A few years ago my daughter, Elizabeth, bought her first house. It’s a little bungalow that had been completely updated on the inside…but not on the outside. The first year she kept up with basic outdoor maintenance but the real work had to wait. Over the past few weeks we have worked hard on the weekends to add some much-needed curb appeal to her house. We’d like to share our 12 DIY Curb Appeal Tips…and we did them all on a budget!
So you can see what we had to work with here is her house a few weeks ago.
It had good bones so we started there. The brick is in great shape for a house this age but the porch stoop needed work. We thought about replacing the front door and storm door but opted to update the existing doors with paint. We made the decision for budget reasons but in the end we are so glad we did. We kept the original door and it looked like new after a fresh paint job. I made a plan so we could address one thing at a time. Looking at the big picture when we started was a little overwhelming.
The first thing we did was prime and paint the front door and shutters. Next we painted the front stoop. We used concrete sealer and then 2 coats of concrete paint.
One of the easiest ways to update your landscaping is to remove old or dead bushes. We cut down 6 along the front of the house. They were all dead or dying and needed to go. We opted not to dig them out because of the labor and time involved. We used a pruning saw and cut them all off at the root. The existing ground cover disguised the stumps so they didn’t show.
At this point we washed the gutters and the windows. I can’t tell you what a difference that made. It took us about an hour but the pay off was huge. Finally…it was time for the fun stuff! We bought 10 bags of mulch and laid it around the ground cover. We used inexpensive black planters and filled them with colorful annuals.
Shortly after she moved in, Elizabeth replaced broken porch lights, an old mailbox and outdated house numbers. I gave the mailbox a fresh coat of black paint to clean it up. She also replaced very rickity hardware on the front door. The hardware on the storm door was gold and we spray painted it metallic silver. We spray painted an old chair a soft yellow and added a little wreath to her door. A new mat on the porch was the finishing touch to this makeover.
One thing that I was determined to do when we started was to somehow hide the ugly electrical outlet beside her front porch. We knew removing it wasn’t an option so we placed a large planter in front of it. Problem solved.
So…to sum things up: Here are 12 easy, DIY things you can do to add curb appeal!
PAINT THE FRONT DOOR AND SHUTTERS
REPLACE OR PAINT OLD HARDWARE
REPLACE OLD, OUTDATED LIGHTS
PAINT (OR CLEAN) THE FRONT PORCH
EDGE AND WEED LANDSCAPING
REMOVE DEAD OR DYING BUSHES
WASH GUTTERS AND WINDOWS
LAY FRESH MULCH
ADD POTS WITH COLORFUL FLOWERS
HANG A SEASONAL WREATH ON THE DOOR
ADD INTEREST WITH A CHAIR OR STOOL
PLACE A NEW MAT AT THE DOOR
It took us 3 weekends to accomplish everything. We also cleaned up the sides of the house and her back patio area. We got extremely lucky with the weather. We had sunshine and mild temps for every work day. Our plan involved a little elbow grease and even less money. By doing the work ourselves and taking advantage of existing features we were able to keep this project to about $300.00. This was a real-life makeover. We didn’t have behind-the-scenes help with anything. I’ve said this before but it’s worth saying again. If we can do this, ANYONE can do this. We both agreed that our best investment, hands down, was the pruning saw! (Thank you Matt Knowton from theDIYvillage.com for your advice!)
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