Expert advice for curb appeal projects you can do yourself
The front exterior of your house leaves a first impression on everyone who passes by or visits. But if your home’s curb appeal isn’t so appealing, it can be visually unimpressive. Whether you are trying to sell your house or just want it to be more aesthetically appealing, there are projects you can do that aren’t extremely expensive or difficult. Even experienced DIYers need a little help. That’s why we consulted with home improvement and tools expert Beth Allen for advice on DIY projects that are affordable yet take a home’s curb 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 enhancing curb appeal
Creating curb appeal may seem simple, but Allen reminds readers that it offers several key benefits. It begins with keeping a front porch and entryway tidy. This makes the area welcoming, she said.
It’s also economically smart to enhance the front of a home. Realtors always stress the value of curb appeal, but Allen said it goes beyond that. “There’s always that financial benefit when selling your home. But we’ve all heard of that broken window philosophy: When a broken window in a neighborhood happens and everybody ignores it, the neighborhood starts to deteriorate,” she said. “If you are keeping your home up, it sends a message to everybody else around that you care about your space, you care about your community. It elevates everybody.”
Although it may take some motivation to tackle curb appeal DIY projects, Allen said there are physiological benefits to completing such tasks. Repairs and home beautification also give homeowners a sense of control and safety, she added.
Clean the porch and entryway
Before beginning any porch projects, the area should be clean. “Cleaning the porch and entryway is huge. Get a power washer out — or just the garden hose — to get the cobwebs down. Scrub the siding with a brush to get rid of the mold and mildew. Clean your light fixtures to get the bugs and the dust out,” Allen said.
Invest in essential DIY tools
Some curb appeal projects are quite simple, but others require tools. “There’s just the wide range of things that every homeowner needs, and it depends on your skill set, your ambition, your wallet, all of those things,” Allen advised. She recommends purchasing a tool box and stocking it with essential tools, such as 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 power drill is a must for most DIYers.
DIY curb appeal projects
Some DIY curb appeal projects require more skills than others. Allen said that small changes, such as adding decorative flower pots and a new doormat, look great but are easy and quite inexpensive.
Painting the front door takes minimal skill but makes a big difference. Allen said that choosing the right paint 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 wood? Is your door steel?” Allen said these are some factors to take into consideration when choosing door paint.
Curb appeal boosting projects that require a bit more skill but are quite doable include updating front door hardware, adding a peephole and mail slot, replacing address numbers and installing a new mailbox.
Think about security
Not only does exterior lighting add curb appeal, but it also enhances security. Solar uplights and landscape lights are good choices, Allen advised. Lights that work automatically with built-in sensors look great and may deter would-be thieves. “Some have a dusk to dawn photocell in them, or they have the motion-sensing so that it provides security as well,” 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 putting up dog signs are also deterrents.
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 that could damage or permanently alter the structure should be used. “Go with a new doormat,” she suggested. “You can hang a pretty architectural piece outside your apartment or next to your entry. Change up a wreath; put out something simple (seasonal or not).”
What to buy for DIY curb appeal projects
The Dawn to Dusk Intellibulb saves energy and adds security to your home’s exterior, thanks to the built-in sensor that turns it on automatically when the sun goes down. It also shuts off during the day.
This quality set by DeWalt is packed with durable bits and nuts for completing numerous DIY jobs around the house. The rugged case keeps the 70 pieces well organized, and it is easy to store and transport.
Illuminating your entryway on demand is effortless with these motion-activated sockets that automatically turn lights on when motion is detected by the sensors. You get two sockets for the price.
Sold by Amazon
When extra power is needed to complete a DIY job, a drill/driver will come in handy. Ryobi’s ONE+ comes with a lithium-ion battery, a charger, 40 versatile bits and a well-made storage case.
Sold by Home Depot
Not only does this mat have an appealing design, but it also features a rubber backing that keeps it in place. It’s constructed of weather-resistant materials that hold up well to the elements and heavy foot traffic.
Sold by Wayfair
This kit is packed with essential tools that will come in handy for DIY projects. It includes a hammer, pliers, a tape measure, hex keys, screwdrivers and more.
Sold by Home Depot
These metal dog signs are stylish and functional, as they have an attractive font that alerts visitors of your four-legged friend. You’ll get two signs per order.
Sold by Amazon
Updating an entryway door is easy with this comprehensive lock set that includes a deadbolt and stylish handle. It’s available in several attractive finishes.
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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