Easy and Cheap Curb Appeal Ideas: Everything You Need to Know
What is curb appeal? It’s how attractive your property is when viewed by someone from the street. It’s basically the first impression that your property gives. People will not see your kitchen, bedroom or bathroom first. They will see your property and its surroundings from the curb. Simply put, if your home has amazing curb appeal, people will fall in love with your home and that paves the way for people to see the rest of your home with loving eyes.
This is why experienced real estate agents will tell you that you should work on your home’s curb appeal. In fact, lack of curb appeal can break a home sale. Interested home buyers will drive to your house, see a property lacking in curb appeal, and may just keep on driving. At the very least, your home has made a bad first impression, making it harder for you to make potential home buyers to fall in love with the rest of your property.
Why is it important? Numbers don’t lie. According to a study done by the National Association of Realtors, 63% of potential home buyers looking at listings online will visit a property that they liked online. What did they see? They see a beautiful home exterior, and that’s enough for them to schedule a visit.
Curb Appeal Ideas
There are a lot of things that you can do – from simple ones to complicated ones – that can help you improve your home’s curb appeal. Here are some proven ideas:
- Apply a new coat of paint.
It’s like dressing yourself in new and fresh clothes. Your home can go from drab to fab with a new coat of paint. In fact, it will look newer than it really is. It can also give your home a new look.
Doing this will cost you anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 for a 500 to 1,500 square foot home. But once you see the results, provided that it’s done by a competent painting contractor, you’ll say that it’s worth it.
A lot of homeowners go for a dominantly white exterior. This allows their home to stand out especially if you have a colorful landscape.
On the other hand, there are also a lot of homeowners who’d like a more dramatic flair. This is why they decide to color their house with a darker color. It’s dramatic and will set guests up for a pleasant surprise once they see the colorful interior.
- Don’t be afraid to use bright colors.
Bright colors are known to be very inviting. This is why you can consider using bright colors when you decide to repaint your home. This is a good idea if you don’t have the budget to apply a new coat of paint to the entire home. Just use bright colors on some parts of the exterior like doors and awnings and you can already improve its looks.
Yes, contrast works in improving the appeal of your home’s exterior. This is especially beneficial if that’s the theme of your interior as well because the contrasting exterior will truly excite potential home buyers to see what’s inside.
You can also consider your shrubbery when using contrast and bright colors. After all, it’s still part of your home’s exterior.
The porch is one of the first things that people will see. Improve how your porch looks like. It doesn’t have to be expensive remodeling. Adding a couple of rocking chairs and ceiling fans can go a long way.
If you have the budget, consider building out your porch. For example, having a wraparound porch can really make your home stand out. Add sheer curtains to the porch and it will be like a porch out of a romantic novel.
You can also package your porch as a multi-functional one. The rocking chairs and ceiling fans will turn it into a place to relax on a warm day, but you can take it one step further by adding a table and chairs for a breakfast nook. You can even place a charming bookcase to turn your porch into a reading room. You should also consider turning it into a functional mudroom.
What if you don’t have a porch? Well if you have the budget for it, go have one built! It offers a good return on investment. Alternatively, you can also have a veranda built.
Now’s a good time to check your siding. Cleaning it can work wonders. If there are damages, repair or replace if still possible. For best results, you can replace your siding with something better – something that’s up to date and refreshing to look at.
- Add window boxes.
This is one of the best ways to add a little bit of oomph to a boring exterior. Mix and match the window boxes with some colorful shutters and people will fall in love with your home from way out on the curb.
Of course, maximize the window boxes by adding glorious plants. Seasonal annuals are a safe bet.
This is also a good way to highlight beautiful windows. Beautiful windows by themselves won’t be noticed that much from the curb. Divert the eyes of potential buyers to them by highlighting them using window boxes and shutters.
Go back to the basics and add a white picket fence. It’s charming and at the same time functional. You can’t beat that combination of benefits.
When was your roof installed? If it’s been decades, there’s a good chance that there are damages that need to be repaired. You can repair your roof but for best results, just replace the roof. You’ll be hitting two birds with one stone – you take care of the damages and you improve its aesthetics especially if you’re going to choose well.
- Encourage balance and symmetry.
A lot of people will appreciate a balanced and symmetrical home. You don’t really have to spend for renovation just to make your home more balanced and symmetrical. It can be something as simple as adding large pots of plants in pairs by your home’s entryway.
You can also add 2, 4, or 6 chairs depending on how big the porch is. Line them up and your home will look very welcoming.
- Show your love for the U S of A!
Fly the US flag by your porch. It’s a good way to show your patriotism and it somehow adds a bit of charm.
- Embrace history.
Sure, modern homes are all over the place. If you have an old home, you can actually stand out by embracing your home’s history and complementing it with additions that have their own history.
Using reclaimed wood is a good idea. It will be obvious from the curb and is a good conversation starter with potential buyers and even guests. Know the story of the reclaimed materials so you can share it.
Your property’s landscape is part of your home’s exterior and will be greatly considered as far as curb appeal is concerned. Having a lush landscape can do wonders for your home. This is especially true if it’s well-kept. It will give an impression that you’re doing a great job with your home’s upkeep.
You can make things more interesting and practical by incorporating edible landscaping into your home’s exterior. It could be something as simple as adding bushes of blueberries.
- Set up a seating area.
If you don’t have a porch and you don’t have the budget for one, you can simply set aside one part of your yard as a seating area. Place a small table and add a couple of chairs in an area that receives the most shade and you now have an adorable seating area.
- Work on the hardscape with a pathway.
One of the first things that people will think of when they see a house is how to get to the front door. Make it easier for them, and have them fall in love with your house, by adding a pathway. It’s a practical hardscaping solution and is also a beautiful one especially if you’ll use brick.
On that note, make sure that your home has a clear path of entry. Don’t allow confusion on where and how to go to your house kick in. Have a clear pathway surrounded by beautiful landscaping that leads to a charming porch. Of course, there should also be a driveway.
Speaking of landscaping surrounding the pathway and driveway, it doesn’t really have to be a full-blown landscaping. You can simply line the hardscape with giant containers filled with colorful blooms. That will surely make the pathway and driveway stand out.
- Replace your snobbish door with something that’s more welcoming.
Take a look at your door from the curb. Is it something that turns people away or invite them in? If it’s the former, then you should replace it with something more welcoming.
Solid wooden doors are always great. They are beautiful and welcoming. If you’re on a budget, a simple change in color will help.
Speaking of doors, you can also add barn doors.
It’s not just a security issue. Old and damaged windows are not appealing to look at, which wouldn’t work well for you considering that there should be a lot of them that people can see from the curb. Take this chance to replace them with newer and better-looking ones.
Cheap and Simple Curb Appeal Ideas
Some of the ideas above are expensive. If you’re looking for affordable ideas to improve your home’s curb appeal, these are some ideas to consider:
- Add furniture to your porch. These could be pieces that you already have like tables and chairs. It’s just a matter of choosing furniture that will make your porch more welcoming. Again, it’s just a matter of achieving balance and symmetry.
If you don’t have a porch, then take the table and chairs outside and set up a seating area by the shade.
- Turn your porch into a multifunctional one. It can be considered affordable because you can work within your budget. Best of all, you’re making your porch more functional, so it’s well worth the investment.
- Paint the shutters. This can help draw attention to your beautiful windows and it can also provide a nice contrast. It can also help make your exterior more charming.
- Add a white picket fence. This can only be considered cheap if you’re planning to install a fence. A white picket fence is one of the more affordable options. Considering the benefits, it’s a good value for money.
- Paint the roof. Sure, you can replace the roofing, but that’s quite the investment. You can choose to paint the roof instead.
- Add the American flag. It’s a patriotic way to improve your home’s curb appeal and an affordable one at that.
- Line your pathway with containers filled with beautiful flowers. It’s a cheaper alternative to a full investment on landscaping. It will do a good job of welcoming people.
- Paint the door. Choose a warm and inviting color. Make it stand out.
Curb Appeal Renovations
In a lot of cases, all it takes is renovating parts of your home’s exterior. It’s generally more affordable than replacement and provided that it’s done by a competent contractor, the effects will be worth it.
Here are the renovations that you can do:
- Repaint your house. The simple act of repainting your whole house is a total facelift.
- Renovate the porch. If your porch is boring, then you’re missing out on a lot of curb appeal points. Renovate it by turning it into a multifunctional porch. You can even expand it to make it a wraparound one.
- Renovate the siding. If it’s looking old and damaged, it’s time to renovate it. Use more modern siding. Vinyl is always a safe choice.
- Improve your roof. This is one of the more expensive ideas but it will really help a lot considering that a lot of potential homebuyers put a premium on roofs.
- Renovate your landscape and hardscape. Make your home stand out by having lush landscaping. You can also renovate your pathway and driveway to make them more inviting.
- Renovate with the door in mind. Make your door the focus. Replace it with a wooden French door or just paint it with a warmer color. Renovate the path leading to it and improve your porch to put additional highlight to your door.
- Improve your windows. If they’re damaged, have them replaced. A simple way to renovate them is to add window boxes and replace the shutters.
Landscaping to Improve your Home’s Curb Appeal
Your home’s landscape will play an important part in its curb appeal because it’s right there for everyone to see. It will either welcome people or turn them away.
- Go for edible landscaping. Very few things match the appeal of a landscape that has kids picking blueberries and eating them.
- Add a seating area. This is a good strategy if you don’t have a porch and you don’t have the budget to have one constructed.
- Go for a lush landscape. Just make sure that it will be well-maintained.
- Have hardscapes complement with the landscape. This means having an inviting pathway and driveway that match with the landscape. It can be something as simple as placing container pots or flower boxes along the pathway.
- Plant a tree. You can make it the center of the landscape.
- Surround the landscape with a white picket fence. It’s affordable, simple and classically beautiful.
- Upgrade your mailbox. It’s a charming addition to your landscape.
Front Yard Curb Appeal
These simple ideas can really improve the front yard curb appeal:
- Add a nice fence. Don’t make the mistake of installing a fence that offers zero visibility of your home. You’d want people to see your home, not your fence. With that being said, you should add a fence that will do a job of adding a bit of security and privacy, but with added bonus of aesthetics. This is why a white picket fence is recommended.
- Have a centerpiece. It could be a tree or a nice seating area.
- Make the landscape lush.
- Line up the pathway with colorful flowers in container boxes or flower pots.
- Make sure that your front yard is clean.
- Add color. It could be colorful flowers or edible bushes like blueberries.
How to Add Curb Appeal to a Ranch Style House
Ranch style houses were very popular before. This is because they’re spacious and accessible. Their interiors are very relaxing as well.
The popularity of this style diminished simply because its exterior can be boring and unimaginative. This is why a lot of homeowners of a ranch style house can benefit from these ideas. The key is to break the monotony. These houses are often monotonous because of their horizontal lines. The low and long roofline certainly doesn’t help. These ideas can help:
- Add colorful shrubs and bushes. Place them nearest the house. Just make sure that they’re short rather than tall, as you wouldn’t want them to reach the windows. You can also group them together to draw the attention away from the boring exterior.
- It’s all about symmetry and balance. While the list above focused on the balanced use of furniture pieces on the porch, you can take that idea and apply it to a ranch home to complement its casual style. Line up the shrubs while taking symmetry into consideration. You can also plant taller plants and trees in pairs.
- Add some curves. Ranch homes can look like those shipping containers because of their hard and rough edges. Add some curves with landscaping. Play with angles when planting shrubs. You can also install a winding pathway.
- Make it pop. It can be something as simple as eye-popping colors. Don’t be afraid to break the monotony. Paint the door with a warm yellow color. Add colorful shutters. Play with contrast.
- Improve the porch. Ranch homes often feature a porch, albeit usually a small one. You can expand the porch or just improve it. Some simple additions like railings, sheets, furniture, ceiling fans and the likes can work wonders.
Front Door Curb Appeal
A lot of homeowners have been forgetting about their doors when it comes to improving their curb appeal. This is because they see their front door every single day so they’ve gotten used to it and haven’t really noticed how boring it has become. This is a mistake because your potential home buyers will be looking at your front door. In fact, it can be a deciding factor as to whether they’ll feel welcome or not.
Here are some ideas that you can implement for your front door:
- Give it a blast of color. Paint it with a welcoming color.
- Make the door fixtures shine! Clean all dirty spots and use metal polish on the knob and other fixtures.
- Add a wreath. Make sure that it matches your family’s character.
- Replace old and outdated hardware. This includes house number, door knocker, lockset and the likes.
- Add symmetry through accents. It can be something as simple as a couple of sidelights on either side of the door.
Front Porch Curb Appeal Tips
Several tips have been provided above to help improve the curb appeal of the front porch. Here are additional tips:
- Create a clear pathway from the street to the porch. You’d want people to know where and how to go to your house. If you also did a great job on the porch, you’d want people’s gaze to go from the street to the porch.
There are several ways to do this. Creating a beautiful pathway is probably the best way to do so especially if you’re going to line it with potted plants. You can also line up shrubs in such a way that they direct traffic towards your porch. You can also add structures like arbors.
- Add plants on your porch. This will make it seem like the porch is part of the landscape. You wouldn’t want people to be comforted by the lush landscape and then surprised by a hard-looking porch.
- Add a seating area. This has been mentioned on the list above but it has to be reiterated that this can really help improve front porch curb appeal. In addition to the benefits listed above, a seating area can serve as a transitional area from the landscape to the porch.
Curb Appeal for Small Homes
What if you have a small home? That doesn’t mean that your home can’t have curb appeal. In fact, you can work it to your advantage, by adding some charm into your small home. Here are some of the things that you can do:
- Add some more function into your porch. It can be something as simple as turning a corner into a reading nook. Maximize the space. This way when people look at it, they won’t see a cramped home. They’ll see a home with a multifunctional porch that they will enjoy.
- Clean your yard. You wouldn’t want a yard with overgrown bushes to make your small home look smaller. Trim the bushes. Keep it simple.
- Make the connection between your yard and home. This strategy makes it look like that the entire property, including the yard, is your home. So add a pathway from the street passing through your yard to your home. Add a seating area in your yard. Make your yard an extension of your home.
Farmhouse Exterior Ideas
A farmhouse can be boring. It doesn’t have to be that way. By following these tips, you’ll have a farmhouse that’s a beauty to the eyes:
- Go dark. By using a dark shade of paint, you’re adding a bit of drama to your farmhouse. It will also look great in picture as it will make your home stand out from the colorful views!
- Replace or repaint barn doors. Farmhouses are sometimes judged by the barn door, so it makes sense to improve it.
- Add a wreath on the door. An expansive farmhouse can be intimidating. A nice wreath hanging by your door can make your home more welcoming.
- Improve the roof. A lot of older farmhouses have an outdated roof. A roof remodeling project can change that.
Cottage Curb Appeal Tips
Cottage-style homes are naturally cozy and welcoming. Here are some ideas to highlight this:
- Add a white picket fence. Have a charming fence for a charming home.
- Add a brick pathway. The brick will provide a nice contrast to the cottage-style home.
- Add an American flag. A cottage-style home is an American-style home. It makes sense to add an American flag.
- Add a rocking chair in the front porch. It makes the house homier. Better yet, add a porch swing!
- Add railings on the porch. It adds a bit of accent. You can also add a screen.
- Add curves to soften the hard and sharp edges. You can simply add curved landscaping.
- Add window boxes. This is an affordable way to add more details to your home.
- Place a table and chairs outside. Have a place where you can sit and relax on a nice day while you say hi to neighbors passing by.
- Use plants. It helps highlight the home’s coziness. Use a single type of plant for every area.
- Make your garden cottage-style as well. This means overflowing it with blooms of different colors.
Curb Appeal Ideas for Brick Homes
Here are some ideas to improve the curb appeal of your brick home:
- Clean the bricks. Time can be harsh on bricks. Through the years, bricks will get grimy and dirty. Power washing your home’s exterior can help remove grime and dirt, restoring the bricks’ original color.
- Add outdoor furniture. You can simply add a small table and 2 or 4 chairs. Add some throw pillows on the chairs to help soften the appearance of the bricks.
- Repaint the door. Make it pop using color. Make sure that the color is in contrast with the natural color of your home’s bricks.
- Repaint the shutters as well. Just like the door, take this chance to make the shutters stand out.
- Add sidelights on either side of the door. It adds balance and symmetry and will add charming lighting.
- Add more greens on your yard. You can use planter boxes.
How to Add Curb Appeal to a Flat Front House
A house with a flat front can be boring. Here are some things that you can do to improve its curb appeal:
- Add character to the porch. Turn it into an exciting/charming/relaxing space. It depends on your family’s preferences and character. The simple act of adding white sheets that move with the wind can add some depth to your home’s flat front.
- Add window boxes and shutters. These can also add depth and character. Make sure to color them to make them pop out. You can also add plants and flowers.
- Make the area right outside your home part of the home. For example, adding a table and chair set in a shaded area in front of your home will make it look like that you have an extended part of your home so it doesn’t look flat anymore.
- Add curves using your landscape and hardscape. Add a winding pathway and driveway. Plant shrubs in a curved manner.
- Make areas pop out using color. You can start with your front door. You can also add colorful plants and flowers. The key here is to make different parts pop out to add more depth to your property.
- Add an awning. A colorful awning will add some depth to your flat home.
- Renovate the roof. If it’s a flat roof, then consider replacing it with a roof that has slopes.
Split Level Curb Appeal
Your split level home can have oozing curb appeal. Just follow these tips:
- Focus on the door. Highlight the entry point of your home. Replace or repaint the door. You can also highlight the area with good lighting.
- Make the exterior more modern. A proven way to do it is to replace the siding with something more modern.
- Add hardscaping. A good way to do it is to use steps on the landscape instead of just a normal pathway.
- Add a portico. This will surely add charm.
- Don’t forget about the small decorative elements. Replace the door knob and house number. You can also replace the mailbox.
- Add a gable roof. The sloping sides will do wonders to your split level home’s curb appeal.
Implement these Ideas with the Help of a Contractor
Implementing these many ideas can be overwhelming. This is why it’s a good idea to ask for help from a competent contractor. They can implement these ideas and even recommend more. They can take a look at your property and provide more ideas on how to best improve its curb appeal.