9 Things to Do to Boost Your Home's Curb Appeal

by Michael Franco
Long row of upscale "empty-nester" type brick and stone faced luxury town homes.Several absolutely new suburban houses in sunny summer afternoon.

In the grand scheme of home maintenance and improvement tasks, improving your home's curb appeal might tend to fall pretty far down the list. After all, it's more important to have a well-insulated attic, dry basement and clean HVAC filters than it is to worry about beautification projects.

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However, unlike those other tasks, boosting your home's curb appeal can be incredibly gratifying. It’s also surprisingly affordable, and you might just be shocked at what you can accomplish in a weekend. So go ahead. Treat yourself to some time away from the grittier chores of home ownership and try out some of these ideas to get your house looking its best.

1. Paint

If you've owned your home for a while, you've no doubt heard the refrain, "paint is cheap." That's because, for under $50, you can buy a gallon of paint that can have a big impact on the visual appeal of your home. We're not talking about painting your whole house — although that will certainly up its curb appeal, too! A few coats of strategically applied paint can really go a long way. If you have any architectural details, such as columns or porch railings, you could consider painting them a fresh new color that compliments the main color of your home. You could also paint your front door in a bold, contrasting color. Even repainting your mailbox can bring in a pop of color that will surprise you with its curb-appeal-boosting effectiveness.

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2. Change Your Door

While not quite as cheap as paint, swapping out your home's front door can pack quite a visual punch. If you're not quite ready to replace the solid door, you could also consider adding or swapping out your storm door. If you really want to dig into the project, you could also think about enlarging the size of your front door to add windows on either side. This will not only lend a grand air to the outside, but it will also let more light fill your entryway, giving you an added bonus inside.

3. Plant Some Plants

Plants and flowers add a great deal of impact to your home's curb appeal. If you're not all that into landscaping, you can still harness some plant power by putting potted perennials in attractive pots on both sides of your front door, or using hanging plants to add organic charm to a front porch. A mix of evergreen and flowering shrubs like azaleas or boxwoods planted beneath your windows can hide a less-than-inspiring exterior and provide texture and color throughout the year. You can also think about putting in annuals or perennials along your walkways and around your mailbox.

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4. Add Window Boxes

If you don't already have them, adding window boxes beneath your windows will give you extra area to decorate throughout the year. Like tiny stages on the front of your house, you can fill them with flowering plants in the spring and summer, mums in the fall and evergreen branches in the winter for an ever-evolving curb-appeal performance!

5. Consider Your Lighting

When thinking about curb appeal, it's important to consider how your home looks at night. While most homes have a simple light over the front porch, you can really take things up a notch by adding more illumination solutions around your property. Consider lighting your driveway or walkways with solar lights. You can also buy lights that shine up at your house, highlighting its more interesting architectural features or any noteworthy trees, plants or shrubbery.

6. Update Your House Number

This is a simple one with a surprising impact. Simply putting new house numbers up on your home can give it a completely different vibe. Clean, metallic numbers will lend a modern flair, painted wood numbers can give it a cozy cottage vibe and house number planters let you add a pop of color and plant life at the same time.

7. Add an Arbor

If you've got the right type of property, placing a simple wooden arbor at the end of your front walkway adds complexity to any home's appearance. This simple archway is a great spot to frame your home's entrance, and it gives you yet another place to grow plants, including trailing vines like clematis or bougainvillea. A simple garden gate or even a couple of sections of picket fence can also do the trick.

8. Get Artsy

We typically only think of art as an indoor decor item, but there are plenty of great pieces you can use outdoors to boost your home's curb appeal. Fountains and birdbaths add an old-world charm, while metal and resin sculptural pieces add a modern flare. A simple bench placed strategically in your front yard can also add visual interest while providing functional seating as well.

9. Consider Shutters

On the slightly more expensive side of curb-appeal-boosters is adding shutters to your front windows. Available in a range of materials from wood to vinyl, shutters provide a classic visual appeal that will have a big impact on refreshing the look of your home. Go with a composite material or vinyl to keep them relatively maintenance-free for years to come.

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