I live in an eclectic urban Portland neighborhood. The homes are a good mix of early 20th century—Tudors, bungalows, farmhouses—mid-century modern, 70s and 80s ranches and split-levels, and even a sprinkling of new builds. I love the variety. While some architectural styles appeal to me more than others, a walk around my neighborhood always reveals one thing: no matter the era of the home, the homes that stand out are the ones with curb appeal. Their owners put effort into making the exterior of the home look appealing (this always make me want to know what the inside of the home looks like, too!). While sprucing up your home to increase curb appeal is crucially important if you’re getting ready to sell, it’s also a great way to show the home you’re living in some love. After all, it’s a great feeling to drive down your block and admire the house you’re arriving home to. (And your curious, ambling neighbors appreciate the effort, too!) Read on for easy ways to enhance your home’s curb appeal:
- Clean up your act! The good news is, elbow grease is the only thing required to make the exterior of your home sparkle. Start from the top and give your roof some attention. Clear the roof of debris. (Be sure to use proper safety precautions when on the roof of your home!) Clear debris out of the gutters, and give the exterior of the gutters a good scrub. Use a power washer to clean siding, the front porch, the driveway, the walkway, and any sidewalks in front of your home. Drag out the ladder and clean the windows; you can even give your screens a good rinse with the garden house. You’ll be amazed at the difference a good cleaning will make.
- Perk up your paint. While a full-house paint job will undoubtedly boost curb appeal, such a project might not be within everyone’s budget. A gallon or two of paint can still go a long way, though! Choose a cheerful color and put a fresh coat of paint on your front door. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can even paint the trim on the street-facing side of your home, or repaint your fence.
- Go for the green. It’s time to bust out the lawnmower, edging tool, rake, and garden shears! Dedicate a weekend—or several evenings over a week or two—to your front yard. First things first: pull some weeds! Shape hedges, shrubs, and trees. Mow and edge the grass. If you already have established trees and plants throughout your yard, there is still opportunity to bring in new color and flower varieties with hanging baskets and planters.
- Don’t forget the finishing touches. You’ve worked so hard—but don’t halt your efforts just yet! Go the extra mile with a few finishing touches. Cruise the aisles of your local hardware store for inspiration: a new porch light fixture, new house numbers, or a new mailbox—any or all of these have the power to dramatically change the look of your home. Softer elements, like a wreath for the front door or a new door mat, make your home feel welcoming to inhabitants and visitors alike. A rocking chair on the porch could be the perfect place to enjoy a morning cup of coffee—or to wave at me as I walk by, admiring your beautiful home!
- Admire your work. This is the most important step! They don’t call it curb appeal for nothing! Stand in the street (watch for cars!), admire your home, and congratulate yourself for your hard work!
While there’s a lot of satisfaction in a DIY job, there’s also something to be said for hiring professionals who can do the job quickly so you can enjoy the result! I’m always happy to make recommendations for roof maintenance, tree and lawn care, window cleaning, house painting, and more.