We’re told from childhood not to judge a book by its cover. But even if we truly take that advice to heart…we still judge a little bit, don’t we? We are naturally affected by the aesthetic of the book: the colors, the illustrations, the materials, the font—everything. The same principle applies to homes. Of course, there is no “cover” for a home; instead, there’s “curb appeal.”
Perhaps you’re familiar with the term, maybe you’ve even completed some projects to increase the curb appeal of your own home. Regardless, let’s review. What is curb appeal and how can you improve yours?
What is Curb Appeal?
Curb appeal is how attractive or compelling your property is from—you guessed it—the curb. Curb appeal is crucially important (there’s a reason why an entire HGTV show is dedicated to it) because it’s the first impression people—including potential buyers—have of your property. In fact, the Wall Street Journal reported in 2020 that curb appeal can improve a home’s worth by 7% or more.
Curb appeal doesn’t just consist of the front of your house, it includes your porch, fence, lawn, landscaping, shrubbery, trees, garage, roof, driveway…literally everything that can be seen from the street. Things like lighting and paint can affect your curb appeal. And though it is important for potential buyers, your curb appeal can also increase the value of your home.
Sometimes, aspects of your home’s curb appeal are outside of your control. You can’t do much about public utilities like lampposts and fire hydrants, or neighbors who are unwilling to keep their trees and bushes trimmed. However, there are still a variety of things you can do to spruce up your property, most of which can be done in a single day or weekend.
What Can You Do to Improve Your Curb Appeal?
Some curb appeal improvements require exterior remodeling of your home, building a new deck or porch, or perhaps adding a home addition. Whereas other solutions can be done on the cheap! We’re going to give you a few ideas to boost your curb appeal starting with the cheapest, moving onto the midrange, and then going big!
On the Cheap
Keep the Yard Up
“Realtors® understand that a home’s first impression is its curb appeal, so when it comes time to sell, a well-manicured yard can be just as important as any indoor remodel,” says National Association of Realtors® President Elizabeth Mendenhall. Get on a schedule of regular yard maintenance. Mow, weed, rake, water—whatever it takes to keep the yard looking tidy.
Update the Front Door
A fresh coat of paint, a new doormat, or updated number hardware.
Change or Add Lighting
Update the lighting fixture you have on the house or add little solar lanterns along the walkway.
Fix It! Fix It All!
Make sure that all of the little fixes are taken care of. For example, ripped screens, chipped paint, burned-out bulbs, etc.
Power Wash It!
Power wash the siding, the sidewalk, the garage door, everything!! You’ll be surprised how much better everything looks with the grime washed away. You can rent a power washer from Lowe’s if you don’t have one.
Moving On Up
Get and install a new mailbox! This is an easy and inexpensive way to update and exhibit attention to detail.
Add a little furniture, a wreath, a wind chime or bird house, or some potted plants on the doorstep. Just make sure that nothing looks cluttered or haphazard.
People go crazy for window boxes full of bright, colorful flowers. They really add dimension to the front of your home.
Create a Sitting Area
Design a small area to put a couple of chairs or a bench and a table to sit and enjoy the morning or afternoon light.
Add some class and detail to the facade of your home with shutters in a contrasting (nothing crazy!) color.
Make a Grand Entrance
Whether you create the entrance at the sidewalk or front door, use plants, fencing, lighting, whatever works to design a gorgeous and official introduction to the property!
If You’ve Got The Cash
Invest in a little landscaping. You can definitely do this yourself for cheaper, but hire a landscaper if it isn’t your forte. Put in flowerbeds, add some trees, or install sod. Ensure that everything looks clean and concise.
Install a Front Porch
Put in a front porch that people want to lounge on! Check out different trends and DIY updates for your porch. Depending on the project (and your DIY ability), you might be able to handle this yourself. However, to get it done right, you can always reach out to a professional. Carlson Projects Inc. would be ecstatic to build you a deck in Lincoln, NE!
Replace Your Garage Door
Clean and paint or even replace your garage door to make the front of your home appear polished and attractive. And, according to the 2022 Remodeling Impact Report, you’ll get back 100% of your investment at sale when buying a new garage door.
Reseal Your Driveway
Your driveway should be resealed every few years to rid it of pesky cracks and keep it looking fresh! Depending on the material, it can cost anywhere from a couple hundred to a few thousand. Consider DIYing it if you’re looking to save a little money.
The Lowdown On Curb Appeal
Taking care of the outside of your home is one of the easiest, most affordable ways to increase the value of your property, but ramping up curb appeal isn’t only for those preparing their house for the market. If you’re just looking for a change of scenery or want to feel more comfortable in your yard or on your porch or patio, a few very simple upgrades and additions can go a long way. The best part about these projects is that they often don’t require hiring outside help. If you’ve got the proper tools, you can beautify your property all by yourself!
However, if you find that you do need the help of a professional, with an addition, a deck, or any sort of home remodeling in Lincoln, NE, contact us at Carlson Projects, Inc. We take great pride in our work and our core values, and we’d be more than happy to get you a free estimate and discuss how to bring up the curb appeal of your home!