Adding curb appeal

13 low-cost improvements you can do yourself

First impressions matter. After all, an attractive exterior makes your home feel welcoming for guests and also helps entice prospective buyers if you’re putting your home up for sale. (Not to mention the contentment you get knowing that the cute house on the block is yours.)

You can easily create a wow-worthy exterior without spending a lot of money, investing countless hours, or hiring a professional to help. Just put the following DIY improvements to work for you. 

Paint the front door

A focal point, your front door is the key to a warm welcome. So it makes sense when refreshing the front of your house to paint the door first and then go from there. You could choose a color that pops, like bright blue (of course, make sure it complements your home), or opt for a classic, statement-making hue, like black.

Update hardware

Swapping out your existing front door handle (the finishing touch to your freshly painted front door) and installing new house numbers will kick up a tired façade a few notches.   

Hang a wreath

A tasteful, seasonal wreath is an easy way to accessorize your front door.

Upgrade your doormat

A freshly painted front door begs for a new doormat. You’ll want to choose a material that is designed to get wet, is UV-resistant and resists mold and mildew, so that your doormat holds up for years. 

 Add potted plants

Potted plants, whether sporting bursts of colorful blooms or stately foliage, give off a “this home is well-cared for” vibe.

Install window boxes

These mini-gardens make a statement with color and texture and are great eye-candy for the front of a home. Plus, you can use window boxes year-round with seasonal décor based on your climate—summer annuals give way to fall mums, ornamental peppers, mini-pumpkins and small gourds; showcase evergreens, winterberries and pine cones in winter, and come spring, fill boxes with greenhouse-grown pansies, violas, daffodils and tulips.

Light things up

Illuminating the path to your front door, or simply adding some landscape lighting, enhances security while elevating aesthetics. Eliminate the need for running wire/having access to power by using solar lights. No wires also gives you the flexibility of installing in-ground lights wherever you want.

Replace exterior lighting fixtures

Are your current fixtures showing wear and tear, or are they outdated? If so, now’s the time for updates. (If your fixtures still look current but are bit worn, try giving them new life with a coat of spray paint.)

Put down mulch

Mulch keeps weeds at bay and helps retain moisture, but it also evokes a sense of tidiness and order. Natural mulch, like wood chips or pine needles, are good choices (they help improve your soil as they break down over time).

Trim shrubs

Just like adding mulch, neatly trimmed shrubs are a nod to neatness. Overgrown boxwoods, yews and the like send the message that you don’t care.

Refresh your mailbox

Give your mailbox do-over with a coat of paint, or, if it really has seen better days, purchase a new one that matches your home’s style (and meets postal regulations).

Add a seat

Whether you have an expansive front porch or simply a bit of space on a stoop, add some furniture—even a basic rocking chair or small side table (with a plant!) goes a long way toward creating charm.

Corral your garden hose

A garden hose that’s splayed out on the lawn looks cluttered and presents a tripping hazard. Tidy things up with a hose reel that attaches to the side of your house or a decorative garden hose pot.

Copyright © Hunter Douglas
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