7 Tips for Instant Curb Appeal (on the Cheap!)
7 Tips for Instant Curb Appeal on the Cheap!
Although we’ve had a rash of very strange weather, spring is beckoning! The changing of the seasons is a great time to give your home a boost with these curb appeal tips:
- I’VE GOT YOUR NUMBER – If your house numbers are dated, consider changing them out or giving them an update. The hardware store has many options with several finishes that can add personality and an updated feel to a dated porch. Another alternative is to remove them and spray paint them black or white (especially if they are brass!) Be sure to use metal paint if painting metal numbers and clean and prep the surface before painting. Also, if the numbers are mounted on a painted surface, be sure that whatever you replace them with will not leave unpainted or mismatched color spots if they are sized differently than the old numbers. Cost: Free-$75
- THINK OUTSIDE OF THE BOXWOOD – Did you know that shrubs can date a house? Boxwoods are a prime example of a dated shrub. They are very commonly used and can be found in almost every neighborhood (and probably every street) in Palestine. Oh…boxwoods…I have a love-hate relationship with them. Don’t get me wrong…I am not a complete boxwood hater. Well, maybe I am. Boxwoods are great as a background shrub, but they have an old and tired effect when they are the only shrub in the bed or if the bottom half of the bush is completely sparse of any new growth. If you don’t want to tackle pulling out the boxwoods altogether, add in some flowering shrubs such as azaleas, camellias or even an evergreen shrub to add a new dimension of texture and color. Cost: $25+
- ANNUAL COMPLIMENTS – Add annual flowers to your beds or a few (not too many!) strategically placed planters filled with brightly colored plants for instant wow factor. Flowers will not only improve your curb appeal, but will lift your mood every time you pass by. The plants are a small investment but the smiles are free with purchase. Cost: $25+
- DRESS UP THE DOOR – If your door has a case of “the sads,” paint can cure a myriad of post-winter woes. Of course, I always love a classic black door (if it works with your color palette) or opt for a bright cheery door. It’s a low risk project to go bold on color—if you hate it, it’s not hard or time consuming to paint it back to neutral. While you’re prepping to paint, check out your door hardware. Is it dingy, old and brass? Does it scream “I was installed in 1985?” If so, before painting is a great time to change it out. Remove the old hardware, prep and paint the door and then install the new hardware. If you do it all at the same time, you won’t have to worry about any unpainted spots where the old hardware used to be and you’ll have a fun new entry that you will admire every time you come home. You use the door and door handle every day, you might as well love it. Cost: $100-$250 (depending on hardware selected)
- SHUTTER UP –Not every house has shutters, but if yours does, consider painting them while you’re working on your door makeover. Odds are that there aren’t many shutters, so it’s a pretty quick project. I would recommend removing them from the house to make painting easier and neater. You’d be surprised how a coat of paint on shutters will give the entire exterior a new look. I would suggest for most shutter painting projects to keep it in the neutral family when selecting paint colors. Cost: $25-$100
- MAIL CALL –If it’s dented, rusted or just plain ugly, it’s time for a new mailbox. You don’t have to get an expensive mailbox, it just needs to be clean and functional. The mailbox is another item that could possibly be painted if paint would give it new life. Cost: $5-$150
- YARD CLUTTER – The best part of this tip is that it is FREE! Score! The best mindset to get into when “decluttering” your yard is to pretend you’re having an outdoor party—stage it as if you’re having hundreds of guests and need it to really set the tone of the event! Take inventory of your yard and porch—are there miscellaneous items that don’t belong? Find new storage “homes” for the random wheelbarrows, hoses, rickety yard art and clutter (preferably in a garage or shed, out of sight). Trash it or donate it, if you don’t need it or it is past its prime. Finish off with a good sweeping of the hard surface area. Cost: Free!
Your curb appeal will instantly boost your mindset and your neighbors will appreciate it. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg if you keep your priorities in order. If you are looking for a change, curb appeal is a great place to start this spring. Big changes or small changes, they all add up to show off a much prettier package and make your house a home to truly be proud of.
Lisa E. Priest is an inadvertent shrub activist and local REALTOR® with Picket Fence Realty, Inc. You can reach her via phone or text at 903-948-3343 or email Lisa@rentpalestine.com or at BuyPalestine.com.