11 Budget-Friendly Ways to Boost Curb Appeal

Spruce up your home for spring with these cost-effective curb appeal tricks.

©Rustic White Photography

©Rustic White Photography

©Rustic White Photography

©Rustic White Photography

©Rustic White Photography

©Rustic White Photography

©Rustic White Photography

©Rustic White Photography

©Rustic White Photography

©Rustic White Photography

©Rustic White Photography

©Rustic White Photography

©Rustic White Photography

An Exterior Spring Refresh: After

For a style-appropriate update, this quaint Atlanta home was painted in colors chosen from a historic preservation guide specific to bungalow architecture. Popular colors for this era include mossy greens, rich browns, mustard tones, burnt oranges and neutral taupes.

An Exterior Spring Refresh: Before

After years of stormy winters and sun-fading summers, this Southern home was in need of a refresh. To spruce it up just in time for spring, the exterior got a coat of new paint, fixtures were installed and fresh landscaping was added.

Paint the Front Door

There are two common approaches for painting a front door: choosing a bold complementary color to the palette of the home's exterior, or sticking with the same tone used in the exterior trim. When a house already has a lot of architectural interest, it's best to keep things simple and carry the trim color onto the door. Since front doors usually need to stand up to more wear and tear than any other exterior feature, stick with a semi-gloss or high-gloss finish.

Update House Numbers

Although they're just a small detail, house numbers can make a big impact on a home's curb appeal. Similar to paint colors, it's best to opt for house numbers architecturally and historically appropriate to the style of your house. Here, rubbed brass numbers in a Craftsman-style font were used to honor the era.

Choose a Welcoming Door Mat

Welcome mats offer a chance for homeowners to show their personality and personal sense of style. For decorative purposes, it's best to choose mats made from organic materials such as seagrass or sisal; however, man-made materials like plastic, woven acrylic, or rubber tend to be more durable.

Improve Lighting

Electrical changes are best left to professionals. But when a junction box is properly positioned in an entry, it's simple for a homeowner to swap out a fixture by shutting off power to the switch, removing the existing canopy and wires, then installing the new fixture according to its instruction manual.

Add Height to the Entry

Give visual appeal to your entry by framing the front door with tall greenery. This is especially effective for single story homes since the height and shape of the trees immediately draws the eye upward and make the entry seem grander.

Clean Cedar Shakes

Cedar shakes are temperamental and can be difficult and time consuming to update. Since professionals can get cedar shake updates done effectively and efficiently, it's often a better use of time to hire a pro to tackle this task.

Add a Flagstone Pathway

Flagstone pathways require more patience than skill to lay, which makes them a perfect project for homeowners with basic DIY experience. To add a flagstone pathway to your front entry, first remove any weeds or patches of grass, then grate the soil using a rake. Lay each piece of flagstone in place, tracing its shape into the soil with a trowel. Next, dig away enough soil for the flagstone to sit flush with the ground. Continue to piece each slab in place like a puzzle, and then fill the spaces between each slab with pea gravel, mulch or pebbles.

Install Window Boxes

Add a dashing dose of spring that's visible from outside and inside with window box planters filled with colorful annuals. To properly fill each box, stick with flowering plants in two to three colors, leafy, low-sitting greens, as well as flowers or grasses which grow upwards to add height.

Paint Window Trim

To successfully update exterior window trim, all that's needed is painter's tape, a two-inch angled paintbrush and a paint scraping razor. After the glass is taped off, apply paint to the panes and surrounding trim in two coats. Should any paint splatter or drip onto the surface of the glass, use the razor to remove it.

Paint Eaves

In order to paint eaves properly, you'll need an extra tall ladder, a paint bucket and a two- or three-inch angled paintbrush. To make the task less daunting, it's best to paint the front of the house in sections, allowing both coats to dry fully before moving on to the next section.

Paint Brick

There are two popular methods for painting brick exteriors: using an HVLP paint sprayer or using rollers. Paint sprayers create a more even finish than brushes and rollers and cut the labor time in half. When using rollers, it's important to choose ones with extra thick naps or rollers specifically marked for use on coarse surfaces. The extra thick nap will absorb more paint into the roller, coat the surface of the brick more easily, and also get into the cracks of the mortar.

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