Because I’m a realtor, I’m often asked by would-be home sellers what they should do to improve the curb appeal of their home before they put it on the market. Even if you aren’t interested in selling your place right now, there are several inexpensive steps you can take to enhance its curb appeal that could also help improve its value.
Paint Your Front Door and Upgrade Door Hardware
Over time, the paint or staining on your front door will fade, causing your property to look dated. While paint and stains are meant to make surfaces pretty, they are also a necessary protective layer for the surface underneath. To prolong the life of your front door, evaluate it every few years to ensure that it is adequately protected from the elements by a good coat of paint or stain.
Door hardware gets scratched, screws loosen, and the metal tarnishes or chips. For just a few hundred dollars, you can quickly brighten up the entrance to your home by swapping out the door handle for a new set. Another popular upgrade owners are making these days are an electronic lock with a combination keypad that can be managed by a smartphone. A variety of personally selected codes can be assigned to different people who need access to your home. All the traffic is then recorded in the app. And the best part? You no longer need to hang on to a house key!
Declutter Your Front Porch
Often a front porch becomes the de facto drop zone for the family. Dirty shoes are kicked off and forgotten by the front door, bikes and sports equipment get abandoned, plants are left to die in pots, and boxes or trash are set out with the intention of taking them to the curb – at some point. Before you know it, you need to declutter!
Think of your front porch as if it’s a separate room in your home. Its main purpose is to greet guests! It should be clean and inviting. Less is more. Avoid overcrowding the space with furniture. Replace dead plants. Remove anything that doesn’t serve the purpose of inviting folks into your home. Excessive décor can draw attention away from your home, too. It’s best to limit signs and artwork around the front porch.
Check the house numbers on the front of your home while you are tidying up the porch. Are they lose or missing? Swap them out for a fresh set so that your residence is properly identified for guests, package and food delivery, and emergency responders.
Oh! One last thought - add a doormat. While welcoming, its main job is to trap dirt before it gets tracked inside your home.
Add Shutters but Remove Screens and Shades
Shutters can add a splash of color to the front of your home. They come in many different styles and can be painted to match your exterior. Decorative shutter ties are a nice touch too!
Screens and exterior shades can age property and make it look dreary and tired. If your shades or screens are old or torn, permanently remove them and clean the window ledges with a pressure washer.
Dress up Flower Beds
Brighten up your home quickly with flowers and fresh mulch. If gardening isn’t your thing – don’t worry - you can still do this! Keep it simple. Petunias or pansies are inexpensive and easy to plant. These lively little flowers come in many different colors and generally bloom for the entire season. Give your flower beds a professional finish with a layer of rich mulch around the plants. You’re done!
Pressure Wash Your House, Sidewalks, and Driveway
Simply pressure washing the exterior of your house can bring it back to life. Over time, dirt, mold, and mildew can collect on your sides and eaves. Driveways and sidewalks can get gritty.
Before getting started, check for the proper settings on the pressure washer for the surfaces you are cleaning. You don’t want to damage your home by using too much water pressure.
Often high-pressured water is all you’ll need to clean around the exterior. In some cases, a mild, environmentally safe cleaning solution might be necessary, especially when dealing with mildew or mold.
Pressure washing might seem intimidating, but once you get started, it’s incredibly rewarding to see the layers of dirt and grim peel away with just a little water.
Whether you are thinking about selling your home or just want to spruce it up for your own enjoyment, improving your home’s curb appeal doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. These five quick fixes are guaranteed to brighten up any home quickly and affordably.