Expert advice on curb appeal projects you can do yourself
The facade of your house makes a first impression on everyone who passes by or visits you. But if your home’s appeal isn’t that appealing, it can be visually unassuming. Whether you’re trying to sell your home or you just want to make it more aesthetically pleasing, there are projects you can undertake that aren’t extremely expensive or difficult. Even experienced DIYers need a little help. That’s why we consulted with home improvement and tool expert Beth Allen for advice on home improvement projects that are affordable yet take a home’s appeal to a whole new level. As the founder of HIP Chicks (Home Improvement Project Chicks), Allen offers project ideas and tips that will make your home impressive at first glance.
Benefits of improving curb appeal
Creating curb appeal may seem easy, but Allen reminds readers that it offers several key benefits. It starts with keeping a porch and entryway clean. That makes the area inviting, she said.
It also makes economic sense to upgrade the facade of a house. Realtors always emphasize the value of curb appeal, but Allen said it goes beyond that. “There’s always this financial benefit of selling your house. But we’ve all heard about this broken window philosophy: When a broken window happens in a neighborhood and everyone ignores it, the neighborhood starts to deteriorate,” she said. “Keeping your home tidy sends a message to everyone else around you that you care about your space and your community. It elevates all.”
Though it takes some motivation to tackle DIY projects, Allen said there are physiological benefits to doing such tasks. Repairs and home makeovers also give homeowners a sense of control and security, she added.
Clean the porch and entryway
Before starting any porch projects, the area should be clean. “Cleaning of the porch and entryway is tremendous. Get out a pressure washer – or just the garden hose – to get rid of the cobwebs. Scrub the trim with a brush to remove mold and mildew. Clean your lights to remove bugs and dust,” Allen said.
Invest in essential home improvement tools
Some curb appeal projects are fairly easy, while others require tools. “There’s just such a wide range of things that every homeowner needs, and it depends on your ability, your ambition, your wallet and all of those things,” Allen advised. She recommends buying a tool box and stocking it with essential tools like a hammer, tape measure, wrench, screwdriver set, and needle-nose pliers. While most power tools are best for larger projects and those with some construction skills, Allen said a drill is a must-have for most DIYers.
DIY Curb Appeal Projects
Some DIY projects require more skills than others. Allen said small changes, like adding decorative flower pots and a new doormat, look great but are easy and fairly inexpensive.
Painting the front door requires minimal skill but makes a world of difference. Allen said that choosing the right shade is essential for excellent results. “Do you get a lot of sun on your door? Is your door exposed to the elements because you don’t have a porch? Is your door made of wood? Is your door steel?” Allen said these are a few factors to consider when choosing a door color.
Projects to increase Curb’s appeal that require a bit more skill but are definitely doable include updating front door hardware, adding a peephole and mail slot, replacing address numbers, and installing a new mailbox.
Outdoor lighting not only adds to curb appeal, but also increases safety. Solar uplights and landscape lights are good choices, Allen advised. Lights that work automatically with built-in sensors look great and can deter potential thieves. “Some have a twilight photocell in them, or they have the motion detection, so it also provides security,” Allen said. “A well-lit house is less interesting to a burglar than a dark house.”
Whether you have a dog or not, placing a large dog bowl near your entryway or posting dog tags will also act as a deterrent.
Ideas for apartment dwellers
Enhancing the curb appeal of an apartment makes it feel homey and cozy. Renters have limited options, and Allen noted that nothing should be used that could damage or permanently alter the structure. “Get a new doormat,” she suggested. “You can hang a pretty architectural piece outside your home or next to your entrance. change a wreath; bring out something simple (seasonal or not).”
What to Buy for DIY Curb Appeal Projects
Feit Electric Dawn to Dusk Intellibulb
The Dawn to Dusk Intellibulb saves energy and keeps your home safer with a built-in sensor that turns it on automatically when the sun goes down. It also turns off during the day.
Sold by home depot and Amazon
DeWalt screwdriver bit set with socket wrenches
This quality set from DeWalt is packed with durable bits and sockets for a range of DIY jobs around the home. The sturdy case keeps the 70 pieces well organized and is easy to store and transport.
Sold by Amazon and home depot
LPHUMEX Motion Activated Lamp Holder
Effortlessly illuminate your entryway when you need it with these motion-activated sockets, which automatically turn on the lights when motion is detected by the sensors. For the price you get two sockets.
Sold by Amazon
Ryobi ONE+ drill/screwdriver 40-piece set
When extra power is needed for DIY jobs, a drill/screwdriver comes in handy. Ryobis ONE+ comes with a lithium-ion battery, charger, 40 versatile bits and a well-made storage case.
Sold by home depot
Winston Porter Ramonita Mineral Stone Non Slip Doormat
Not only does this mat have an attractive design, but it also features a rubber backing that keeps it in place. It’s made of weather-resistant materials that stand up well to the elements and heavy foot traffic.
Sold by Wayfair
Stanley 65 Piece Home Tool Set
This set is packed with essential tools that will come in handy for DIY projects. It includes a hammer, pliers, tape measure, allen wrenches, screwdrivers and more.
Sold by home depot
Moxweyeni Dog Tags Two Pack
These metal dog signs are stylish and functional as they feature an attractive font that will draw visitors’ attention to your four-legged friend. You will receive two signs per order.
Sold by Amazon
Beat Camelot Single Cylinder Bolt Accent Handle Door Handle Set
Upgrading a front door is easy with this comprehensive lock set that includes a deadbolt and stylish handle. It is available in several attractive designs.
Sold by home depot
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Jennifer Manfrin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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