20 Ways To Improve The Curb Appeal Of Any Home

Dated: 02/14/2016

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Great curb appeal adds value to any property.  So IF you are a seller getting your home ready for sale, the following 20 suggestions can put $$$ in your pocket and many will give you more than a 100% return on your investment. 

And if you are buyer considering a home that just doesn't "move" you when you drive up to it, keep these ideas in mind.  The seller's lack of effort to make their home look inviting to buyers is actually good for you.  Some other buyers simply will skip that offering without setting foot in side.  And that means less competition for you and that likely means a lower selling price for that home.

  1. Get a new welcome mat.

  2. Install new house numbers.

  3. Paint the front door a contrasting color;  IF you front door is dented or warped or rusted, consider changing it.  IF you have a screen door that is broken or miss-aligned, repair or replace it.

  4. Paint the shutters.  Plastic shutters can be easily removed painted and then put back in place.  And they take paint well.

  5. Clean and replace bulbs in exterior light fixtures.   If the fixtures are rusted or dated in design, consider replacing them all together.

  6. Trim bushes and prune trees throughout your property.  This will extend the life IF you can not see the home from the street in a residential neighborhood due to heavy tree growth, consider trimming lower branches or removing a few trees to allow visitors to view the home before they turn into the driveway.

  7. IF your foundation landscaping is overgrown (bushes have dead spots or they are encroaching on your walk way, or they've grown so high that they are blocking light from entering your windows) replace them with new landscaping (it can be done over a few seasons); freshen raised flower beds and foundation landscaping with fresh mulch and perennials; be timely with seasonal clean ups.

  8. Clean wood siding or power wash brick or vinyl siding.  Paint wood siding and/or trim needed.  Changing the color of the exterior of a home make take some imagination and a bigger financial commitment.  But the outcome can be dramatic.  Major paint brands sell pint sized samples.  Experiment with a patch or two painted on your home and viewed in different light before committing to a new color.

  9. Power wash walk ways, entrance ways, retaining walls and solid fences.  Repair or replace as needed.

  10. If there are steps leading up to the front door, check them for structural soundness.  Repair or replace if need be.  IF there is more than an 8" rise from walk to the front stair, this is a tripping hazard.  But rather than replace or change the stairs, consider raising the walk or adding a extra step if it can be done in an aesthetically pleasing way.

  11. If you have a front porch, be sure that the furniture is clean and freshly painted too.  Check the floor.  IF it's wood, repair or replace rotted boards and paint it if needed.

  12. Install a new mail box or freshen the old one.  Pay attention to the post too if you have curbside mail delivery.  There is nothing less welcoming than a rusted box on a leaning post.

  13. Remove yard debris (children's swing sets that are no longer in use and/or not structurally sound, unused dog runs, deteriorated gardens sheds, remains of ornamental items that have already seen their best days, etc.).

  14. Hide garbage and recycling cans.  IF they may must be outside, place them away from the approach side of the property or construct a screen to shield the area where they are stored.

  15. Treat roof for air born algae.  IF you have lifted shingles or deteriorated roof flashings, get them repaired (both for aesthetic reasons and to prevent water leakage into the home).

  16. Clean the gutters.  Paint or replace them IF need be. 

  17. Check the tops of your chimney(s)--do they have caps?  IF the caps are rusted or broken, they probably aren't doing their job anyway, so now would be a good time to replace them.

  18. Clean the windows.  IF you are getting your home ready for sale, remove, wash and label window screens and stow them away in preparation of showing.  (Your house will appear brighter with freshly cleaned windows not obstructed by screens.)  Repair or replace broken or ripped screens.

  19. IF you have an unsightly view of a neighboring property (like a neighbors boat or RV, or adjacent Commercial property, for example) or a lack of privacy due to the presence of another home or street close to your lot line, consider planting 2 or 3 rows of interspersed pine trees to create a visual barrier.  

  20. Check your driveway surface.  IF it is blacktop, apply sealer (in season) for a fresh crisp look.  IF it's gravel, consider adding some new stone and having it smoothed out.   Or if there is moss growing between the stones in a block driveway, power wash it and treat the open spaces with weed killer.

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