You don’t have to be selling your house to appreciate these tips.
This is the easiest way to transform your home’s exterior. For the most dramatic change, choose an unexpected, splashy color like red, yellow or orange that contrasts with your home’s existing colors and will act as an exclamation point of hot hue. Does the prospect of a lime green door alarm you? Make a more subtle change by painting the door a hue that blends with your home’s existing colors. Or, if you’re looking to sell soon, consider a shade for your door that could boost your home’s offer price. (We won’t spoil it for you; check out which colors made the grade in our study). You can do this project in a couple of hours for the cost of a can of paint, a brush and some painter’s tape.
Plants make for a fast change, especially when you aren’t even putting them in the ground. Fill some colorful pots with plants and arrange them beside your front door on your porch. Hang plants in baskets from the ceiling of the porch, too. You can also arrange containers of plants on the steps to create multiple levels of greenery. Be sure to choose plants that will thrive in the light conditions at the front of your home. Bonus points if you choose containers that match your newly and brightly painted front door.
Pro Tip: Look for used planters on online marketplaces or your local thrift store. Planters and flower pots depreciate faster than new cars and you can get deals if you buy used.
More plants, but this time in window boxes. Hang them at the bottom of your home’s front windows and they’ll add polish to its appearance, the way the right jewelry adds polish to an outfit. Fill those boxes with lush plants that spill over the sides and bring life to your home’s exterior. Plants lend themselves so well to a quick and affordable transformation that you can’t go wrong adding more.
The biggest and most valuable plant you own is your front lawn. A well-landscaped lawn can add thousands of dollars to your home’s value, but regular maintenance is key. It can help to identify the type of grass you have (fescue, zoysia, and centipede are just a few of the varieties) so that you know how to best care for it — some will need more fertilizing than others. You also may want to put a weed-and-feed treatment on your grass so it’s getting the nutrients it needs to be green and not fighting weeds.
Pro Tip: If your yard has some thin or bare patches and resodding is not in your budget, put out grass seed and water it for a few days until it sprouts and fills the bald spots.
Your front porch is a big part of your home’s face, so make sure it’s pulled together and smiling. Add a single, colorful accent chair to a small porch, or an area rug and a set of porch furniture to a larger porch. If your porch is wide enough and your house traditional, hang a porch swing. Finally, repaint or re-stain the porch floor if it’s looking worn. Your goal is to make the porch feel like a tidy, welcoming outdoor room.
Pro Tip: Look for used furniture and swings on online marketplaces or your local thrift store. If it’s battered, you can upgrade it with a can of spray paint.
This is as easy as hanging new art. Pick numbers that match your house’s style — like Talavera tile numbers if you’re in a Spanish- or Mediterranean-style home, modernist metal numbers if your home’s vibe is mid-century modern, or antique brass if your home is more traditional. Put them on a plaque that hangs on the house or attach them directly to the house. The change will be instant and dramatic.
Got a cracked, battered cement walkway leading to your door? Cover it up with natural stone tiles or more affordable pavers. You can put the pavers or tiles right on top of the cement. This takes a little know-how, so find a good tutorial and you can do this project.
Your driveway takes up a lot of front yard real estate, so if it’s dirty or cracked it needs attention. Power wash the grime. If there are cracks in the driveway, make repairs. You can mix up a batch of quick concrete to fill the cracks in concrete drives, or use rubberized crack filler for an asphalt drive. Finish with asphalt sealer or concrete sealer when the repairs are done.
Sometimes a curb appeal boost is as simple as giving the exterior of your home a good scrub. Rent a power washer and blast the dirt, mildew and cobwebs from your siding, shutters, sidewalk, porch steps, driveway and porch floor. Your house will sparkle, and you’ll be surprised at how much fun a power washer is to use.
Pro Tip: Use a plant-safe cleaner in the power washer so you don’t damage your foundation plantings with the overspray.
Is your mailbox looking battered? Give it a new coat of paint or install a new one. If your mailbox is on a post by the curb, take your mailbox beautification project one step further and plant a mailbox garden. Transplant mid-sized, blooming plants into the ground for an immediate change. Plant a vine that will twine up the post and onto the mailbox for the ultimate transformation.
Pro Tip: Good climbing plants for mailboxes include mandevilla, clematis and sweet pea vine.
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