Grab attention without gouging your budget.

What is curb appeal? 

You see your home as a refuge. A place to raise a family and create memories. 

But have you ever looked at it through the eyes of a prospective homebuyer? Whether or not you’re looking to sell anytime soon, it’s always a good idea to make sure your home looks attractive from the street. It doesn’t take a complete overhaul or a huge investment, just a fresh perspective and a few handy tips for improving curb appeal.

It's what’s out front that counts.

From your home’s exterior to your landscaping to your driveway, everything matters when it comes to making a good first impression. So let’s get started.

1. Check the mailbox.

Your letter carrier isn’t the only person who notices your mailbox. If it’s been out there for a while, it’s been collecting more than just bills. Give it a makeover—or better yet, replace it. A new mailbox is an inexpensive improvement.

Consider surrounding it with a variety of annuals and perennials. It's a great way to turn a negative into a positive and add some real estate curb appeal.

 2. Re-seal to add appeal. 

Think of your driveway as part of your front yard’s landscaping, and give it the same level of maintenance. Every two or three years, an asphalt driveway should be re-sealed to keep it looking good and lasting longer. Aside from sealer material, all it’ll cost you is a weekend. 

  • Prepare the surface by filling cracks and pressure washing. 
  • Then stir, pour and spread the sealant. 
  • Let the first coat dry for at least eight hours, then hit it again. 
  • Don’t drive on it for at least 48 hours.

3. Grab a spade and add some shade.

One way of improving curb appeal is by growing it. Adding trees to your front yard is a way to add privacy and color, absorb noise, invite wildlife and create a sense of structure. 

Before you start digging, make sure the tree you pick is right for the size of your house and yard, the type of soil you have and the climate conditions. You don’t want a tree that grows so large it keeps sunlight from inside your home.

Think about whether you want a tree that adds color or one that doesn’t drop its leaves in the fall. And avoid planting a tree too close to your home—you don’t want branches leaning out over your roof or roots undermining your foundation.

4. Show them the doors.

Another curb appeal idea is to paint your front door. It's an easy, inexpensive way to brighten the look of your home and draw eyes to it.

Choose a bold color that stands out and works with the overall color pallet. Then consider adding even more personality by adding a unique door knocker. If your garage door faces the street, you can either match the color of the front door or go with a complimentary hue that keeps the entryway the star of the show.

5. Think inside the box.

Flower boxes are a simple, affordable way of adding eye-catching color to the front of your home—and improving curb appeal. They can go below windows and on front porch railings. Install them on the front porch railings as well as below the windows. As an add-on or as substitute, you can also create container gardens by placing pots on the front steps or the porch.

6. Amp it up.

Outdoor lighting is a great way to showcase your home’s architecture and landscaping. Lighting your pathway, landscaping and entryway can add a lot of real estate curb appeal.

Solar path lights are fine, but spending a bit more on hardwired lighting can brighten things up considerably. Floodlights and spotlights add dimension and dramatic effect to your property. They’re easy to set up and won’t break the bank. 

To truly put your home in the best possible light, add or update the lighting near your front door or porch. Whether you choose pendant, post or recessed lighting or wall sconces, you’ll make the entryway pop.

7. Add curb appeal by the yard.

All the affordable curb appeal ideas we’ve talked about can help add value to your home. But to get the most bang for your buck, you need to spruce up the look of your front yard, because a big part of curb appeal is landscaping

A few DIY projects can make a big difference:

  • Start by adding fresh mulch around shrubs and in flower beds. 
  • Line those beds with edging to keep them looking neat. Prune shrubs and bushes to about waist-high. 
  • Fertilize your lawn and keep it watered. 
  • Pay attention to the little things, like making sure nothing is obstructing your house number. 

Then take a step back and look at your home and yard from the eyes of a prospective buyer. And pat yourself on the back for investing a little time and money in improving your home’s curb appeal.

At Frontdoor®, we know you love getting things done around the house. Staying in control of your to-do list is easier when you can keep the small things from turning into bigger—and more expensive—ones. We’re here to help answer your home repair and maintenance questions in real-time. 

Want to learn more about improving curb appeal, or any other household tips? Download the app if you haven’t already, and chat with a helpful, friendly Frontdoor Expert.

Frontdoor assumes no responsibility, and specifically disclaims all liability, for your use of any and all information contained herein.