Realistic Curb Appeal

The exterior of your home is the first impression you give about your lifestyle. Now, by lifestyle, I DO NOT mean whether you are wealthy or not. I mean, do you take pride in home ownership or do you take it for granted?

Taking pride in your home does not mean you have to spend lots of money! It is kind of like taking pride in yourself. When you take pride in yourself not only are you truthful, kind, loyal, considerate, and responsible, but you take care of yourself physically as well.

You brush your teeth, brush your hair, keep yourself clean and groomed, eat healthily and exercise, etc. You can have a neatly groomed appearance that reflects how you feel about yourself without spending thousands on a wardrobe or cosmetic surgery. It is the same with your home, and it begins with the exterior!

Now, I am the first to admit, time can be a factor in how well groomed you keep your home. I live in a neighborhood with several retired couples.

You can usually tell by the yard who is retired and who is not! But if everyone in your family submits to doing a little each week to manicure your home, it will always be manageable. I’m not suggesting perfection here, just appropriate upkeep.

Here are a few low cost, easy to do and easy to maintain curb appeal suggestions.

Ok, I realize this is a no-brainer, but does your house need a fresh coat of paint? Maybe you could get by another year or two with just renting a power sprayer and giving it a good wash. When you feel it is time to paint, consider two suggestions:

1. Go with a color darker than white. When we first moved into the home we are currently living in, our trim paint was white.

It looked fine at first, but after a couple of years, it began to look dingy, so when we repainted we decided to go with a gray. It has already held up longer and still looks freshly painted. White can be beautiful, but it requires more frequent upkeep.

2. Consider painting it yourself rather than hiring it done. My husband and I saved about $2000.00 by painting our exterior ourselves. Because of work and other responsibilities, we had to prep and paint just a little each day, so it took us about 2 weeks to complete, but it was totally worth it!

bine exterior painting Realistic Curb Appeal
Photo Source: Sharper Impressions Painting
Paint your front door a bold, fresh color! It will make a huge difference.

calvert exterior painting Realistic Curb Appeal
Photo Source: Sharper Impressions Painting
Weed and Mulch!

When weeds start growing I try to spend just 5 minutes every few days pulling weeds, that way they never get out of hand. This can also be a great chore for kids! I also like using a natural, homemade weed killer consisting of 1/2 gallon vinegar, 1/4 cup dish soap, and 1 tablespoon salt.

Mulch also makes your flower beds look more professional and well cared for, not to mention it helps the soil retain moisture, reduces the amount of weeds, and protects roots from temperature extremes!

The money spent on mulch can vary depending on how many beds you have, but on average, $50 per season should do the job. Synthetic mulch is another longer term option, although it will cost more up front. If you live where there are abundant pine trees, pine straw makes beautiful mulch and it is free!

rubber mulch before after 04 Realistic Curb Appeal
Photo Source: Outdoor Synthetic Surfaces
Accessorize your front porch!

It truly does not take much to accessorize your front porch or front door area, but it is too often neglected. A couple of planters on each side of the front door always looks great.

Select a beautiful front door mat and hang a wreath or front door décor appropriate for the season. If you have plenty of porch space for chairs or a swing, don’t forget to add color and coziness with throw pillows!

Front Porch 2 Realistic Curb Appeal
Photo Source: House of Hawthornes
Make sure your exterior lights aren’t rusty or don’t have paint chipping off of them. Select beautiful new lights within your budget, or simply take yours down, clean and spray paint them for a whole new look!

web 0034 how paint outdoor light fixture 2 Realistic Curb Appeal
Photo Source: Today’s Homeowner
I can’t begin to stress enough what a huge impact shutters on windows can make. My husband and I made our own board and batten shutters very easily and inexpensively!

You can even measure ahead and have your home improvement store where you purchase the wood to make the cuts for free! You can also buys vinyl shutters very inexpensively. They look great and you can’t even tell they aren’t real wood until you get up close.

before and after curb appeal thumb Realistic Curb Appeal
Photo Source: Infarrantly Creative
Does your driveway or sidewalk look old and worn out? First kill the weeds between cracks and crevices, next, repair major chips and nicks with cement, then rent a power washer and wash away all the stains. The results will surprise you!

driveway before after Realistic Curb Appeal
Photo Source: Pressure Washing Charleston
Replace the hardware on your front door. Kick plates and door knockers also add lots of style!

beforeandafterfrontdoor 1024x950 Realistic Curb Appeal
Photo Source: The Family CEO Blog
Updating your house numbers is an easy and inexpensive update worth doing!

House Numbers Realistic Curb Appeal
Photo Source: Dimka.com
Paint or tile your front porch step for appealing impact.

59 100 DIY upgrades Realistic Curb Appeal
Photo Source: This Old House
Is your mailbox an eyesore? Maybe replacement is in store, or a simple spray paint job may do the trick.

ba4 Realistic Curb Appeal
Photo Source: Dimka.com
Add color with window boxes! Attach them to front windows or railings of a front porch.

4396133 Realistic Curb Appeal
Photo Source: Edina Realty
What a difference trimming your trees and shrubs can make!

sample Realistic Curb Appeal
Photo Source: Dimka.com
Lastly, simple and free but sometimes overlooked…store trash cans, recycling containers, and other unsightly things away from front view!

These simple and inexpensive updates will add great value to your home, but most importantly, they will make you feel proud of your abode! If you can’t do them all at once, focus on one or two of these improvements every few months, and before long you will have made a huge transformation!

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