Improving your home’s curb appeal is probably the fastest way to change a house or apartment’s look without spending too much, and certain improvements can actually increase your property value. Even if you’re not trying to sell, there’s always room to freshen things up a little.
But before you wander aimlessly through the home improvement store, here are five specific tips for upgrading the exterior of your dwelling — maybe they’ll send you in the right direction.
Invest in a lawn care program
A great lawn is one of the the most desired outdoor features for homeowners and buyers alike. A new lawn care program can recover an estimated return of nearly 300 percent, making this one of the most appealing projects to start any time. Of course, if you don’t have a lawn, an urban garden or some potted plants wouldn’t hurt either — it’s all about making your place look a little more alive.
Add a deck
Installing a new deck or patio might seem like a costly expense at first, but homeowners can expect up to a 100 percent cost recovery for projects like these in terms of added value, making them both aesthetically pleasing and economical. You might not realize this, but home improvement stores are blogging now — Home Depot has instructions for a good-looking platform deck you can build in a weekend for under $1,000, which is pretty cheap for such a significant project. You might need to find a few friends who know their way around a hammer, but it’s cheaper than hiring a contractor.
Give your front door a pop of color
Painting your front door is a relatively inexpensive way to build curb appeal, and with the right color, it gives your place a bit of personality. Bold shades like turquoise, red and yellow give your house a fun look, while softer colors like coral or sky blue look a bit more modern.
Our eyes are naturally drawn to symmetrical patterns, so keep this in mind when thinking of your design. No matter what you’re doing, symmetrical elements can be incorporated anywhere — from a new gravel or stone path, to planters and window treatments.
Upgrade your hardware
This might be the most overlooked part of improving curb appeal, but it has a major impact once you’re finished. Take the time to replace old lights, mailboxes, doorknobs and even address numbering to give your home a more up-to-date look. New, refinished, or polished light fixtures can often single-handedly change the entire vibe of a home, so give some thought to what’s going on with your illumination out front so your place looks less scary. Replacing these exterior fixtures is also far less costly and time-consuming than a major project, which makes it a great place to start.