First impressions matter! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!
This means your home can always benefit from some curb appeal improvement. The more attractive your home is, the better you’ll feel, and if you decide to sell it one day, the more you’ll be able to earn. The National Association of REALTORS’s Remodeling Impact report confirms that simple improvements attract prospective buyers.
I have done my best to make my home’s exterior look beautiful, and now the compliments are pouring in. So, here are some excellent tips and tricks for you to add curb appeal and achieve the same effect!
- 1 Light Up Your Home & Yard
- 2 Make Your Front Door Pop
- 3 Go Green
- 4 Give Your Mailbox A Makeover
- 5 Power Washing
- 6 Repair Your Roof
- 7 Embrace Symmetry
- 8 A Few More Completely Free Ways To Boost Curb Appeal
- 9 FAQs
- 10 Final Considerations
Light Up Your Home & Yard
Outdoor lighting is an easy yet highly effective way to add curb appeal to your home, especially now when there are so many beautiful solar light options available. As stated by the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, solar lights will not only keep your electric power bills low but also save you a lot of time and effort when it comes to installation and maintenance.
In the words of Mike Holmes from the National Post magazine, you must install and locate your outdoor light fixtures properly to achieve a magazine-worthy curb appeal. He suggests placing lights at the following locations:
- At all entryways
- Along steps
- Along pathways and driveways
- Around garage doors
- Around decks and patios
- In your backyard
- Around your shed
- Around and inside the pool
- In the outdoor kitchen area or above your outdoor grill
Once I did this, I realized the lights not only improved my home’s curb appeal but also added to my feeling of safety. There are no more dark places for intruders to hide, and I can go anywhere around my house without the fear of tripping over something. Try it!
Make Your Front Door Pop
I always notice front doors whenever I visit someone’s home for the first time. It tells me a lot about what I can expect once I get inside.
For example, the photo about is from Taryn at tarynwhiteaker.com. Taryn says: “ We took this door from “that’s not my style” to “that’s MY home” and that’s the best feeling.” So I am sure that Taryn has a bold style!
Thus, I think a great-looking door can add significant curb appeal to any home. You have two options:
Change Your Front Door
You can boost your home’s curb appeal by replacing or painting your front door. As I read in the beautifully written Curb Appeal Guide issued by the city of Hampton, your front door can add a lot of character to your home. The guide suggests that you should:
• Preserve the original doors if possible
• Color-coordinate the paint of your wooden doors with the existing exterior colors
• Use only high-quality paint so your door can look new for longer
• Consider full view and storm doors
I have good news for you – giving your door a fresh coat of paint is an easy DIY project, even for beginners. How do I know? I did it! If you are not sure how to do it, check out the video below:
Before you choose your paint, you should best check if Home Owners Association (HOA) has bylaws and regulations regarding the exterior colors of the homes in your neighborhood.
To improve your curb appeal, you should update your door hardware too. So, replace or paint an old door knob or knockers.
Decorate Your Front Door
If you like the color of your front door or you think it is too new to be replaced, try increasing your home’s curb appeal by adding some front door décor, such as a wreath, a welcoming door sign, or a colorful doormat.
On the picture above, you can see how my neibourghs decorated their front door. I loved it so much that I even posted the photo to my Flickr!
People usually hang a wreath only around Christmas or Easter, but I have a wreath for every season of the year.
Kate Lewthwaite, from the Woodland Trust, a charity registered in England and Wales, suggests making your wreath environmentally friendly by:
- Using 100% natural materials
- Making sure you save and re-use all the non-recyclable items
I avoid using seasonal elements such as Christmas ornaments and Easter eggs and bunnies so that my wreath is never dated. Opt for simple elements so your wreath can look elegant and last an entire season.
I have found a great video that shows how to make a wreath you can adapt for all seasons:
One of the most impactful ways to boost curb appeal is to add some fresh greenery and flowers.
The photo above is from OurYear Farms, a landscape company in Nashville. Isn’t it indeed a stunning transformation, as they describe it themselves?
According to the National Garden Bureau, a non-profit organization that rounds up experts in the field of horticulture, the true purpose of a front yard landscape is to create a welcoming exterior and transition from the street to your entrance.
There are several ways to achieve this:
Take Care Of Your Lawn
A healthy green lawn improves your home’s curb appeal by miles. Hence, I always give my best to maintain my lawn properly, and you should too. Regular basic lawn care includes:
- Raking off leaves
- Pulling weeds
If you live in a climate where grass has a tough time taking hold, Renew Financial, a team of experts who specialize in affordable financing for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, suggests you can conserve water and boost curb appeal by using synthetic grass.
I have found an informative video that shows how to install it:
Add Planters And Window Boxes
My neighbor has no garden or lawn, only a front porch. Yet, he managed to improve his home’s style and curb appeal. How? He added a few planters and window boxes filled with beautiful blooming flowers. Too bad he did not allow me to take a picture.
An article by Lauren Wellbank, published on the Martha Stewart Living website, states that plants accentuate the main visual points, such as your windows and entryways. Window boxes with plants such as perky pansies or cascading petunias provide a splash of color to your home’s exterior and improve curb appeal without breaking your wallet. I even use these boxes to grow herbs for cooking – it’s a win-win situation!
Here is a great video I have found that can help you plant beautiful all-season window box plants:
Plant New Flowers, Plants, Trees, & Shrubs
In the words of Jacquelyn McGilvray from HGTV, there are many affordable ways to increase your home’s curb appeal. She suggests planting a tree, or two, or three. I agree that established trees, shrubs, and plants boost your home’s curb appeal.
So, how to decide what to plant?
The US Environmental Protection Agency advises you to consider:
- The primary use of your landscape design
- Local climate
- Sun and shade locations
- Maintenance schedule
As you can see, the choice of plants depends on your region. I have found a helpful plant list that aids in choosing plants appropriate for your location on the EPA site, too. However, I advise you to first make sure you know your USDA plant hardiness zone.
Give Your Mailbox A Makeover
The already mentioned Curb Appeal Guide issued by the city of Hampton suggests using a decorative mailbox that is appropriate to the design/style of your home. You should look for a new mailbox in catalogs that offer pictures of appropriate mailboxes for the era of your house.
I did not buy a new mailbox, though. Instead, I updated my old (and very beautiful) mailbox with a paint job. If you are determined to get a new one, ensure it meets the Postal Service standards.
Jacquelyn McGilvray from HGTV advises giving your home’s exterior surface a good spit-shine and polish to make it look fresh and clean. The best way to do it, she says, is to rent a pressure washer and power wash your house’s sides, windows, walkways and driveways, front porch area, and all the outdoor furniture. You can also wash the fence, gutters, and even your roof – I did this and had great results.
According to HouseLogic by REALTORS, who are members of the National Association of Realtors, washing a house can add both curb appeal and value. In fact, the sale price of your house might increase up to $15,000.
If something is especially dirty and you cannot wash it with water only, try using dish soap or trisodium phosphate (TSP) solution when power washing. The latter can be bought at most home renovation shops.
Repair Your Roof
When my friend was selling his house, potential buyers kept asking about his roof. It is one of the first thing real estate appraisers check too, so make sure your roof is not only clean but also in good condition.
I know changing the roof is a major investment, but the good news is the return on investment for a new roof can reach as much as 105%. This is confirmed by the National Association of Realtors since they claim an investment of $7,600 can yield up to $8,000 upon resale. A word of warning, though – never try to clean or fix your roof yourself and risk injury! Let the professionals handle this one!
According to the Big Rock Premium Landscaping and Design company, when landscaping for curb appeal you must have a well-devised plan. Random greenery will not have the desired effect – you need symmetry.
Symmetrical landscaping is pleasing to look at. I started small – with a matching porch light and flower pot on each side of my front door. I plan to do the same with my garage door.
A Few More Completely Free Ways To Boost Curb Appeal
Not all curb appeal boosters cost money. Here are a few tips that will help you improve your home’s exterior without spending a dime! I learned about these ideas from more experienced neighbors and the already-mentioned professionals from the Big Rock Premium Landscaping and Design company:
In my opinion, no matter how much you invest in your house’s appearance, it won’t matter if there is clutter around it all the time. Hence, make sure there are no tangled garden hoses or your kid’s toys lying around. Tend to the sidewalk in front of your property, too, since, according to Peter Grech, the president of the New York Superintendents Technical Association (NYSTA), sidewalk clutter and mess is both ugly and potentially dangerous.
Do The Small Fixes
Make sure you do all the required repairs: oil old door hardware, change burned-out bulbs, etc. Even the tiniest flaw can spoil the first impression and drive away potential buyers. I often walk around the outside of my house and fix everything I can.
Add Some Outdoor Art
You do not have to invest in a new door or the most expensive outdoor furniture when you can make an excellent first impression and boost curb appeal with a little bit of creative thinking.
From wall painting to garden sculptures – there are many ways to beautify your home exterior.
Especially garden sculptures. Look at my photos below and above: one of my neighbors bought many of colorful Mexican-styled figurines and some of them double as flower pots!
The following video also gave me some great ideas:
Clean Up Garden Beds
Add some fresh soil and pull out weeds and your plants are sure to flourish and brighten up your yard. I took advice from Hannah Rose from Walter Magazine, and thus I make sure to clear my garden beds of weeds and add a layer of compost or leaf mold in March. You might do it later, depending on your climate.
Eventually, the trees and shrubs you plant will grow big and strong. Trim the overgrown branches and hedges to achieve a clean look. I do it twice a year: in early spring and late fall.
I used a few rocks to fill empty spaces in my yard and garden beds. They look great no matter the season and do not require any care. Just don’t overdo it!
Why is it called curb appeal?
It is called curb appeal because it means how attractive your home looks from the curb. A curb is the edge of a sidewalk or roadway.
Why is curb appeal so important?
Curb appeal is so important because it gives potential homebuyers their first impression of your property. It also hints at what you can expect to find inside the house.
What adds the most curb appeal?
Cleaning the outside of your house and maintaining a beautiful garden or lawn add the most curb appeal. Yet, there are numerous other options to boost your home’s curb appeal.
As you can see, simple changes to your home’s exterior can have a huge impact on curb appeal and earn you some real estate value points. From thorough cleaning to adding a new porch light or new seating on your front porch, the possibilities are countless and need not cost you a fortune! If I did it, you can too!
I am available for any questions you might have. Please help me spread this article by sharing it with your friends!