10 Quick DIY Projects That Add Instant Curb Appeal to Your Home
These small, inexpensive improvements to your yard and home's exterior add up to a dramatic upgrade for your home.
Paint, Paint, Paint
Front Door Curb Appeal: Install New House Numbers
Updated house numbers add polish and shine. Replace shabby or dated-looking numbers with ones made of brass, aluminum or stainless steel. They’ll look best if the finish matches that of the light fixture and door hardware. Buy individual numbers or custom plaques. You can buy do-it-yourself address plaque kits from home centers, hardware stores and online retailers.
Plus: 7 Roof Problems and What to Do About Them
Upgrade Your Mailbox
Whether you have a box mounted to the house, a letter slot next to the door or a freestanding box on a post near the street, a new mailbox can add a splash of curb appeal. Purchase an approved mailbox and follow regulations regarding height; for example, curbside mailboxes must be mounted so bottoms are 42 to 48 in. above the ground. And remember, hanging plants and flowers growing around a mailbox may increase curb appeal, but the bees and other stinging insects these plants attract aren't always your mail carrier's best friend.
Line a Walkway With Bricks or Pavers
Replace a Light Fixture
Consider function as well as style when selecting a fixture; it should light up your steps, house numbers and door without being too dominant. To simplify the project, buy a fixture that has the same mounting system or screw spacing as the existing fixture. Make certain the power is off and the new fixture is rated for exterior use before installing it. Some sconce-style lights are now available with unobtrusive, built-in motion detectors.
Plant a Tree
Front Door Curb Appeal: Add Low-Voltage Lighting
Low-voltage lighting can dramatically improve your home’s nighttime curb appeal, and by lighting walkways and dark corners, it can improve safety and security as well. Lighting can be grouped into three basic categories: downlights, uplights and specialty lights. Buy a transformer that includes a timer or light sensor so the lights automatically turn on and off. Follow some tips on how to do it.
Decorative shutters can add color, quaintness and depth to a house. Shutters with louvers or raised panels have a traditional look; those with decorative cutouts have more of a cottage or country feel. For an authentic look, mount wood shutters using special shutter hinges and keep them pinned against the house with old fashioned shutter dogs. Shutter clips are available for 'invisibly' mounting vinyl shutters.
Front Door Curb Appeal: Install a New Storm Door
Even if your primary door remains the same, a storm door with an oval window or decorative glass can act as a great cover-up. It can add security and increase your home’s energy efficiency. Self-storing units with glass and screen panels that can be adjusted in tracks according to season are the most convenient. Those with interchangeable screens and storm panels have a cleaner, uninterrupted look but require a safe place to store the unused panel. Replacing a storm door can be quick and adjusting it is a snap.
Install Flower Boxes
Few projects add as much charm and color to a house as flowers in window boxes. Build your own window box or buy one from a garden center. These work best when mounted below double-hung, slide-by or stationary windows?casement and other swing-out window sashes will decapitate the flowers. Use a plastic liner to prolong the life of the planter and simplify fall cleanup. Easier yet, arrange container gardens in pots and planters on the front stoop or along the walkway.