Making your house look great at the first glance doesn’t have to be a costly investment. These simple and affordable curb appeal ideas can update your home while boosting its appeal to visitors and potential buyers.
1. Dress Up Your House Number
First on our list of curb appeal ideas is stylishly displaying your house number. Not only does it add curb appeal but it also clearly shows your house number for first responders and ensures packages get delivered to the right home.
This house number wall planter project is a two-for-one – you get a wall planter that also prominently displays your house number. Plus, it can be built in less than half a day.
Here’s what you need:
- One 6-foot-long 1×6 cedar board
- One 6-foot-long 1×4 cedar board
- Elevated house numbers
- Titebond II Premium Wood Glue
- Miter or circular saw
- Sander and sandpaper
- Pocket hole jig and screws
- Wood screws
- 3/16-inch drill bit
- Tape measure
- Nail gun
- Wood sealer (optional)
- Faux plants
First, measure and cut the wood for your house number wall planter. For this project, we used cedar because of its scent, but you can use any type of wood.
Here are the cuts you’ll need:
- Three 1x6s at 24 inches
- Two 1x4s at 3.5 inches
- One 1×4 at 12 inches
- One 1×4 at 13.5 inches
Choose whether you want the rough side or the smooth side of your cedar facing out, then drill pocket holes on the backs of two of your 1×6 boards.
Apply wood glue and drill wood screws to attach the three 1×6 boards together to form the wall planter panel.
Drill the D-ring hangers to the back of the panel.
To assemble the planter box, use the 12-inch piece for the bottom, the 13.5-inch piece for the front and the two 3.5-inch pieces as the sides. Apply wood glue and then nail them together.
Use a scrap piece of wood to hold the planter box three-quarters of an inch from the bottom of the panel. Then, attach the planter box to the panel using wood screws from behind. Sand the house number planter box. If you want a glossy look, apply a wood sealer.
Lay out your house numbers and mark the holes’ locations. Drill mounting holes with a 3/16-inch drill bit and attach the elevated numbers.
Hang the wall planter up on your house before adding the dirt and plants.
2. Replace Your Mailbox
While we’re on the subject of house numbers, give some attention to your mailbox!
Mailboxes serve a dual purpose: they collect your mail, but they also send a message about the homeowner’s attentiveness to their dwelling.
A tattered old mailbox suggests a lack of care. Don’t risk sending the wrong message: install a sparkling new mailbox.
From traditional to polished-nickel options, choose from dozens of styles and sizes. Consider whether you’ll need to enlist help for installation: a wall-mounted mailbox will only require some screws and a screwdriver, but roadside mailboxes that sit on posts might require an expert’s help.
If you have to dig a post hole for your new mailbox, call 811 before you dig to ensure that you stay clear of any utility lines.
And before you do anything, always review the US Postal Service’s mailbox requirements.
Yes, the USPS has requirements, and it enforces those requirements! For instance, roadside mailboxes must be at least 6 inches back from the curb.
If you’re installing a door slot, USPS requires that the opening be at least 1.5 by 7 inches.Find all the specifics at usps.com.
Alternatively, refresh your existing mailbox. Read “How to Paint, Stain and Repair Your Worn-Out Mailbox” for more information.
3. Spruce Up the Front Porch
Next on our list of curb appeal ideas is spruing up the front porch.
Here’s an easy formula to improve your front porch’s appearance: furniture, plants and wreaths.
Front porch furniture — like gliding, lounging or rocking chairs — welcomes guests and invites them to sit, take a load off and enjoy some conversation.
You can find nice, inexpensive furniture at a thrift store to add character. Shop for something that looks good but doesn’t require refinishing.
Plants offer a nice break from your home’s hard features (such as windows, doors, roofing and siding). To add texture and soften your home’s exterior appearance, purchase plants at the home and garden center and place them in pots made for outdoor use.
Just get one or two planters — most hardware stores or gardening shops sell inexpensive faux terracotta ones — to arrange near your front entrance. Place two planters on either side of your front door or cascade multiple down the front steps.
Here’s a suggestion for a starter plant: hardy and beautiful hibiscus! These slow growers provide abundant greenery with massive (up to 10-inch) blooms.
When the weather turns colder, move the pots indoors to enjoy them through the winter months.
When you’re picking out your plants, one simple phrase should be the key to your planter or window box: “fillers, spillers and thrillers.”
- Fillers: Leafy greens will fill the space and complete the look
- Spillers: Flowers like Creeping Jenny flow over the container’s sides
- Thrillers: These plants offer the “wow” factor. Pops of color will draw the visitor’s eye
To fully capture the senses, add some aromatics to emit a gentle fragrance as guests enter your home. Keep in mind that your climate will also play a role in what you should plant.
Check the online version of the Farmers’ Almanac to learn what will and won’t grow well in your area.
Who says door wreaths are just for winter holidays? Make any door look great with a year-round wreath. Embellish the wreath based on the current season and add or remove accessories — such as a large initial of your family’s last name — as needed.
Scan the web, shop around and purchase these items in advance and you can move them into position and dress your front porch in less than an hour!
4. Paint the Front Door
A new paint color is the most budget-friendly of this list of curb appeal ideas. Don’t underestimate the power of a fresh coat of paint. The average gallon of paint costs between $15 and $30 — a reasonable investment that packs a punch when it comes to improving the look of a home.
Options for front door colors are as endless as your imagination. However, choose one that complements the color scheme of your home’s exterior. For a monochromatic color scheme, choose darker and lighter shades within the same color. To add eye-catching contrast, pick a door color that’s on the opposite end of the color wheel as your home’s main color.
Playful pops of colors are very on trend when it comes to door updates. But classic colors and stains never go out of style. A simple coat of faux mahogany finish can give instant curb appeal and won’t cost you a boatload.
Get the most mileage out of your paint job with these tips:
1. Remove any hardware. This includes knockers, kick plates and door handles. By taking these off, you avoid getting paint on your hardware, and you can ensure that you cover the whole door with paint.
2. Clean it. Soap and water should do the job, but if there’s years’ worth of build up, use a pressure washer to power wash the grim away.
3. Lay it flat. Taking the door off its hinges is an extra step that most likely means a two-person job, but removing the door makes it easier to apply the paint in even coats.
4. Sand it. By sanding your door before you paint, you can remove dust, debris, and old paint layers. Sanding can also help your paint stick better, giving you a cleaner, crisper fresh coat.
5. Change the locks. Now is a great time to invest in some new home security. Replace your old deadbolt and handle with a brand new set and consider installing smart locks for keyless entry.
5. Add New Hardware
Number five on our list of curb appeal ideas is upgrading your front door’s hardware.
It’s a simple, cost-effective and you can choose from a variety of colors and metal types, like silver, gold, satin nickel, copper, and oiled bronze.
Plus, hardware comes in many shapes and sizes, so before heading to the home center, consider the look and function you want — for instance, do you want knobs or levers? Do you want to turn, pull or push the handle to open the door?
With all of these options, you can easily find hardware to match your personal style and enhance your home’s aesthetic on a budget.
Just consider how the new hardware will look compared with your interior doors’ hardware. You may not want, say, an oiled bronze lever on the front door if brass knobs are on two close-by interior doors.
Or you may want to replace all your interior knobs with levers to match the front door for a consistent look throughout the home. Or at least spray the existing knobs with an oiled bronze finish to match.
Either way, it’s your home, and it’s your decision.
6. Install Concrete Borders
It doesn’t cost much to install concrete borders — expect to pay an estimated $2 per linear foot for materials. Out of all these curb appeal ideas, this is the most hands on, do-it-yourself project, so keep in mind the time and labor it will take.
Expect to dig a trench, build and install wood forms, pour in some gravel and then top that with concrete mix. Add just a few extra steps if you want to color the concrete mix, and give this project about three days to cure.
In a week, your flower beds will look better than ever and your front yard will have a sense of order to it — all thanks to a simple border!
Read “How to Build Concrete Borders” for more information.
7. Install Exterior Lighting
While we’re on the subject of lawns, here’s another home curb appeal idea: install exterior lighting.
Adding a few lights to your front yard allows you to literally shine a spotlight on your home’s best features.
Landscape lights are easy to install, and solar varieties are self-sufficient, so they won’t put a strain on your energy bill.
First, light walkways with garden lights or bollard lights, then move on to accent lighting. Use spotlights or up/down lights to highlight features like a large tree or a flag pole.
Want to add some ambiance to your patio? Hang some string lights!
Before you install landscape lighting, test the layout and determine the focal point for the brightest light. Simply tape flashlights to stakes and position them around the yard at night to see how halogen or incandescent landscape lights will look.
You can also place luminaries – composed of a white bag with sand and a candle inside – around your yard at night to mimic the look of solar-powered landscape lighting.
For more inspiration, read “Landscape Lighting Design Tips.”
Did we miss a project? Add more curb appeal ideas in the comments below!