Save money while you update your home's outdoor appearance by putting your dollars to work on high-impact projects.
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.
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.
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.
Learn how to pick the best pot for your container garden using these helpful tips.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Give your front porch fresh appeal with these clever, can-do ideas.
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.
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.
Use an arbor or trellis to give form to your yard and complement your plantings.
Install brick edging or apply a colorful concrete stain to the surface to add character to a plain concrete walkway.
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.
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.
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.
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.