Whether you're preparing to sell your house, or looking for the next DIY weekend project - Working on your homes curb appeal is always a good idea. After all you only get one chance at a great first impression, right? Curb appeal is the first impression your home gives to all potential buyers, and guests you have over. You'll enjoy pulling up to your house after implementing some of these simple and inexpensive tips!
1.) Front Door - Often times people forget about this one, but after 7 years of selling real estate I can tell you a front door's appearance is very important. A scratched door or fading paint doesn't help with that great first impression I mentioned.
If you're looking for a quick solution, a fresh coat of paint will make all the difference in the world. Depending on how creative you want to be there are a few extra things you could try. For instance adding a frame around the front door will help your home stand out and be more inviting. A wreath that goes with current season can be a nice touch as well.
Adding a storm door can look great and will help keep the front door in good condition. Some storm doors have screens you can use to keep the door open and get some much needed fresh air in the house.
One last thing about front doors (especially in the fall) is keeping it clean. Knock down the spider webs and spray for bugs to keep your guests at ease while waiting for you to invite them in. You can find everything you need at Lowe's or Home Depot to get started.
2.) Lawncare - Having a well manicured lawn is arguably the most important part of your homes curb appeal. You probably notice that one house in your neighborhood that always has the perfect yard. Of course you do, because it looks great and is refreshing to see those straight lines and neatly edged sidewalks. It's one of the cheapest ways to maintain your home's value and it's good exercise!
A few landscaping projects can really help your house stand out as well. Add a stone or brick border around trees, gardens, your mailbox, etc.. Top it off with a new layer of mulch and you'll be surprised how much of a difference it makes.
If you don't have time to mow, or if yard work just isn't your thing - There are plenty of lawn care businesses around Lafayette that can get the job done for a fair price. Spartan Lawn Care and Grass Roots Lawn Care are two companies I'd recommend.
3.) Garage Door - This tip probably sounds more difficult than it really is. What in the world can you do with your garage door that isn't going to be costly? Quite a bit actually.. There are lots of great ideas on Pinterest for garage doors, but like I mentioned about front doors, a fresh coat of paint will go a long way.
You can even add windows to your garage without really adding windows. What the what?? That's right - Some people have made great "fake" garage windows by simply using square stencils and some black paint. Add some hardware as a frame around the paint and voila you've got findows (fake windows). You can call Steve's Overhead Door for all of your garage needs.
4.) Lighting - Most people think of front porch lights and garage lights when it comes to exterior lighting, but there are many different types of lighting you can add to help your curb appeal.
The walkway to your front door from the driveway might look great during the day, so why not show it off at night? You can use solar powered lights to make the perfect nighttime path to your door. They are fairly inexpensive and are super easy to install.
Along with a lighted pathway, you'll want to make sure your front porch and garage lights go well together. You could have the perfect contemporary lighting by the garage, but if you add a completely different style on the porch it might look a little strange. Check out the gallery at Kirby Risk for some great exterior lighting ideas.
5.) Front Porch - So you've worked hard on the front door, landscaping, garage, exterior lighting, but feel like somethings missing? The front porch is an opportunity to pull it all together. You want to make sure it's clean and very inviting for guests.
Hanging plants and adding the right furniture are great places to start. Two or three small hanging plants should be enough depending on the size of your porch.
Most of us are thinking the same thing as far as furniture goes. A trip to your local Cracker Barrel is all you need to find the perfect breakfast, but more importantly, a solid selection of rocking chairs.
In all seriousness rocking chairs are a nice touch and the perfect way to enjoy all the hard work you've done on your home. Plus who doesn't love a good Indiana sunset from a rocking chair?
6.) Power Washing - I can't tell you how many times I've recommended this on listing appointments and had sellers thank me afterwards. You might not notice how dirty your driveway, porch, or siding has got since you look at it everyday.
If you've lived in your home for a while and haven't power washed it's definitely worth adding to your list of projects. It will give your curb appeal a nice facelift and you'll appreciate it every time you come home.
You can find a good residential power washer for $75-$400 usually. That might sound expensive, but it's an investment you'll be glad you made.
7.) Mailbox - This is another project that's inexpensive and not very time consuming. Most mailboxes will look great with some fresh paint, but if you're looking to go the extra mile there's plenty of ideas you can try.
As I mentioned above some landscaping stone and mulch are nice additions to a mailbox. It will look great and another benefit is you won't scrape the post by weed eating around it. There are also solar powered lights you can add to the top of your mailbox that look really nice.
8.) Shutters - The last curb appeal idea on our list is your homes shutters. Once you've painted your front door you can really make your home pop by painting the shutters. Just make sure the colors go well together and they can even be the same color if you prefer.
In conclusion your home's curb appeal is one of the most important places to work on to maintain your value. Hopefully these tips were helpful and gave you some good ideas for your next DIY weekend project!
Curious as to what your home's current market value is? Contact Kirby Parker as your Lafayette real estate agent for a free market analysis.
Kirby Parker has lived in West Lafayette since 2001 and has been selling residential real estate at Keller Williams Realty for the last 12 years.