door. Choose a subtle shade that blends in with your home's existing materials or add unexpected color to your front door with a splashy hue. This budget-friendly project can be done in just a few hours for a quick boost to curb appeal.
Boost Basic Concrete
Refresh a plain concrete walkway to boost your exterior's character. Apply a colorful concrete stain to the surface for a playful touch. This budget-friendly curb appeal idea is a quick way to transform your front entry, driveway, or garden path.
Curb appeal doesn't end when the sun goes down. Highlight pathways and up-light trees with landscape lighting. It improves safety and can yield dramatic effects for your home's nighttime appeal. Plus, new solar landscape lighting can even help you save on energy and is easy to install.
Add Container Plants
Turn your home's outdoor entry into an inviting focal point by adding a few well-chosen and nicely arranged plants on the front porch. Vary the plants and container sizes and arrange them on multiple levels.
Planting small ornamental trees, such as pagoda dogwood, redbud, flowering pear, river birch, or Japanese maple is worthwhile, especially if you're preparing the house for sale soon; these can add dramatic interest without requiring years to get established. If you're staying put, think long-term and try oaks, maples, honey locust, or other large and strong species suitable for your region. Check with your nursery professional or research online for the best choices for your location.
Window curb appeal tips
To dress up characterless windows, install house shutters or paint the trim in a modern color to create playful contrast. Window boxes filled with lush foliage bring life to your home's exterior.
Install a Prefab Trellis
For exterior design on a dime, use an arbor or trellis to give form to your front yard and complement your plants. To make this curb appeal idea even more budget-friendly, make your own DIY trellis. Then, train a flowering vine up the trellis for a gorgeous living wall treatment.
Landscape for curb appeal
Smooth the transition between the street and your front steps with a few inexpensive landscaping ideas. A clear, curved path directs visitors towards the front door and is pleasing to the eye. Surround the walkway with midsize shrubs and flowers; passers-by will notice plant groupings more than individual flowers, creating a greater street side impact.
Hang a wreath
Whether placed on or beside your front door, a wreath is a simple way to personalize your entry. Start a collection and change often with the seasons and/or the holidays. You can even make your own wreath!
Get a healthy lawn
One of the least-expensive improvements you can make to improve curb appeal requires two simple steps. First, apply a weed-and-feed treatment to your lawn to ensure the grass has proper soil nutrients and doesn't have to compete with weeds. Second, sharpen your lawnmower blade regularly and cut the grass at or near the mower's tallest setting.
Tip: If your lawn is too unhealthy or choked with weeds, consider installing new sod. Remove the old lawn, lay new sod, and keep it well-watered for a few weeks.
Create porch appeal
If you're lucky enough to have a sizable front porch, use furniture and accessories to create a simple but inviting outdoor room. Add a comfortable bench, accent rug, a cozy porch swing, or chairs to create a conversation nook. Keep the porch clutter-free and open for gatherings.
Give planters an edge
Keep your lawn from invading your flowerbeds with stylish edging. Concrete or brick edged planters are a quick, easy way to customize your landscape at an affordable price.
Power wash exterior surfaces
Take a weekend to freshen up your home's exterior. Aluminum, wood, and vinyl siding are safe surfaces to power wash, as are wood decks and concrete sidewalks. If you don’t own a power washer, you can rent one from your local home improvement center.
Street address numbers, mailboxes, locksets, and porch lights are simple curb appeal upgrades. Although these elements are small, they add a lot of polish to your home's look. Keep the finishes consistent so the pieces look like an ensemble of accessories, not a batch of mismatched hardware.
Install a new storm door
Many homes are fitted with inexpensive aluminum screen doors that hide a more attractive entry door. For an eye-catching look, paint your storm door in an accent color, or look for one with larger glass panels and a sturdier frame. Install a full-view storm door design to allow the front door color to shine through.
Beautify the driveway
Line your driveway with lush greenery for a curb-appeal boosting effect. The colors and textures of plants soften a driveway's expanse and make it look less utilitarian. Groundcovers and low-growing plants are best in beds along one or both sides of the driveway.
If you are feeling a bit more ambitious - the following projects will take a bigger bite out of your budget and/or require a bit more sweat equity. However, the results can be dramatic.
When repainting, take the opportunity to choose fresh color and trim accents that enhance the character of your home. Should you have a historic home, do some additional homework and choose appropriate colors. Paint test patches before committing to a color scheme. While some colors look great on a sample card, they may not look so good on your home.
Replace old walkways
If a concrete walkway needs repair or just a fresh look, replace it with a fresh path made entirely of stone or brick; even decomposed granite works nicely for some homes. Add some subtle turns and, if using stone, add some low-profile groundcover between the stones to soften the look.
Restore an asphalt driveway
Keep your driveway in top shape with a few simple repairs. Patch and seal the surface of the driveway, filling holes and cracks with asphalt patch. Apply fresh sealer to make a worn asphalt driveway look new again.
Upgrade the garage door
An attractive garage door is an essential part of curb appeal. Sectional doors can feature windows in an upper panel, and some higher-end versions mimic the look of traditional carriage-house doors.
I hope I have sparked a bit of motivation to get outdoors, employ some creativity, and to add some curb appeal to your home for which you will be proud.