We all want visitors and families to feel welcome when they come to our homes. You also want your home’s exterior to look its best when you’re ready to sell. It’s the focal point for any potential buyer, and what they see as they approach the front steps will be their first impression of the house. So whether you are planning on staying in your home for a few more years or are preparing to sell, these budget-friendly curb appeal ideas will make for an eye-catching exterior.
The great thing is most of these curb appeal ideas are simple projects that can be accomplished for less than $150, depending on the brands you choose to buy. Whether you live in Austin or have a home in Seattle, improvements like these will give your home that wow factor on the outside and boost your home’s curb appeal. Plus, they may even increase your home value – when you list it for sale in an often competitive US housing market.
Clean up your landscaping
Before planning any project to enhance curb appeal, it helps to start with a blank canvas. Trim back any overgrown bushes or plants around the exterior of the home. Mow and edge the lawn to give it a manicured, well-maintained look. If your home landscape is too much to handle, consider hiring a landscaper to help. They can have your front yard looking great in no time.
When you take the time to clean up the landscaping, you’ll get a better idea of other changes that will improve your home’s appearance. If you live in a dry area, drought-tolerant landscaping will maximize your house’s curb appeal even in the most unforgiving condition.
Illuminate with outdoor lighting
Outdoor lighting is one of the easiest ways to increase your home’s curb appeal while brightening your home’s exterior. Most homeowners shy away from projects involving electrical work, but if you’re up to the task, adding outdoor lighting can be straightforward, especially if you are familiar with standard safety precautions. If you are not comfortable with this type of work, consider hiring an electrician to assist you.
Choose outdoor lighting fixtures that are appropriate for your home style and décor – many stores sell attractive fixtures starting at around $30. Turn off the power, install your new outdoor lights, and prepare to be delighted by this improvement once the sun goes down.
Highlight your plants at night with landscape lighting
Not only can lighting fixtures add curb appeal to your home’s exterior, but they can also highlight any garden beds or other plants in your front yard. Install recessed lighting fixtures near your plants further elevate the appearance of your home at all hours of the day, as potential buyers can now marvel at your brightly-lit landscape after the sun sets.
Refresh your front door with a new coat of paint
If you’ve always had a front door that blends into the exterior of your home, it may be intimidating at first to step up your game and paint the front door in a contrasting color. However, a bold, bright front door helps your home stand out and adds a warm, inviting feel—a gallon of exterior paint costs around $25. This curb appeal idea adds a pop of color to your front entrance and is a fun way to add character to your home’s exterior.
Update your exterior hardware
Does your door hardware, such as knobs, doorbells, knockers, and house numbers, date back a couple of decades? You can express your home’s personality and style with small, relatively inexpensive hardware upgrades. Do you appreciate a modern look even though your home is anything but? House numbers with clean lines might be perfect for you. Check online for stores that sell these items to find something that speaks to you. These new decorations will give your home an instant curb appeal boost.
Use potted plants, flowers, and window boxes to improve curb appeal
Flowers add a welcoming touch to any setting. Whether you set them next to your front door, on the front porch, under a window, or along your walk, flowers and plants add a burst of color and design. Choose flower pots or window boxes that fit your style and personality – contrasting colors also work well here. Plant brightly colored annuals to add curb appeal and invite anyone passing by to take a closer look.
Refresh the entryway and porch
If you live somewhere with constant sun, like Miami, FL, your entryway and porch can quickly look dated due to the amount of sun exposure it gets. After spending a few years in your home, your front porch can become dull and dirty. Clean off the wood trim around doors, windows, and the front porch. How’s the paint?
A fresh coat or two will immediately improve the curb appeal of your front porch. Whether you choose a neutral color or something bright, new paint will cover any blemishes or wood damage caused by weather or wear and tear. This easy fix comes in at the cost of paint – $25-30 a gallon – making this project idea a no-brainer.
Add or refresh your concrete pathways
A concrete walkway to your front door is a nice touch that can and a functional curb appeal idea for your home. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, either. Adding a basic concrete or brick path is a simple home improvement project that enhances the look of your home’s exterior.
Increase your home’s curb appeal by washing the exterior
When you wash the exterior of your home – which most of us don’t do often enough – you remove dust and grime that give your home a dirty look. You might even be surprised at the color of your siding. In most cases, a regular garden hose with a high-pressure nozzle will do the trick. You can rent a power washer if you don’t already own one. Be careful when you power wash your home, as extra pressure can damage trim and siding and cause the paint to flake off.
If you’ve never used a power washer or are concerned about damaging your home’s exterior, consider hiring a team of professionals to take on the task. They can get the job done quickly, and there is no risk of damaging your home’s exterior.
Make sure your windows sparkle
Windows are among the main focal points of any house, and no one likes to look through spotted and streaked windows. You’ll be amazed at how much cleaner and brighter your home seems when your windows are spot-free. This is an easy and budget-friendly curb appeal idea.
If you have tilt-out or crank-out windows, wipe them down with warm water, vinegar, and dish soap to have them sparkling in no time. Rinse and thoroughly dry with lint-free towels, microfiber towels, or even newspaper, which many swear by. If you have large or hard-to-reach windows, use a window washing company that can assist you in making your windows look brand new.
Paint your garage door to improve curb appeal
Garage doors are an oft-overlooked aspect of your home exterior. They work hard every day, yet we let them fade and accumulate dust and dirt. Wash your garage door thoroughly and find a nice paint color to bring it back to life. Like the front door, a bright or bold color that complements the rest of the house will boost curb appeal. Going for a nice neutral color is great too.
Garage doors are even more visible than the front entry in most cases, so they must look nice to improve the look of your home.If you don’t think your painting skills are up to the task, think about hiring a painter to help.
Clean or update outdoor furniture
By default, outdoor furniture weathers and frays, even under the care of an attentive homeowner. A great curb appeal idea is to clean up frames and consider a coat of exterior paint for an updated look. You can also replace the old fabric or find new cushions and pillows in designs to showcase your style. Exterior fabric from the craft store is inexpensive and requires only basic sewing skills. Clean, updated outdoor furniture can go a long way in improving the curb appeal of your home.
Accentuate your outdoor spaces with a colorful rug
Add a splash of color and comfort to your outdoor space with a bright-colored rug. This will create a welcoming space perfect for hosting guests on a sunny day.
Include small accents to enhance your home’s curb appeal
A little bit can go a long way to improve your home’s curb appeal. While you will spend a little bit of money, you can make your front porch or entryway more inviting with a custom doormat, brightly colored flower pots, and solar lights along the walk.
Install a new mailbox outside your house
If you live in an older house, your mailbox may be a bit of a fixer-upper. It’s probably experienced some wear and tear along the way and is more of an eyesore than an asset in terms of your house’s curb appeal. Replacing your house’s mailbox adds character while potentially creating a better buyer’s first impression.
Supplement your home’s style with exterior shutters
Window shutters are a great way to add personality to your home exterior. They can be functional or simply decorative. Vinyl shutters can be found for around $40 a pair. Wooden shutters are a little more difficult to find and may have to be repainted to match the house, but the effort will be worth it.
Incorporate some green in your entrance with a container garden
If you’re looking to spruce up your home exterior with plants while avoiding the hassle of maintaining garden beds, a small container garden can do the trick. With the help of a few inexpensive ceramic pots, you can have a low-maintenance garden on your patio or at your front door. You can arrange or replace the plants to fit your style and create instant curb appeal on a budget.
Install artwork on your front lawn for added curb appeal
Gardens and landscaping aren’t the only way to elevate the look of your front lawn. A little outdoor art can really add to the appearance of your house. Whether you install a birdbath, sculptures, or wind chimes, these small touches can go a long way.
Build a fence around your property to make your house stand out
Adding a fence is a simple way to increase the curb appeal of your home. It adds an element of polish to your real estate and can be used to define the edge of your lawn. You can roll with the classic white picket fence or choose another color that better suits your home.
Excerpted from the article by Chibuzo Ezeokeke on Redfin.