Popular in Curb Appeal Ideas, Makeovers and Photos

Curb Appeal on a Dime

Save money while you update your home's outdoor appearance by putting your dollars to work on high-impact projects.

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    • Illuminate Pathways

      Curb appeal doesn't end when the sun goes down. Highlight pathways and trees with landscape lighting. It improves safety and can yield dramatic effects for your home's nighttime appeal.

    • Landscape for Curb Appeal

      Smooth the transition between the street and your front steps by landscaping for curb appeal. A clear, curved path will move visitors to the home's entry and is pleasing to the eye. Surround a walkway with midsize shrubs and flowers; passers-by will notice plant groupings more than individual flowers, making greater streetside impact.

    • Add Container Plants

      Turn your home's entry into an inviting focal point by adding a few well-chosen and nicely arranged plants on the front porch. Vary the plant and container sizes, and arrange them on multiple levels.

    • How to Choose a Container

      Learn how to pick the best pot for your container garden using these helpful tips.

    • Replace Old Walkways

      If a concrete walkway is in bad shape or is just dull as dirt, replace it with a fresh path made entirely of stone or brick. Visitors access this front door via square pads of bluestone trimmed with brick. Narrow strips of turfgrass separate the squares, which step up slightly with the change in grade from the street to the house.

    • Hang a Wreath

      Whether placed on your front door or beside it, a wreath is a simple way to personalize your entry. This living monogram wreath was created using spray-painted cedar boards and chicken wire and was filled with peat moss and succulents.

    • Get a Healthy Lawn

      One of the least-expensive improvements you can make to improve curb appeal requires two simple steps: First, apply a weed-and-feed treatment to your lawn to ensure the grass has the soil nutrients it needs and doesn't have to compete with weeds. Second, sharpen your lawn mower blade regularly and cut the grass at or near the mower's tallest setting.

       

      Tip: If your lawn is too unhealthy or choked with weeds, consider installing new sod. Remove the old lawn, lay new sod, and keep it well-watered for a few weeks.

    • Make the Porch Inviting

      If you're lucky enough to have a sizable front porch, use it to create a simple but inviting outdoor room. Add a comfortable bench or chairs to create a conversation nook. Keep the porch clutter free and open for cozy gatherings.

    • Fast Porch Perk-Ups

      Give your front porch fresh appeal with these clever, can-do ideas.

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      Accent with Color

      When repainting, take the opportunity to choose fresh colors or add an accent color to your exterior color scheme. Paint test patches before committing to a color scheme; some colors look great on a sample card but are too intense on a house.

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      Give Planters an Edge

      Keep your lawn from invading your flowerbeds with stylish edging. Concrete planters are a quick and easy way to customize your landscape at an affordable price.

       

      Tip: Add perennials and sprinkle in flowering annuals to bring a mix of color, texture, form, and scale. Allow adequate space to accommodate the plants as they grow.

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      Restore an Asphalt Driveway

      Patch and seal the surface of your driveway, filling holes and cracks with asphalt patch. Apply fresh sealer to make a worn asphalt driveway look new again.

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      Upgrade the Garage Door

      Sectional doors can feature windows in an upper panel, and some higher-end versions can mimic the look of traditional carriage-house doors. If a new garage door is out of the question, add character with a pergola, new lighting, or by painting it to coordinate with your exterior color scheme.

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      Install a Prefab Trellis

      Use an arbor or trellis to give form to your yard and complement your plantings.

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      Boost Basic Concrete

      Install brick edging or apply a colorful concrete stain to the surface to add character to a plain concrete walkway.

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      Power Wash Exterior Surfaces

      Take a weekend to freshen up your home's exterior. Aluminum, wood, and vinyl siding are safe surfaces to power wash, as are wood decks and concrete sidewalks. If you don't own a power washer, you can rent one from your local home improvement center.

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      Coordinate Hardware

      Address numbers, mailboxes, locksets, and porch lights are perfect upgrades. These elements are small but add a lot of finesse to your look. Keep the finishes consistent so the pieces look like an ensemble of accessories, not a batch of mismatched hardware.

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      Plant Trees

      Put in small ornamental trees if you're preparing the house for sale soon. If you're staying put, think long-term and try oaks, maples, honey locust, or other large and strong species suitable for your region. Consider fast-growing species or small ornamental trees, such as pagoda dogwood, redbud, flowering pear, river birch, or Japanese maple; these can add dramatic interest without requiring years to get established.

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      Beautify the Driveway

      The colors and textures of plants soften a driveway's expanse and make it look less utilitarian. Groundcovers and low-growing plants are best in beds along one or both sides of the driveway.

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      Bring Style to a Slope

      Cheap-looking materials detract from a yard's appearance. For sloped areas that still need terracing, use cut stone or precast decorative wall blocks for a high-end look.

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      Install a New Storm Door

      Many homes are fitted with inexpensive aluminum screen doors that hide an attractive entry door. Newer storm-door designs offer larger glass panels, sturdier frames, and more color choices. If you don't have a storm door, paint the entry door with an accent paint color or clear varnish on wood.

       

      Tip: Choose a full-view storm door design to allow the front door color to shine through.

       

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      Next Slideshow Before and After: Home Exteriors

      Before and After: Home Exteriors

      Maximize curb appeal with an exterior makeover. See how these 24 facades went from ordinary to unforgettable.
      Begin Slideshow »

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