Whether you are preparing your home for sale or you simply want to make your property look better to passersby, making cosmetic updates is a worthwhile investment. Adding curb appeal to your home can be done step-by-step as you have the time and budget. This list of seven tips for enhancing the exterior beauty of your home and property will make you feel proud to call your house a home.

1. Update the Front Door

Your home’s front door is the focal point of the structure. Your guests’ eyes will naturally be drawn to it. Keep the door clean by installing a rubber or metal kick plate to prevent dirt and mud splashes.

Paint the door a bold color, such as barn red or forest green. If your front door has windows, wash them daily. Wipe down the door’s handle or knob to remove fingerprints and stains. This cleaning also keeps the knob shiny and free of corrosion.

2. Install New Hardware

Most homes have multiple types of exterior hardware. The doorknob, knocker and mail slot are all highly visible. Replace dated brass with a more modern option, such as brushed nickel or chrome.

Match the style of the hardware with the architectural style of your home. A brick Colonial home pairs well with iron, while a modern stucco and stone ranch pairs well with crystal, copper or chrome door knobs and knockers. When updating the door hardware, update the house numbers, shutter hardware and flagpole holder.

3. Add a Front Walk and Back Patio

Guests will feel welcome when there is a clearly defined path to your front door. Pair a brick Colonial home with a brick walkway. A modern home would look lovely with a colored and textured concrete walkway.

Add a pebble edging for good drainage around the walkway. A patio just outside of your back door is another way to add curb appeal. A stone or stamped concrete patio would look nice with an Art Deco or modern home. Consider an ornate brick patio would be a lovely addition to your Colonial house.

4. Ensconce New Exterior Lighting Fixtures

Lighting makes a big difference in the aesthetics and security of your home. Consider installing multiple types of lighting fixtures. Along your front walk, install solar lights. These lights install in minutes. They are attached to stakes that you push into the soil.

Use spotlights to illuminate your front, side and back doors. Add spotlights at each upper corner of your garage door. Wall-mounted exterior lights should be placed on both sides of your front door. Consider adding a hanging light to illuminate your covered porch.

5. Improve the Landscaping

A vibrant, vigorous lawn or front garden does wonders for curb appeal. Keep trees and bushes pruned. Choose native grasses that thrive in your location’s soil and weather conditions.

Select native flowering plants that complement the style of your home. For a Colonial home, consider an herb or rose garden with varietals that blossom throughout the growing season. If you have a stucco home in a semi-arid or desert environment, choose succulents. In a humid sub-tropical climate, select colorful lilies to line the walkway and perimeter of your home’s foundation.

6. Clean and Renew Exterior Surfaces

Constant exposure to the elements results in the rapid buildup of dust and dirt on your home’s exterior surfaces. Each month, wash those surfaces with a garden hose or power washer. Sweep the front porch, walk and patio on a daily basis. This not only enhances curb appeal, but it also reduces dirt intrusion into your home.

Sweep and power wash the driveway. Once each year, scrape off peeled paint from your home’s siding and fencing. Update with fresh exterior paint.

7. Attend to the Details

Shutters and moldings often need cleaning. They also benefit from an annual sealing or repainting. Shine mailboxes made of metal or wash those made of plastic or wood. Brackets that hold up the porch, exterior shades or flag pole should be dusted of cobwebs and dirt.

Clean out the eaves and gutters. Their interiors and exteriors can be power-washed to remove dirt and debris. Polish your house numbers and clean dirt off ornamental statues or rocks.
This article was written by Jeff E. Brown, a freelance writer, self-taught lifehacking teacher, DIY home improvement specialist, owner of two happy dogs and a barbeque master. He loves learning through experience and writing about all the cool things he has learned since he moved out of a compact apartment into a comfortable house. You can reach him @jeff8rown

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