Curb appeal means so many things to so many people that it's hard to figure out where to invest your energy, time, and money. Exterior improvements can encompass everything from simple DIY upgrades to major landscaping projects and there are literally hundreds of ways to enhance the look of your home.
If budget is currently a factor, however, you can narrow your focus onto projects that are easy enough to tackle yourself or affordable when completed by a pro. Don't worry about sacrificing impact! The ideas outlined below can make a dramatic difference in your home's curb appeal – sometimes in as little as a few hours.
1. Paint Your Front Door
Even in neighborhoods where neutrals are the order of the day for exterior paint, colored doors can make an easy statement. A contrasting color will deliver the most bang for your buck and brighter colors will give your home plenty of personality.
2. Enhance the House Numbers
3. Glam Up the Entranceway
Pretty wreaths, outdoor carpets, painted runners, potted plants, and a café table with a floral arrangement can create an inviting façade that makes guests feel welcome before they ever step foot inside.
4. Update Light Fixtures
Builder grade fixtures might offer sufficient lighting but they're often completely devoid of personality or charm. Replacing your outdoor lighting with fresh fixtures is an easy project with a big impact. Alternately, spray painting outdated fixtures can do a lot to change their look.
5. Edge Your Driveway
While having a new driveway installed isn't cheap, it's relatively easy to give an existing asphalt slab driveway a facelift with stone, brick, or pavers.
6. Manicure the Lawn
A single unkempt patch of grass can undermine all of the work you've put into your home's exterior thus far, so it's worth the time and the trouble to mow, wood, edge, and fertilize. A lawn doesn't need to be perfectly green but it ought to be tidy.
7. Trim Trees and Shrubs
All of the improvements in the world mean nothing if people are distracted by hanging branches and out-of-control hedges. Cut away boughs touching your siding or roof and neaten shrubs so your home's beauty can shine through.
8. Plant More Flowers
Color can hide a multitude of sins so if there are aspects of your exterior you don't care for but can't change at the moment, turn flowers into a focal point. Perennials cost more up front but the yearly burst of color they offer will be a major curb appeal booster.
9. Install New Garage Doors
The garage doors that came with your home may be as drab as they are functional, which means that replacing them with doors featuring a vibrant color, an engaging design, or simply more elegant hardware can do a lot for your home's appeal.
10. Swap Out Old Hardware
Don't overlook the simple changes like upgrading the hardware on doors, shutters, the mailbox, the garage, and even screen doors. It's a subtle enhancement but one that helps define your home's personality.
Most of these projects are easy for the average homeowner to take on and taken together can turn a so-so exterior into one that people stop to admire. Try one or commit to tackling them all for the ultimate curb appeal makeover on a budget.
But as you mull over what you want your home to communicate at a glance, consider this. While in general any and all improvements to your home's exterior and lawn will give it a boost, it's worth taking a tour of your neighborhood to determine what's trending before committing to a specific look or landscaping scheme. Fitting in should never be your ultimate goal but if you're planning to sell any time soon, it's worth giving some thought to what curb appeal means where you live.
Sarah Lograsso is the Director of Marketing for Boral North America’s stone division of brands (Cultured Stone, Eldorado Stone, Kindred Outdoors + Surrounds, Versetta Stone, Dutch Quality, StoneCraft and ProStone), where she manages all of the brands’ marketing, advertising and promotional projects and objectives. She is well versed in manufactured stone and brick veneer, masonry techniques, biophilic design, fireplace surrounds, outdoor living, fire bowls, color and texture, and up-to-date industry and market trends.