Curb Appeal on a Budget

By Katie Houdek

Curb appeal is critical when trying to sell your home but enhancing your curb appeal when you have no plans to go anywhere will help you love your home even more. There’s so many things you can do to boost your home’s exterior appearance and they don’t all have to cost an arm and a leg. Sweat equity can really take you places.

Clear the Overgrowth

Have your hedges gotten a bit leggy? Has your yard started to look like a grassland savanna? Get out there and clean it up. Prune the trees and hedges. Remove any bushes that have gotten completely out of control. Mow your lawn and make sure to sweep the walkways and porch. You’ll be amazed at how much of a difference that can make. Get into a routine of basic yard maintenance and stick to it. A manicured lawn will always be attractive.


A Good Washing

Houses get every bit as dirty as you and I do. We rectify the situation by hopping in the shower but what’s your house to do? Get out the hose and spray the dirt off your house. Don’t bother with a power washer because it may just be too powerful for your home exterior. When you’ve finished that go ahead and get those windows clean. In a plastic bucket mix one cup of white vinegar and a quart of warm water. Pour a gallon of clean water into a second bucket. Grab a sponge and dunk it into the water/vinegar mix and wash the entire window and don’t miss the corners. Once you’ve finished that dunk a squeegee into the buck of clean water and pull down along the glass. Clean your squeegee with a towel after each swipe and then dunk it back into the water and swipe the glass and repeat.

Pretty Little Plants

Plants can spruce a lot of things up; as long as you’re not going overboard. A couple of planters by the front door and some strategically placed beds in the yard can really beautify your home. Try incorporating some native plants, a couple of flanking potters on your porch, hanging baskets here and there, and little flower beds in the yard.

Upgraded Hardware

Statement doors have been a big deal for several years now and the trend is lasting. Ditching the old school boring door with something a little more unique can dramatically increase your curb appeal. You can completely replace the door or wade through pinterest or Hometalk for great DIY ideas to keep the costs down. There’s something out there for every skill level and aesthetic preference. While you’re at it, consider your lighting options on the porch or by your front door. Again, little changes can make the biggest difference!

All-in-all, you can turn your home’s exterior around without breaking the bank. Beyond that, many cities offer free plants, mulch, use of tools, and trees to homeowners. Sounds too good to be true but it’s not! Check out these great resources to see if you can take advantage of any of these programs!


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Is there anything in particular that you’ve discovered makes a big difference when it comes to curb appeal? Have you had to undertake a major exterior overhaul? Share your before and after photos and stories with us on Facebook and Twitter!

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