Your home’s curb appeal refers to its first impression—the visual attractiveness and the first thing anyone who visits or passes sees. When done right, curb appeal welcomes your guests and keeps your neighbors happy. If you decide to sell, it gives potential buyers a perception of value, and may mean the difference between a buyer choosing to look further or simply driving on past.
Here are five projects you and the spouse can conquer in a weekend or less to help give your home the exterior makeover it deserves:
- Give It a Shower
The first thing you likely do in the morning is take a shower. You don’t want to apply new makeup over old, or don clean clothes if you’re not feeling fresh and polished. The same principle applies to your house.
Before you begin dressing it up, you need to make sure everything underneath is clean. Windex Outdoor Glass and Patio Concentrated Cleaner comes in a handy bottle that attaches directly to your garden hose. You can use it to wash siding, bricks, windows, and even patio furniture by just spraying and rinsing.
Once your house is clean, tackle the deck, patio, sidewalks and driveway. Get rid of presents the birds left under the feeders last winter, mud that’s accumulated on the walkways, and other stains or dirt that makes the surfaces look neglected. A power washer is handy for removing oil and grease stains on your drive, but if you don’t have one, try a DIY vinegar and water or lemon and water solution to safely get stains out.
- Groom for That Well-Manicured Look
Haircuts, manicures, plucking an eyebrow here and there, and trimming excess facial hair—we do it all as a regular part of our maintenance. Just like us, our lawns require regular cutting, trimming, and plucking.
Trim overgrown trees and bushes, and cut any limbs that overhang the sidewalks and driveway or that block views from the windows. Prune dead branches, remove weeds and debris from existing flower beds, and be sure to clean rogue vegetation from any cracks and crevices.
Break out the lawnmower and provide your lawn with a much-needed cut. Follow up with the weed-eater to shear the edges of your drive and walkways for a professional finished look.
- Dress It Up With Vegetation
Now that your house and lawn are clean and well-groomed, you’ll want to start dressing them up. Adding a few raised flowerbeds introduces color and warmth to your landscaping, and the beds are easier to maintain than ground-level gardens.
You can buy retaining wall bricks at any local home improvement store. These bricks make it easy to create attractive beds, even if you don’t have a lot of experience. Many have a self-locking designs so you can build a wall two or three bricks high—just right for small, decorative beds—without mortar or cement.
To build a bed, start with a shallow trench to level the ground and provide a foundation. Lay your first course of bricks in the trench and check that it’s level, making any necessary adjustments. Continue to build your blocks until you reach your desired height. If you want more stability, you can use landscape block adhesive between the courses or build an inner retaining wall of wood.
This project is easier if you can be a bit flexible on the size of your bed so you don’t have to cut any bricks. Also, if you’re building beds in multiple areas of your yard, keep in mind that moving them can be killer on your back. Renting equipment to help you move large quantities of bricks will definitely help, and most companies offer on-site delivery during weekends. Your back will definitely thank you on Monday morning.
Once finished, insert landscaping fabric over the existing dirt, then backfill with garden soil, add your plants and mulch for a pop of color or luxurious display of natural fauna.
- Add Some Color
You wouldn’t consider yourself presentable without your makeup, and your house doesn’t deserve anything less. Check your door jambs and trim to be sure the paint is not cracking or peeling. If it is, re-paint to make your house look as good as the day it was built.
You can also add a fresh look to a tired entryway with a splash of complimentary or contrasting color on the entrance and garage doors. A gallon of paint is a fairly inexpensive investment, and a brightly colored door gives your house a facelift while adding an updated appearance to the entire house.
- Accessorize With Updated Lighting
Now it’s time to accessorize your home. Updating outdated garage, walkway, or front door light fixtures is an instant plus when it comes to curb appeal and is a fairly easy project. Be sure that you turn off the breaker before you start and follow manufacturer’s instructions for the installation.
Even if the thought of creating that pristine facade seems a bit overwhelming, don’t fret. By breaking it down into a few weekend projects, you’ll soon have your home groomed and dressed to impress even the pickiest neighbor or most discerning homebuyer. Of course, you’ll love its new look, too.
Megan Wild loves making outdoor improvements to homes. With a focus on sustainability, she finds new ways to use old materials that she finds. Check out some of her upcycling tips on her blog, Your Wild Home.