40 Curb Appeal Tips and Ideas That Actually Make A Difference

tips to increase curb appeal

Your home is your castle – there is no denying this fact. It has a major impact on how you feel, but it also affects how others feel about you. While that might not seem fair, it’s just the way human psychology works. Ideally, your home’s curb appeal will make a great first impression.

You want your home to look just as good on the outside as it does on the inside. Fortunately, there are some simple curb appeal ideas and tips that you can use to transform your home’s exterior appearance.

Replacing Old Hardware

Did you know that your home’s hardware has a major impact on appearance? A lot of homeowners don’t think about the overhead light fixtures, mailboxes, door locks and house numbers. If one of these components is off, it can reduce the overall appearance of your home.

With the right hardware, your home will look elegant and stylish. The exterior curb appeal is reduced when these items are dingy or outdated. Your home won’t be conveying the message that you want it to. All of these different hardware components have the greatest impact when they work together, collectively, to increase curb appeal.

In other words, when choosing the individual components, try to make them functional as a single, cohesive theme. For traditional homes, consider oiled-bronze finishes, and brushed nickel is much more suitable for contemporary homes.

Enhancing the Symmetry

In case you didn’t know, symmetry plays an important role in everything. It’s one of the most important aspects of the human body, and it even dictates the beauty of your home. Symmetry is very pleasing for the eyes, and fortunately, it’s quite easy to arrange.

By adding some symmetry to your front entryway, you can increase the curb appeal of your home. Some accents for the front door and light fixtures can go a long way. For a contemporary home, you might consider using some lantern-style scones with plants.

Power Up With Outdoor Lighting

You can increase your home’s curb appeal with landscaping. Many homeowners have successfully used low-voltage landscape lighting. This idea not only improves aesthetics – it also increases safety and security.

You can use light fixtures to provide accent lighting for trees, but they’re even great for illuminating walkways. If you can’t install lights that must be hardwired, there are countless solar-powered lights to consider.

If you decide to go with solar lights, you must realize that they don’t produce nearly as much light output as wired alternatives, and they’re also not very reliable.

Instant Gardens

If you’re looking for curb appeal on a budget, consider creating an instant garden. Container gardens are very popular and help to make your home feel welcoming.

They can be quickly added to a home’s exterior, and they’re not terribly expensive. You can purchase pre-made containers or fill them with your own selections of plants.

For the majority of homes, it’s best to consider an asymmetrical, staggered arrangement, which will create a dynamic setting for your home. This is an excellent way to get some great front yard curb appeal.

Makeover the Mailbox

The purpose of the mailbox is to collect mail, but it’s also supposed to make your home look good. Some would even go as far as to say that the mailbox expresses the homeowner’s personality. If you want to use a standard mailbox, make sure that it mirrors the trimmings around your home.

You can make your mailbox look extra special by painting the wooden post to match the color of your home. Some homeowners surround the mailbox with beautiful flowers, which can have a strong effect on the home’s curb appeal.

Window Boxes

A great option for DIY curb appeal involves the installation of window boxes. These serve as great ways to give your home some charm and color. It’s a good idea to use boxes that are made of iron or copper if you’re shooting for a traditional look.

To achieve a cottage feel, consider using painted wood. You can mix and match plants and flowers to match the color scheme and lighting conditions that are present.

Paint the Front Door

To improve curb appeal painting the front door is always a budget-friendly option. You’ll be shocked to see how much of a difference some fresh paint can make.

The most difficult part of this process is choosing the right paint color. If you want to draw attention to your home, you should use a bright colored paint. A fresh coat of paint has the power to make your home feel inviting and modern.

Frame the Door

Another great tip for improving curb appeal involves framing the door. The front door is one of the most important aspects of a home’s appearance, so it only makes sense to do it right. You can paint the trim and add matching moulding to make it look better.

Install a Door Knocker

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to own a mega mansion to install a door knocker. You have a wide range of products to choose from, and some of the best door knockers are simple. When choosing this item, make sure that the knocker matches the color scheme of the door and surrounding areas.

Install New Porch Lights

The right lighting can give your home great curb appeal, but it can also make it a safer place to live. Porch lighting is important because it illuminates the porch and can discourage burglars from targeting your home.

Some high-quality lighting will illuminate the path and make it much easier to see where you’re walking. You won’t have to worry about taking the wrong step and getting injured.

Paint The Shutters. Trim or Front Door

Exterior paint is quite inexpensive, so you can use it to paint any of these components. A fresh coat of paint can revive your home and dramatically enhance the curb appeal. If you want to make your home stick out, then consider painting it a bold color.

Before you start painting, make sure that all of the surfaces have been prepped. If you’re going to paint your home, then you want to make sure that the paint will last for several years. Prepping the surfaces will guarantee the lifespan of the paint.

Plant a New Tree

A very simple, inexpensive way to increase your home’s curb appeal involves planting a tree. However, before you plant the tree, you’ll need to consider the size and how tall it will grow. If possible, consider planting two trees to frame your home’s entryway.

Replace the Exterior Lighting

If you haven’t already noticed, exterior lighting has a significant impact on your home’s curb appeal. When searching for new exterior lighting to purchase, make sure that you choose products that match the overall style of your home.

Another factor to consider is how the lights function. Ideally, the exterior lights should adequately illuminate your home’s entryway, which makes it safer. For easier installation, buy lights that have the same mounting system that your current lights are using.

Add Some Flower Boxes

Flower boxes can have a profound effect on the appearance of your home. They’re ideal for homes that are lacking color. You can install them on the front porch railings, or you can even place them below the windows.

Fortunately, window boxes are quite cheap, and if you’re on a really tight budget, you can even make your own. If you don’t want to add flower boxes, some great alternatives are container gardens, which can be placed on your porch or front steps.

Give the Front Yard a Manicure

One of the cheapest ways to increase curb appeal consists of giving your yard a manicure. You should always try to make sure that your front yard looks good and accurately represents your home. The basics include keeping the lawn cut, fertilizing the grass and adding plants that fit the style of your home.

Landscaping isn’t always the easiest way to improve curb appeal, but it’s almost always one of the cheapest. Depending on the size of your property, you can make a huge impact on the front yard within a single day.

Add Path Lights Along Walkways

Many modern homes are built with several walkways. Even if your property only has a single walkway, you can use path lights to significantly increase its appearance. Path lights serve as decorative and functional enhancements.

You can place them in mulched areas with dainty flowers and create a cohesive look for your guests to enjoy. They can be very effective for curb appeal, but they’re also effective at improving safety.

Bright Birdhouse

You can’t underestimate the power of a bright birdhouse. A birdhouse serves as a great accessory, and it can liven up a tree in your front yard. It’s almost always a good idea to attract some of those fluttering creatures because they’ll make your home feel more inviting.

They’re also great for relaxation because it can be very relaxing to see birds enjoying the new home that you’ve installed for them. A bright birdhouse looks cute and can improve your home’s appearance.

Add a Metal Arbor

If you’re wondering how to add curb appeal, consider placing a metal arbor in your yard. An arbor serves as a great way to add some style and structure to a walkway. You can even place it in a section of your front yard. Arbors are commonly found at garage sales, but if you have some money to spend, consider purchasing a brand-new model.

A Quick Face Wash

Most people don’t realize that homes, like humans, have a face, and it must be occasionally washed. It doesn’t take long for a typical home to get covered in grunge, mildew and dirt. Depending on how dirty the home’s face is, a simple wash could add as much as $15,000 in resale value.

You can use a soft-bristled brush and bucket of hot water to get the job done. Dirt and dust are removed quite easily, but if these particles have baked onto the exterior, you might consider a stronger treatment option.

After washing the main parts of the exterior, move on to the windows, downspouts and eaves. The garage door is also a hot spot for dirt and mildew.

Clean the Roof

The roof is a major component of any home, so it only makes sense to wash it. A dirty roof looks grungy and will make your home feel uninviting. By cleaning the roof, you’ll make your home look better from the street, which is a great way to improve curb appeal.

You might be surprised to learn how long some people let their roofs go. Some of the worst offenders haven’t washed their home’s roof in a decade. Over time, it will gather dirt, algae and other debris. In many cases, creating curb appeal is as simple as washing a dirty roof.

Add Some Color

A little bit of color can go a long way. You can add a splash of color to your home by planting a tulip border in the fall, which will begin to bloom during the spring. You might also consider digging a flower bed near the mailbox and planning a few pansies.

Add some color to the front porch with a bright-colored bench or chair. If you’re feeling wild, consider painting the front door a bright blue or red color. You won’t increase your home’s value with some splashes of color, but you’ll enhance your home’s curb appeal and make it easier on the eyes.

Install a Fence

A fence doesn’t have to be intimidating. Although fencing is frequently used to keep something in or block something else out, it can also be used to make your home look better. Most homeowners would consider a picket fence with a garden gate a great way to frame a yard. If the fence is in good condition, you can score some extra points with appraisers.

However, fencing can be quite expensive. You could pay as much as $3,500 for a professionally installed fence. If you already own a fence, perform some maintenance and make sure the materials are clean and polished.

Perform Simple Home Maintenance Tasks

Most people are surprised to learn just how far some simple maintenance tasks can get them. If you want to send guests running away from your home extremely fast, make sure to never take care of simple maintenance.

To maintain curb appeal, you can refasten sagging gutters and repoint bricks that have lost a mortar. You might also consider resealing cracked asphalt, straightening shutters and replacing cracked windows.

Take Advantage of the Season

Always make sure to seize the season. Maybe you have several outdoor projects from last winter that you never got around to. When summer arrives, it’s a great time to get these jobs finished. Summer is also a great time to get some of those repairs finished.

By completing seasonal tasks that never got finished, you can increase curb appeal and even save money. Your home will look good, and you’ll feel good about it.

Clean All the Windows

It’s one of the easiest ways to increase curb appeal, but many homeowners forget to clean their windows. If you want your home to look good from a distance, the windows need to shine and sparkle.

Once your windows are clean, your home will look better, but you’ll also benefit from more sunshine entering your home. Although it’s always a good idea to have the windows professionally cleaned, you can DIY and save money.

Eliminate Rotted Wood

There is a good chance that many aspects of your home are made out of wood. Problems with appearance occur when the wood has become rotted. If some of the wood components of your home are too far gone, you won’t be able to fix them with a simple cleaning.

However, it’s possible to fix minor wood rot, but you’ll need the proper tools for the job. With the right equipment and some elbow grease, you can make crumbling wood surfaces look new and give your home the curb appeal that it deserves.

Polish Patios and Paths

When you’re trying to make your property look better, the patio is a great place to start. Winter can wreak havoc on patios and pathways. To get these areas into tip-top shape and make them look good again, you might need to polish them.

There are several ways to polish patios and walkways, so you’ll need to determine what material yours are made from and find the appropriate polishing guide.

Trim the Landscaping

Some high-quality landscaping can make your home look incredible, but if you allow trees and shrubs to become too scraggly, you could end up with an eyesore.

For maximum curb appeal, keep your landscaping trimmed. You might need a wheelbarrow and some garden gloves to get the job done, but in the end, it’ll be worth it. To get the maximum benefits, you might consider hiring a professional landscaping company.

Outdoor Lighting

By installing the right outdoor lighting, you can add some much-needed style and elegance to your home. It’s always a good idea to start with the entryway and go from there. The entryway is designed to welcome guests, but if nobody can see it, then it’s not very welcoming.

Some soft exterior lighting will make your home seem friendly and inviting, and it can even be used to emphasize certain aspects of the landscaping. The lighting will also reduce dark spots, so you’ll feel much safer walking around your home at night.

Have the Driveway Edged

You can do this yourself or pay someone else to do it, but driveway edging is a must. By installing a border around the driveway, you’re able to give it an elegant, crisp look. Some common edging materials are stone, pavers and bricks. If you’re feeling creative, you can use a combination of these materials.

The right mixture of decorative designs, textures and colors can bring a boring asphalt driveway to life. Some homeowners prefer level edging, but it can also be elevated, which helps to prevent people from driving onto your lawn. The installation of edging materials is very straightforward and requires some minor grass removal.

Covering Dead Spots

Robust trees can be enjoyable to have in the yard, but they cover a massive area of grass with shade. The roots of the larger trees can also suck up all of the nearby water, which can leave your yard with dead spots.

The dead spots of grass can significantly impact the appearance of your property and reduce curb appeal. The good news is that you can fix dead spots quickly and easily. The dead spots near trees can be easily covered with flowers, or you can even cover the base around the tree in mulch.

New Garage Doors

If you have a garage, and you’re looking for ways to increase the curb appeal of your home, consider installing a new garage door. A lot of people think that a garage door must be purely functional. Fortunately, this isn’t true, and you can get creative with the design.

Modern doors are made of fiberglass, steel and wood, and there are countless styles to choose from. It might not be enough to simply clean your existing door. You might need to remove the old door and install a new one.

Replace Worn Hardware

It’s true that the larger components that make up your home have a profound impact on curb appeal, but many of the smaller items can add up and have an equally-powerful impact. If your home is equipped with a lot of old hardware, then consider having some of it replaced.

You can start with the lock and handle on your front door and work your way over to old, rusty light fixtures. It’s almost never a bad idea to install some decorative house numbers to complete the look. Don’t underestimate the impact of the little pieces of hardware because they can have a huge impact on your home’s appearance.

Trim Perimeter Bushes and Trees

Unless you want your home to look like it was imported from Africa, with the jungle portion intact, trim back the perimeter bushes and trees. The beautiful features of your home are useless if they can’t be seen through thick perimeter trees.

When trees and bushes are growing out of control, it makes your home seem uninviting, and it can dramatically reduce the curb appeal.

Create a Berm

A berm can serve as an excellent way to add some elegance and style to your property. The purpose of the berm is to integrate color into your yard using trees, stone, mulch and plants. It also allows you to give your home some attractive edging using flagstone or pavers.

Most berms have soft, curving edges, so you can use it to produce interesting shapes that contrast the angular, sharp lines of the driveway. A berm can also be used to break up an uninterrupted, flat yard. Fortunately, berms are easy to create, and the process is almost identical to starting a garden.

Add Faux Stone Panels

Exposed slab foundations on some homes are left alone. This can create an eyesore and make your home look unattractive. Faux stone panels might get a bit expensive if you choose to cover your entire home, but they can have a dramatic, positive effect on curb appeal. There are many different styles to choose from, so you should have no trouble finding a great style for your home.

Camouflaging Eyesores

In a perfect world, every aspect of a home would look incredible and wouldn’t need any changes. Since we don’t live in a perfect world, there is a good chance that your home has some eyesores built onto it. A great example might be a water or gas meter, which tend to be painted an ugly, boring gray color.

A great way to handle eyesores is to camouflage them. Consider painting an eyesore the color of your home’s exterior, which will blend it into the overall design. You might be surprised to learn how easy this really is.

Add a Tree Bench

A tree bench is an excellent way to increase curb appeal. Most people would agree that there is something magical about tree benches. For some people, they induce a state of euphoria and bring back warm, comforting feelings of childhood.

For others, they just look cool and serve a useful purpose. The cool thing about tree benches is that they come with a built-in umbrella, which is the tree. Kids can use a tree bench to take a nap, eat popsicles or read. Some homeowners use tree benches to hold plants or disguise exposed roots and missing grass.

Concrete Stain

Many homeowners are boosting curb appeal with concrete stain. You can use concrete stain to give your home a fresh, updated look. With some painter’s tape, you can use the stain to make concrete look like tile. Concrete stain can be used to revitalize the appearance of driveways, patios and walkways.

Install Window Shutters

Most homeowners don’t like the look of small windows. They can make a home seem constricted and uninviting. A great way to make small windows look twice as big consists of installing shutters.

Large window shutters are also great for breaking up a large, boring exterior wall, which will give your home significantly more visual interest.