Just as staging the interior of a home makes it more attractive to potential buyers, the impact of strong curb appeal cannot be underestimated. Whether you’re getting ready to sell your home or just moving into a new one, just a few small projects can quickly take your place from drab to fab. As with our “5 Weekend Mini-Projects” article, we’ve focused on quick, easy-to-do tasks versus major overhauls. With this in mind, here are eight simple ways to get your place looking its best without a lot of time or expense.
Do a Drive By
While not actually a project, it often makes sense to try and look at your place objectively from an “outside” POV. Take a walk or drive down the street past your home. Does it compare favorably to other homes in the neighborhood? Are there some things — whether the landscaping, the front entrance or the driveway — that catch your eye immediately? Tackle these must-do projects first to get some momentum going.
Get the Pruning Tools Out
In terms of curb appeal killers, overgrown shrubs and bushes rate near the top of the list. Short of replacing them entirely — which can be both expensive and time-consuming — start by giving hedges and foundation plantings a good trim with manual or electric clippers. For more mature shrubs you may need to break out the pruning tools. Use a pruning saw to cut heavy stems as close to the ground as you can — and always wear protective gloves. The result probably won’t look great right away; however, aggressive pruning is an effective way to stimulate new growth and make your bushes appear fuller and less straggly in the long run.
Release the Pressure
Pressure washing your home has an immediate gratification factor that’s undeniably satisfying. The trick here is not to get carried away and point the nozzle at anything and everything. Using a pressure washer incorrectly can damage siding, break windows and wind up creating another whole list of fixes. In general, vinyl siding in good condition can withstand considerably higher water pressure than wood, stucco or aluminum. Pressure washing windows is a no-no — and the same goes for asphalt roof shingles. If you buy your own pressure washer, read all instructions carefully; if you’re renting one from a hardware or home improvement store, seek their advice on how to use it correctly.
Dress Up the Doorway
Our earlier article mentions painting the front door as a great weekend mini-project. Why not take things to the next level by installing a door knocker to add even more visual appeal? Need some inspiration? Check out curated sources like Pinterest and home improvement websites for ideas and suggestions. While you’re at it you may want to purchase and install new house numbers to match. If you have a larger porch, adding outdoor furniture such as a colorful bench along with potted plants will give your place a nice personal touch. And don’t forget to hang out the welcome mat!
Tweak the Lawn and Landscaping
Nothing creates a better first impression than a well-tended lawn, trees, and plants. Before taking the more drastic measure of planting new sod, you may want to first try sowing new grass seed in places where there are bald spots or gaps. Consider planting small ornamental trees like dogwoods or Japanese maples that grow quickly and add visual interest. A small, bordered rose garden in the front yard can be a beautiful addition, space permitting. Hardwood chips, bark or pine needles make good mulch and will prevent weeds from encroaching.
Fix and De-clog Gutters
Bent, dirty or clogged gutters are not only an eyesore but can create dampness or rotting problems if left unchecked. First, try giving them a thorough external cleaning from ground level with a power washer. If it’s a one-story home, use a ladder to climb up and clear them of any debris. There are also inexpensive gutter guards available at most home improvement stores that will help keep your gutters clog-free and greatly reduce maintenance going forward. Before making any climb, we suggest reviewing The Alliance Safety Council’s ladder safety tips.
Just to be safe, if you live in a multi-story home or decide it’s time to replace your gutters entirely, you may want to call in a professional to tackle the job. Don’t attempt any work that makes you feel uncomfortable or creates an unnecessary risk.
Spruce Up the Sidewalk
Even a plain concrete walkway will look a lot better after a thorough power wash. There is also a wide array of new water-based concrete stains on the market that will mask any dings or imperfections while adding a pop of color at the same time. Consider kicking the project up a notch or two by installing brick edging or planting flowers along the path.
Don’t Forget the Driveway
A cracked, weed-filled driveway does nothing for a home’s curb appeal and the longer you wait to address the issue, the bigger it will become. For an asphalt driveway many experts recommend resealing it every two or three years. Unless it’s settling badly, a concrete driveway is generally less maintenance intensive; however, you might add it to your pressure washing tasks in order to remove stains and dirt before they become too set in.
We hope your journey to Finding Home is smooth and successful. And remember, no matter where you happen to be in the moving process, you can count on Mayflower to be with you Every Step of the Way®.
Want more tips and advice? Check out our other blogs for city guides, decorating ideas and a wealth of other helpful, time-saving information.
Oh, and did you know Mayflower has a channel on Spotify? Move and groove to tunes that get you to your new place — and settled in — in style.