They say not to judge a book by its cover, but your home is another matter. The outside of your house offers the first impression of your space, good or bad. Judgmental neighbors aside, curb appeal is crucial for any homeowner on the market to buy or sell. And home with good curb appeal will have potential buyers more eager to see the interior.
It may take a little work, but boosting your home’s curb appeal, big or small, does not need to be complicated or expensive. From minor landscaping to cosmetic fixes, we have several DIY home improvement tricks to help so that you can increase the value of your home in time or over the course of a few weekends.
Keep a Manicured Lawn and Garden
Nothing screams shabby like an overgrown lawn and gardens. Maintaining a healthy lawn can be tricky, but trimming it isn’t. Even if you can’t seem to shake those patches of crabgrass, make sure to rake all the leaves come spring and mow at least once per week until the first frost. Gardens should also be weeded regularly. If you want to deter weeds, consider laying mulch around your planters. This looks nicer and helps prevent new growth for a period.
If your garden needs some TLC, consider pruning back or transplanting any overgrowth to space things out better. Some plants spread out more than others and, therefore, need more upkeep. If you’re dealing with the opposite issue, try using rocks or fake boulders to fill large gaps in your garden. This requires zero maintenance and is incredibly convenient for those who lack the time or skills to maintain a large garden.
Have an Eye-Catching Front Door
Painting your front door is a super low-budget fix-up that can easily give a fresh look to your home. Whether just touching up the color or choosing something bright and new, painting your door is quick maintenance with immediate results. It can also be a fun weekend project for creative types.
Before you start painting, there are some tips to keep in mind. For starters, wipe your door with a wet rag to remove any dust or dirt. Then, you’ll want to remove the hardware and prime your door if you plan to change the color. However, you can skip this step if you’re just touching up the original color. Choosing exterior paint is also essential so it can better withstand the elements, and a gloss finish can help your entryway stand out better. In addition, the paint will dry much faster on a clear, sunny day, so choose your painting day wisely.
Freshen Up Your Mailbox
A plain post or shabby mailbox is boring. But, similar to the front door, a new or freshly painted mailbox and post can make a big difference in curb appeal at a low price point. Even something as simple and budget-friendly as updating your house numbers, planting a small garden around your mailbox, or attaching a hanging basket can make it look nicer. Home BNC offers some fun mailbox decorating ideas if you need inspiration. Styles range from vintage to modern, sleek, bold, and everything in between to suit any home aesthetic.
If you add a small garden, consider a mix of plants with varying blooming periods to keep it thriving longer. For example, planting spring flowers like hyacinths or tulips that bloom earlier in the year will accent the greenery of more common summer flowers as they start to come in. Additionally, including some fall flowers like mums or dahlias will keep your mini garden colorful and green through the first frost.
Pressure Wash the Siding
Sometimes the rain or a regular hose just can’t cut it. Pressure washing the outside of your home can help to remove buildup from dirt, mold, and mildew and make it look almost as bright as new siding. If you don’t have your own pressure washer, one can easily be rented from most hardware stores, or you can hire someone to do it for you at a higher cost. If you do it yourself, start at a lower power and work your way up.
Pressure washing isn’t limited to the siding either. You can use it on your gutters, fences, walkway, porch, and even patio furniture. If you aren’t sure whether you should rent or buy your own power washer, Forbes lists the pros and cons of either option.
Clean Your Roof and Gutters
Probably the least appealing task, but a necessary one. Grime, moss, or other fungi on your roof can lower curb appeal and lead to stains and rot from retaining moisture. So, get your ladder and a pair of disposable gloves ready. You’ll want to keep up with this annual chore or suffer the consequences later.
While cleaning out your gutters, take a moment to look them over and make sure they’re stable. Ensure all brackets and screws are secured. Tighten anything as needed, then run a test with your garden hose to see that the water flows properly. You can also use a rubber mallet to try and adjust any bent pieces. If you don’t want to stick your hand in the gutter annually, consider installing gutter guards to help prevent debris from building up.
Add Pattern to Your Porch
This is where decorating skills and things like Pinterest come in handy. Applying the ol’ razzle-dazzle to any front porch, regardless of size, can help your home feel more inviting and give the space personality. This can be as simple as a door wreath and welcome mat with a patterned rug underneath or something unique like stenciled concrete. Better Homes & Gardens has a great tutorial on how to stencil a concrete patio or porch.
If you have the space, add a bench or chair with colorful cushions as a cozy sitting area. Include a hanging basket or potted plants to make the space feel even more homey. Color coordinate your plants and paint the furniture and pots in fun colors and patterns to give your porch more character and match the aesthetic of your home.
Update the Light Fixtures
Proper lighting around the exterior of your home is just as important as the inside. At a minimum, there should be lighting around your front door, though a lamppost by your mailbox and even garden lights are also helpful. No one wants to be stuck fumbling with keys in the dark. If you already have light fixtures, add curb appeal by updating them to match your home aesthetic.
This doesn’t mean you need to buy all-new outdoor lighting, though it is an option if you have the budget for it. While landscape lighting is more or less hidden, porch sconces and lampposts are not. Consider applying a fresh coat of paint if your current fixtures are flaking or need a change of color. Changing the lightbulbs as needed and dusting off cobwebs and other debris is additional easy maintenance that can help keep your fixtures looking newer.
A lot goes into maintaining your home, and we only scratched the surface. You can make several DIY improvements to save money and boost curb appeal, and Prime is here to help. We have the home storage space for you, whether you need somewhere to store your belongings before your move, a place to hold home staging décor, or to keep outdoor furniture and planters you acquire as you make updates. We have locations nationwide, so find a facility near you to get started!