Whoever said you never get a second chance to make a first impression never witnessed the transformative power of curb appeal.
The corner house you’ve walked by every day for years could suddenly make you stop and do a double-take after its front porch gets a makeover. You may even question if you remember what it looked like before.
Curb appeal encompasses the entire exterior aesthetic of a home. It can be as small as swapping out a dated mailbox or as luxurious as mounting a hanging porch swing. Every little touch makes the view that much more inviting to come home to each day.
How Curb Appeal Increases Property Value
Having a welcoming sanctuary to pull up to at the end of the day is motivation enough to pretty things up, but adding curb appeal also does wonders for property value.
Would you prefer to purchase a house with overgrowth, broken fencing, and peeling paint or a well-kept home with lush garden beds, fresh paint, and a charming porch swing?
Unless you live for renovations, you’d probably choose the latter. And most potential home buyers would similarly choose a house with beautiful curb appeal.
Curb appeal is more than skin deep for potential home buyers. They view the outside appearance of a home as a good indication of how well the house is cared for overall.
Real Estate Agent Glenda Gerbstadt told Homelight in a recent interview that “great curb appeal can help sellers beat out a similar home on the market, or even command a premium.”
It is hard to put an exact dollar amount on the return on investment curb appeal can deliver. It varies depending on the materials used and the quality of the upgrades but any curb appeal upgrades provide an edge in a competitive housing market.
15 Best Curb Appeal Upgrade You Can Do This Weekend
Unlike other home improvement projects (like a major kitchen renovation), adding eye-catching curb appeal doesn’t require inconvenient living disruptions or a big budget. These 15 curb appeal upgrades can be completed in a weekend and provide value for years to come.
Refresh the Front Door
A little can go a long way when it comes to adding curb appeal. The front door is a great place to start. Brush on an eye-catching color to inject a shot of color. Limiting the bright color to the front door ensures the color adds the right amount of visual intrigue without being overwhelming.
A gallon or two of paint is enough to make a big impact. Select a paint that is labeled “exterior” not “interior-exterior.” Semi-gloss is ideal for front doors, as it's more wear- and stain-resistant than flatter sheens, according to Bob Villa.
Add Charm with a Porch Swing
A wooden porch swing is so much more than an outdoor furnishing. It offers both worldly comfort and the comforting nostalgia that makes a house feel like a home. It is charming to see from the street and even more luxurious to relax on.
The modern Organic Swing takes the concept of a traditional wooden porch swing and makes it more versatile and comfortable than ever for today’s homes. Organic Swing stands out because it can transform from a traditional porch swing to a luxurious lounger or an intimate face-to-face conversation space.
Go the Extra Mile with a New Mailbox
It can be easy to overlook a mailbox, but it’s the details that make for great curb appeal. An outdated mailbox with scuffs and dents can be quickly swapped out for a model with more pizazz.
If you haven’t been shopping for a mailbox lately, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the options. There is a variety of decorative mailboxes that fit the aesthetic of any home.
Brighten it up with Flower Beds
Landscaping is one of the first things people notice when they look at a house. It can set the tone for a warm welcome.
Clearing out overgrowth and pulling weeds can keep the front yard looking sharp, but bright flower beds say to the outside world “this house is loved.” Zinnias, marigolds, fuchsias, and dahlias are beautiful additions that are easy to grow without a green thumb.
Sprue It Up with Evergreen Trees
Flower beds are beautiful in the springtime, summer, and early fall but planting evergreen trees keeps the yard vibrant year-round with rich greenery that doesn’t fade.
Douglas Fir, Colorado Blue Spruce, and Eastern White Pine are all beautiful varieties that also add a bit of holiday magic in the winter.
Add Polish with a Fresh Coat of Paint
A fresh coat of paint can bring a dull facade back to life. Updating the color scheme or simply covering up any rough or peeling patches adds polish and curb appeal without the hassle of installing new siding.
Oil-based paints are durable and water-resistant, but latex paint is the most commonly used for home exteriors. When opting for latex-based paint choose the can that reads "100 percent acrylic latex" on the label for the highest quality.
Illuminate Features with Great Lighting
Landscape lighting elevates curb appeal. According to The Spruce, spot or accent lighting is most commonly used to highlight important fixtures or landscape design of the home. They suggest using lighting to accent large trees, statuary, and other architectural elements.
Illuminating walkways and stairways with lighting is not only important for safety but will also add warmth on the darkest of nights. Just make sure not to put them too close together or you’ll risk creating a runway effect, The Spruce notes.
Be Seen with House Numbers
Updating faded or hard to read house numbers is another seemingly small change that has a big impact. Trading hard-to-read address numbers for clearer numbers adds not only curb appeal but also makes it easier for guests (or potential buyers) to find the right address. What’s more welcoming than knowing with certainty that you’re in the right place?
Modern house numbers made from brass or steel are a popular and chic choice. Go the extra mile to match your house numbers closely with exterior lighting fixtures and other hardware, such as a front doorknob or the hanging chains on a porch swing.
Hide an Unsightly AC Unit
Having central air conditioning is a gift on a sweltering summer afternoon but the clunky metal unit outside leaves much to be desired from a design standpoint.
Clever design can solve that problem quickly. Hide an ugly AC unit behind a beautiful wall made of wooden slats, like the one pictured featured by Country Living Magazine.
Keep it Clean with Pressure Washing
Pressure washing unveils the sparkle that was covered up by stains, grime, and bird droppings. It makes the outside of a home look brand new in a few short hours.
Moreover, pressure washing removes mold and mildew that can negatively impact your home and the health of your family and guests.
Add an Unexpected Element with an Herb Garden
Planting a home herb or vegetable garden has been increasingly popular in recent years. It makes sense. Herbs are fairly easy to grow and don’t require much space to set up, plus it is so satisfying to harvest food you’ve grown from seed.
Oregano, basil, thyme, and lemongrass are wonderful starter herbs that can be used in a variety of recipes. Moreover, it is a beautiful and personal touch that exceeds curb appeal expectations.
Welcome with a Wreath
Nothing says welcome home like a wreath hanging on the front door. And they’re not just for Christmastime. Seasonally themed wreaths that celebrate the bounty of spring, summer, and fall are fun and easy to make a home.
There is a lot of DIY wreath design inspiration on Pinterest to help you craft one that provides the right fit for your home’s aesthetic.
Carve out a Pathway
The best design incorporates form and function. A brick or stone pathway is practical and adds character to the front of a home.
Common types of materials used for walkways include crushed gravel or limestone and pea rock. Up the charm and creativity factor by selecting location appropriate materials. For example, a crushed shell pathway is perfectly suited for a coastal home.
Create a Space to Unwind with an Outdoor Seating Area
A cozy seating area practically begs family and friends to relax together. It creates a welcoming area that tells everyone that this home is made for gathering from the moment they lay eyes on the property.
Adirondack chairs are a perennial favorite for lawn seating. Extra special touches like a porch swing create an atmosphere of warmth.
Captivate all the Senses with Fragrant Flowers
Curb appeal is mostly about eye-catching visuals but the goal is to create a welcoming atmosphere overall.
There is a growing body of research that suggests smell has a powerful impact on both positive and negative behavior, mood, and emotions. A welcoming smell can quite literally set the mood.
Roses are among the most regarded fragrant flowers, but flowering plants like jasmine, lavender, and lilies are all aromatic beauties that can round out your curb appeal.
Springtime is the perfect seasonal prompt for dusting off the dull. Hanging a charming porch swing and planting an herb garden are weekend projects that add incredible curb appeal that you and your family can enjoy for years to come.