Do You Want to Increase Your Curb Appeal?
When we’re talking about curb appeal, we’re not just talking about impressing the entire neighborhood or trying to snag a buyer. It’s also very important to feel and integrate the calmness and satisfaction you will ultimately get every time you come home.
With a bit of effort and cheap alternatives, you can easily enhance the exterior of your home, not to mention boost its value and make it way more welcoming for visitors and potential buyers. In fact, at the end of the day, the most important thing is to make your home more appealing to you. So here’s how you can easily improve your curb appeal in a couple of easy steps:
Declutter the yard.
Here’s the most important rule for curb appeal: you can keep the driveway, walkway, and lawn free of clutter. This also includes (but is not necessarily limited to) kids’ toys, yard tools, forgotten newspapers, and even excessive garden ornaments or uncoiled hoses.
If you’re willing to focus on simplifying your home’s architecture and landscaping and take care of all these details, you will see how it starts to shine.
Wash the windows.
As we all know, windows are the eyes of the home, and when they’re super dirty and streaked, the entire house looks tired and sad. You can make your home look bright and cheerful by simply giving it a thorough cleaning.
While this isn’t exactly the most glamorous chore of them all, it’s definitely budget-friendly. It just takes a little bit of time and elbow grease, but if you think about it, it’s really not much. You won’t even have to use fancy cleansers; you only need to mix one part water and one part white vinegar in a big bucket, then get to work with a soft sponge.
Then, go again and wipe dry with a dry cloth. If you’re fighting grime, just add a dash of liquid soap. For all the windows that are on the second floor and above, if you don’t have tilt-in windows, you will need to haul out the ladder. You have to make sure you have a work buddy to hold it really steady and hand you supplies when needed.
Repaint trim and fascia
If the exterior of your home is looking drab but you don’t have either the time or the money for a complete upgrade, you need to focus on strategic touch-ups. Even the smallest project, like painting windows and door trim, could easily increase a home’s value by 2 to 5 percent.
More than that, if you have leftover trim paint sitting and it’s rotting in the garage, the project’s basically free. If not, here’s a very good and cheap option! Since you’re at it, don’t forget to paint the fascia, the horizontal board that goes along the roof edge.
Before you start painting, make sure you clean the trim, ridding it of cobwebs, dirt, and debris. Also, make sure you sand any cracked paint or even damaged wood. You can also use a 2- to 2 1/2-inch brush and choose the right day with a moderate temperature and low humidity for the best results.
Camouflage utility meters
As you’re sprucing up the trim, use leftover exterior paint to hide all the unsightly electrical boxes and gas meters. These utility boxes are usually metal, so you might need to apply a thin coat of rust-preventing primer first.
Once they’ve been painted the same color as your house, they will fade from view, making the exterior look cleaner and way more cohesive. Just make sure not to paint over the glass covers of the meters.
Clean up the landscaping.
A clean yard is a hallmark of a well-maintained house, and it can easily boost a home’s value from 3 to 5 percent. Even if you can pay a landscaper upward of $1,000 per year just to have your yard in shape, this is definitely one of those tasks that you could easily do by yourself.
If you go that way, you should expect to mow on a weekly basis during the growing season and even plan on pruning shrubs, trees, and vines. Naturally, you will have to check their appearance regularly.
However, above everything, you want to make sure that the path to your front door stays clear and keeps the foliage from covering the mailbox or house numbers.
I love your blooms.
A little TLC will definitely keep your flowers blooming, but also the first impressions as bright as they get. You want to make sure you water and weed your flower beds, and whatever you do, don’t forget about the deadhead.
You need to remove the white blooms to encourage brand-new buds. In order to do this, you need to pinch or cut the spent bloom right below the dead flower and above the first set of leaves. You could also encourage flowering by adding compost (like grass clippings, raked leaves, and other organic material) to the soil to boost the nutrients.
Mulch your beds.
If you’re tired of pulling weeds, heavy mulching might help control the spread of those extremely annoying invaders. If you want to get the mulch on the cheap, you could try contacting local tree services.
If you’re lucky, they might be even willing to deliver their extra wood chips for free. Just remember to compost before mulching.
Find free plants.
You can keep your landscaping colorful and lush without having to worry about the plants by simply dividing and replanting your favorite flowers. Most perennials, such as yarrow, artemisia, asters, daylilies, and also hosta, are rather easy to divide and replant.
Early spring and fall are also the best times to divide your perennials.
Perfect the edges
The human eye loves a clean line, so you need to edge the garden beds like a professional. The way to do it is to create the ideal line (you could use your garden hose as a guide), then cut your line with a spade. Then, you just mulch.
If maintenance-free results are what you’re looking for, you can consider adding brick edging around the beds. It might be a bit more labor-intensive to install, but brick edging is still nice, and it will definitely keep the mulch in place.
Barter and borrow
There are many ways to get hold of the tools and know-how you need to spruce up your property. First things first, get acquainted with your neighbors. They are a wonderful source of advice, and they might be even willing to lend you their expertise or the occasional tool.
If you borrow from neighbors, make sure you also return the favor. Also, you want to make sure you check out the local garage sales for useful tools to add to your arsenal. More than that, you might even consider sponsoring a neighborhood garage sale. It’s a great way to foster community spirit.
Shine them up.
Elbow grease is definitely free, so what better way to put it to work than getting all that exterior metal the much-needed clean and sparkling accents? We would actually advise you to pay special attention to exterior light fixtures, door hardware, and even the mailbox.
You can use a gentle abrasive like Bar Keepers Friend and a damp rag to remove all the leftover dirt and rust, as well as the patina that could form on bronze and copper after exposure to the elements.
If you found this article useful, we also recommend reading: 11 Gorgeous Winter Flowers That Thrive During Christmas