Curb Appeal Makeover

Easy and Affordable Makeover Tips for Curb Appeal

Autumn is here, now is the time to give TLC to the exterior of your home with a curb appeal makeover.

When thinking about what to do, how long it will take, and how much it will cost, be sure to keep it simple. It is important to have symmetry, which is pleasing to the eye and easy to incorporate. A symmetrical entry using flowers, shrubs, and light fixtures to the front door boost your appeal and is welcoming to guests. Pick and choose, or do all ten of these easy and affordable tips to freshen up your curb appeal.


1. Updated hardware and house numbers:

House numbers and the entry door lockset are design elements that can add style and exterior appeal to your home. Guests walking up to your front door will notice if they are out of date or mismatched. When they match each other and compliment the style of your home, it adds the most appeal rather than just a mixture of materials.   For example, brushed nickel suits more contemporary homes and traditional homes are complimented by oiled-bronze finishes.  Simple house numbers can start around $2.00 per number or you can get more creative with customized plaques ranging from $50-$100.

House Numbers

2. New mailbox:

It does not matter if your mailbox is mounted to the side of your home or a standard one installed near the road, adding a new mailbox can give your home a new feel. Mailboxes should complement the home and express the homeowner’s personality. When choosing a mailbox, start by consulting your neighborhood CC&R’s to make sure there are not any rules limiting the type, color, etc. of your mailbox. Once you have your neighborhood guidelines, pick a box that mirrors your home’s trimmings. Dress up mailboxes for curb appeal by painting the wooden post to match the house’s exterior color or surround it by a beautiful flowering garden.  Mailboxes can be purchased from your local hardware store from anywhere from $50-$300. When you install your mailbox, make sure to follow the instructions and city regulations.


3. Add light fixtures:

Try to match your new house numbers with the finish that is on your exterior light fixtures for the most pleasing combination. When buying new exterior light fixtures, be sure to consider both the style of the light fixtures and the function of them. You want your light fixtures to be able to adequately light up your entryway to your house and make it safer. Also, look for light fixtures that have the same mounting system as the current ones that you have to save yourself some time on this home improvement project.  Exterior light fixtures can be found anywhere from $20 and up.


4. Install outdoor lighting:

Solar or low-voltage landscape lighting makes a huge impact on your home’s curb appeal while providing safety and security. Some homeowners go all out by adding accent lighting to trees and/or illuminate a walking path. If you aren’t able to use lights that require wiring, install solar fixtures (but understand that their light levels are not as bright or as reliable).


5.  Dress up your front door:

Your home’s front entry is the focal point of its curb appeal. Make a statement with your front door! How? Add a wreath that reflects the season or your personality. Give it color or replace with a custom wood door. Clean off any dirty spots around the knob and use metal polish on the door fixtures.

front door 3

6.  Enhance your doorstep:

Most homes have a gray concrete for the sidewalk and steps, which can age and crack over time. Some new creative entries are using colored and stamped concrete or tile to create a different feel from the standard concrete. This can add a fun new feel to your entry.


7.  Shutters/Trim:

Shutters and trim can add décor to your home’s exterior for some pop! Also, Shutters can provide privacy as well as controlling the light and ventilation. There are so many types of shutters on the market for you to compliment the style and personality of your home. They range from wood, aluminum, vinyl, composite, or fiberglass, including newer low maintenance composite materials, such as PVC resins or polyurethane.


8.  Paint your home:

Exterior paint is one of those regular maintenance items required with home ownership and it is one of the easiest ways to keep your home looking great. Plus it can transform the look.   Not good at picking colors? Contact a local interior designer to bring some swatches and select a color for you. This way it takes all the guess work out. Pick a bold color to make your home stick out, but just make sure that you match it to the rest of the colors on your house. Remember before you buy the paint be sure to have your Homeowners Association approve the color if it is required by your CC&R’s.  Contact the homeowners association’s management company or President for the process of getting approval.  Any obvious defects, such as cracked or rotting material, can really hurt the aesthetic of your home and quickly turn a buyer’s first impression into a negative one. Once defects are repaired, look for ways to add personality with color, trim, or shingles.  This home improvement project may take several hours depending on how much you choose to paint, so plan for at least a day of painting. If you don’t have the budget or time to paint the entire home this year, focus on the trim, shutters, and front door of your home.  You can pick up paint for around $25+ a gallon depending on the brand and warranty. Sherwin Williams Duration is more expensive, but lasts longer.  Contact neighbors, local Chamber of Commerce and utilize Facebook to find reputable contractors to paint with good materials.


9.  Straighten, paint or replace gutters:

Gutters serve a purpose and must be maintained to avoid long term damage. So be sure to give them some TLC regularly by cleaning them, installing gutter guards and straightening the downspouts that have been run over by lawnmowers. If your home has an older gutter system, odds are it has rust, paint peeling, or has downspouts that are not serving their purpose. If you decide to replace, be sure to research the different systems. Some newer, snap-fit vinyl gutter systems that go together with few tools and require no painting might be an option. Or if you have a bigger budget and are looking for a “WOW” factor to enhance your curb appeal, go with a copper systems.


10.  Update or create an instant garden:

You do not have to have a green thumb to add some color to your entry. Many places like Costco, Lowe’s and Home Depot sell buy ready-made containers from garden centers. So it takes all the guess work out of it quickly and affordably.   Or make your own with colors and flowers that appeal to you. Many staggers or landscapers recommend asymmetrical arrangement to create a dynamic setting.

For your existing garden beds, take some time to shape by pruning and pulling weeds, plant some new flowers/plants and add new mulch to restore older faded/dried out mulch. If your flower bed borders are old or falling, give them some attention by resetting/restacking. Or use new stone to create a new boarder or a decorative cast-concrete edging system for improved curb appeal.

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