Looking for How to Add Curb Appeal to Your Home?
Here are 11+ Ideas to Try
An important but sometimes-overlooked part of selling your home is the curb appeal. Essentially, this means the way your home looks from the street, but it’s about the first impression that people make of your home.
If the exterior is lacking, potential buyers are going to assume that the rest of the home is in poor condition as well, even though you may have put tens of thousands of dollars worth of work into interior renovations. Anyone just driving by may not even consider making an appointment to look if the outside isn’t appealing.
If you want to sell your home – and sell it quickly – you need to spend a bit of time and money on the curb appeal. Fortunately, it’s surprisingly easy once you know what to do.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can add curb appeal to your home to increase its value and make the outside just as attractive to buyers as the inside.
This seems like an obvious suggestion, but it’s so important that we feel we need to lead with this one. Not everyone realizes how much actually goes into cleaning the outside of the house.
For instance, we suggest using a power washer to clean the exterior of the home, the walkways, and the deck or porch. Layers of dirt and grime can build up on a home over the years, and you probably don’t even notice it. It’s even a good idea to clean the roof of the home, though that should not be done with a power washer. It’s safest to let the professionals handle this task.
If the home still looks a bit dingy after a power wash, you might want to consider a fresh paint job. This won’t cost a lot of money, but it makes a big difference in the curb appeal of your home.
Finally, don’t forget the windows! Cleaning the outside of the windows can be challenging, but it’s worth the effort. Clean windows will make the inside of your home shine as well because they’ll let the light shine through.
Make Any Necessary Repairs
Very few people want to buy a home that needs a lot of repairs. When there are visible problems on the outside of the home, you can bet that people will assume that there are many more problems on the inside.
That’s why it’s so important to take care of the repairs around the outside of the home. Think about things like replacing a cracked vinyl siding panel, tightening the screws on that loose railing, or patching up cracks in the concrete.
Take special care to make sure the gutters are in good condition. Gutters that are damaged won’t divert the water properly, and a savvy home buyer will know damaged gutters are a warning sign for roof deterioration. Since that can be a costly repair, it’s more likely they would steer clear of your house.
Pay Attention to the Front Entry
Curb appeal is about the overall look of the exterior of your home, but the focal point of the exterior is the front door. You want your front door to be as inviting as possible, and you can do this in a few ways:
- Paint or replace the front door. Choose a bold colour that contrasts with the rest of the home.
- Hang a seasonal wreath or another type of decoration on the door. There are wreaths available for every season.
- Add a welcoming new doormat.
- Consider putting some flowers or other decorative items by the door (if space allows).
Additionally, take a look at the house numbers. Do they seem outdated? Are they clearly visible from the street? If they could use an update, replace them. This will usually cost less than $20, but it gives the home a new feel.
Make Sure the Exterior Is Well Lit
A home just feels cozier when it’s well lit. Since people often drive past potential homes in the evenings after work, you want to make sure your home can be seen, even when the sun isn’t shining.
New lights are a relatively easy and inexpensive way of adding curb appeal. You could get spotlights that are focused on your home to brighten up the look. Some attach to the home itself.
Another smart idea is to get solar lights that line the pathway to the door. They charge during the daytime and light up when the sun goes down.
Add Window Boxes and Planters
A bit of colour will brighten up the exterior of any home. Adding some window boxes and/or planters with flowers is a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to accomplish this task. In particular, look for places out front that seem a bit “empty”, and fill that space up with plants. Some places where flowers might look good:
- In window boxes attached under the windows
- In boxes attached to porch railings
- Hanging from the porch ceiling
- In a planter by the front door
- Along the walkway
- Around the base of any trees
- On or near a fence at the front of the house
However! If you’re going to go this route, you need to make sure that you’re taking care of your plants. If potential buyers see dead or wilted flowers in your planters, it’s going to have the opposite effect.
Hide the Utilities
Every home needs access to utilities, but these types of things can be an eyesore. Take a walk around your home to look for things that might be ugly, such as an AC unit, a power box, or the garbage bins. If you can, come up with a way to hide them or make them not so obvious.
Often, you can find small fences or barriers specifically designed for this purpose at a home goods store. It won’t cost you a lot of money, and it can have a big effect on the curb appeal.
Clean Up the Walkways
Potential buyers are initially drawn to how the home looks from the street, but when they’ve decided to come inside, it’s the walkway that’s going to grab their attention. That’s a big reason to make sure it’s in good condition. At the very least, it needs to be clean and tidy. If there are large cracks in the cement or the stone pavers are uneven, you should consider having it re-done to look neater.
Repair Your Fence or Install a New One
If your home has a fence, it’s going to be one of the most visible things from the street. Anyone who’s been dreaming about that picket-fence look is going to be immediately put off if they see a fence in disrepair.
Chain-link fences are practical, but they’re unsightly. If this is what you have, consider replacing it with a wooden fence or think about ways you can make it look prettier: inserting privacy panels, painting it, or planting a vining plant around it.
Create a Symmetric Look
A little-known tip for improving a home’s curb appeal is to add symmetry. This means making things look balanced to those standing on the street, and it ends up creating a look that’s more psychologically appealing.
Look at your home from the street to see if it feels off-balance. Do you have a lot of plants on one side of the home but not on the other? Is one side more colourful than the other? If so, make some changes to create balance.
Install a Bird Feeder
A bird feeder will attract birds to the yard, giving it a more natural and welcoming feel. The feeder doesn’t even have to be obvious for this to happen. Even a small one that’s easily concealed will attract birds. Even better, the birds in your yard will help keep garden bugs under control.
For best results, choose a feeder that makes it easy for the birds to get the food, but not so easy that they’re spilling it all over the yard, which can make the yard even messier. Additionally, choose a bird food that will attract different types of birds.
Additional Quick Tips and Tricks
As you can see, you have options when it comes to how to add curb appeal to your house. Here are a few quick and easy ways to up the ante even more:
- Upgrade your front door hardware for a fresh look
- Install a new mailbox – even though they’re basically decorative now
- Add a porch swing or bistro set if you have the space
- Add window shutters for a cozy feel
- Put in new mulch/bark to flowerbeds
- Clean the garage doors (or replace altogether if it’s in the budget)
There are many ways to add curb appeal (and therefore extra value) to your home. The exact methods you use will depend on your budget and the amount of time you have available to dedicate to the task. At the very least, you should consider some of the easier solutions, such as making sure your front door and walkway are appealing and making sure the exterior of your home is clean and in good shape. Depending on your situation, you could even go as far as a full landscaping overhaul.
The more curb appeal you can add to your home, the more attractive it will be to potential buyers. This can make your home easier to sell, and you may even fetch a higher price. If you’re still unsure, contact a home sales expert who can put you on the right path.