7 Best Things You Can Do to up Your Curb Appeal

First impressions are the best impressions — your chance to wow a potential homebuyer or houseguests. Whether you want to up your curb appeal to be more eye-catching on a real-estate listing or welcome friends and family, there are many changes you can do to make that first impression last.

Add whimsy to your home and showcase your personality. Invest in maintaining your home to enjoy for years, while improving its aesthetic. From a new front door to landscaping changes, many of these curb-appeal changes aren’t difficult or time-consuming.

1. Your Front Door Is a Gateway

If the most welcoming thing about your front door is the welcome mat, it’s time to spruce up your front door. Your front door is a gateway to another world inside your home, where guests enter and take in your personality. It reveals a sanctuary to retreat from the world’s woes and raise a family.

The front door is also the main focal point, making it the most important factor to upping your curb appeal. Give it a protective gloss and new coat of paint in a bright color such as a turquoise or vibrant red. Dress up your door with a seasonal wreath, and change out that generic welcome mat for something with a funny anecdote.

If your door has seen better days, it’s time to replace it. Hardwood is a wonderful and classic choice that gives your entry an instant warmth, and front door replacement is one of the cheapest changes you could make to up your curb appeal.

2. A Whimsical Walkway Invites

Add charm and whimsy to your walkway and improve the view from the curb. You may consider having a residential or commercial sealcoating project. Alternating flagstones with herbs planted between them or mosaic glass steps created from old wine bottles add a sense of transportation to another world. Plants and a dash of color have a way of bringing out smiles in guests.

Say goodbye to muddy footprints and grumpy guests when you add whimsy to your walkway. Light the path to make it easy for guests to find their way home, even though they’ll want to stay.

3. Plant a Container Garden

Hate your sad-looking lawn? Add color and health affordably with an instant container garden, which is easy to maintain because you minimize overgrowth and can attend to each plant’s individual needs.

Do you want a tropical look? Do you want a small vegetable garden? Choose a theme and go. You may shop garden supplies and decor from your local garden center.

One of the easiest container gardens to create and maintain is a heavenly smelling herbal garden. If you have four to six hours of sunlight, with some shade, your herbs will love their new home. Mint plants are generally the easiest to start, such as basil, sage, lemon balm and peppermint. They’re also kid- and dog-friendly. Pinch off the extra growth to add to food and smoothie recipes, while your herbal container garden creates a welcoming sight for all.

4. Dress Up Your Porch

Your porch doesn’t like to be any more naked than you do when you get a surprise visit from your parents. Dress up your front porch to make it more inviting and relaxing.

Add a few nostalgic and colorful rocking chairs with cozy pillows. A rustic side table is perfect to place a tray of cookies and coffee on for those mild spring mornings, or when your best friend comes over and needs to rock the drama away.

Hanging potted plants and containers brings the outdoors a step closer to home and gives you an opportunity to watch the birds feed. Dress up your front porch and make it the envy of the neighborhood.

5. Replace Your Old Roof

Your roof is generally good until its 25th birthday, and then its life is over: Check for signs in the shingles.

Retire that old roof if you’ve got curling, cracked or missing shingles. Cracked shingles typically result from wind damage, and curling shingles are signs of weathering. This results in leaks and a need for a new roof in a few years if the damage continues.

When you clean your gutters, do you find granules? For a new asphalt shingle roof, this is OK, but when your roof is more than 10 years old, it’s a problem. For this, you may consider having a new seamless gutter installation.

If the entire roof is sagging, you need to replace it quickly. A roof renovation is a perfect way to protect your home in the long run and up curb appeal.

6. Replace Your Garage Door

As one of the biggest spaces on the exterior of your home, the garage door is what most people first notice, taking up 40 percent of what’s visible from the curb. You may also want to replace your garage door for safety and insulation reasons. A new garage door adds insulation and keeps air from entering and escaping, while protecting the home.

Match the style of the door to the style of the home. For example, a carriage house garage door is best-suited for Colonial, Cape Cod and Craftsman homes. Windows also add interest and allow natural light to enter, which is wonderful if you use your garage as an office space, or if a homebuyer wants to make that change.

7. Make Over That Old Mailbox

As long as it keeps the mail dry, why should you fix up or replace your old mailbox? When the rest of your house is up-to-date, an ugly mailbox detracts from the home’s curb appeal.

Let your mailbox complement your house by matching the colours to the trim of the home. If the home is hunter green, match it, or add an accent colour in a soothing blue. A sturdy new post does a mailbox a world of good, as well.

Don’t be afraid to let your mailbox reveal your personality by making it colorful and vibrant. If you want a mailbox that looks like a cow, go for it. It’s easier for the mailman and guests to find your home, too: “We’re the one with the cow mailbox!”

A home’s curb appeal is important to making a potential homebuyer stop by for a look, but this aesthetic is also important to showcase your home’s personality. Let your quirks and interests show.

Create a home sanctuary, where you can relax on the front porch in a rocking chair. Invest in the safety of your home by maintaining the garage door and roof. The first impression of your home is important, and it won’t be the last, making neighbors and guests smile as they stop by.

Sarah Landrum

Sarah Landrum recently graduated from Penn State with degrees in Marketing and PR. Now, she's a freelance writer and career blogger sharing advice on navigating the work world and achieving happiness and success in your career. You can find her tweeting on her coffee breaks @SarahLandrum