Curb Appeal—You Don’t Have to Break the Bank

By MNR News posted 04-11-2022 15:41

When I was a little girl growing up in southern California in the 1970s, I loved our house. The landscaping was taken care of by a gardener and it was perfectly manicured. The front planter boxes were always overflowing with red geraniums—my mother’s favorites. And there was a little round window in the peak that offered a bit of fairytale whimsy to our Cape Cod-style home. It’s funny, whenever I think back to my childhood these are the things I remember.

Fast forward to 2022. Is it really a surprise that after spending more time than ever in our homes due to a once-in-a-century pandemic—that people have been, and still are, focusing their time and money on their homes? While interior remodeling projects are incredibly popular right now—fixing up the outside of our homes is also a big trend. Especially with fewer homes being on the market, many people have decided to invest in their own homes—for pleasure and pride—but also for getting it ready to sell just in case they decide to put it on the market.

The great part about upping your curb appeal game is that a little effort can go a long way. Here are some ideas to get you started on your spring refresh.

1. Landscaping

Sure, you can hire a landscaper and put a ton of money into your yard, but don’t underestimate what trimming unruly shrubbery and adding some colorful pots of flowers can do. Flower boxes can also add instant charm and symmetry to your home. Consider planting a fast-growing tree for privacy and curb appeal—and you’ll do your part to improve air quality while you’re at it! Adding some fresh mulch or rocks can also give a tired yard a new lease on life.

2. The Front Door (and Garage Doors too!)

A new door handle and fresh coat of paint in a bold hue can give instant personality to your home. There are various apps that let you test out a new color before you commit. One key tip is to consider your siding, roof, and trim colors to ensure overall cohesion. And make sure you do a little research so your project will have lasting results! A cute welcome mat, a chair or two, and a seasonal planter will complete the cheery picture.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget about painting, cleaning or staining your garage doors. Consider adding hardware for a little flair. There are faux hardware kits that have magnetized hinges and embellishments that create a high-end look for under $75.

3. Lights

There are few things more welcoming than golden lights beckoning your visitors to your door. Adding fun new light fixtures can take years off your home’s appearance. Or, simply wash your existing fixtures and sweep away any cobwebs. String lights or solar-powered walkway lights create instant ambiance.

4. House Numbers

This is an area where you can get creative and add some fun. Check online or your local Big Box store for new house numbers in a variety of fonts and finishes. Or, find a local artisan who can create a tile or ceramic plaque for something more one-of-a-kind. Just be sure that whatever you choose, your numbers are easily readable from the road for emergency vehicles.

5. The Mailbox

While a mailbox is largely utilitarian, they can take a beating (think sun, hail, freezing temps…not to mention snowplows!) and make your home look shabby. A new mailbox can add a fresh look to your property. Just make sure you check out the regulations from the US Postal Service so you are compliant.

6. Power Washing

If you’ve used a power washer, you know that there are not many things that offer such instant results! Siding, decks, gutters, driveways, patio furniture—a quick wash with these practically magical instruments can leave things looking new. If you don’t want to invest in one, power washers can be rented from most hardware stores. Just don’t underestimate their power, make sure you start out on a lower speed and work your way up.

7. Make Time for Repairs

Take some time and look at the exterior of your home with fresh eyes. Anything that looks broken or shabby needs attention. A little love can go a long way in making your home look inviting and well cared for.

8. Home Shows, Magazines, and Apps

These days it’s so easy to find inspiration for almost any topic—it’s everywhere we look. If you want color examples, style ideas, or DIY instructions they’re all easy to find. Look to these sources to find what inspires you and then make a plan to recreate it for your home.