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Cheap & Easy Curb Appeal Ideas

Affordable Ideas for Freshening Up the Front of Your Home

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Cheap & Easy Curb Appeal Ideas © David Papazian/Getty

Creating an attractive entrance to your home will reward you twice. First, the enjoyment you derive while living in a home that appeals to you before you even come through the front door. Second, an attraction to buyers and a return on your investment if you do decide to sell.

When it comes time to freshen up the front of your home, these affordable front landscaping and curb appeal ideas will help you get your home in shape fast. The following curb appeal projects cost as little as a few hundred dollars to free, and most can be completed in a few hours. If you are looking to sell, staging the outside of your home can go a long ways toward attracting buyers and boosting offers.

These cheap and easy curb appeal ideas are sure to add lasting value to your home and enjoyment to you and your family while you live there and beyond.

Refinish or paint the front door.
A peeling or weather-beaten front door can greatly detract from the front of your home. Painting or refinishing the front door can cost as little as $20 and may only take a few hours or less. If your neighborhood allows it, try painting the door a stand-out shade that coordinates with the other exterior colors of your home.

Replace front hardware.
Hardware is a quick and easy way to update your front door, and you can usually purchase quality hardware for around $100. Consider keyless entry, which is popular because of its streamlined, modern appeal and ease of use.

Update entryway accessories.
Dated light fixtures and drooping, dirty ceiling fan blades do nothing to enhance your home’s curb appeal. You can easily spend anywhere from $100 to $1000 on new lights, a mailbox, doorbell and/or doorknocker but budget-friendly options abound. It also may be that all these items need are a good cleaning and a fresh coat of spray paint.

Add house numbers.
House numbers help make your home easy for friends, service professionals and others to find, plus they add instant curb appeal at a very affordable price. Consider adding coordinating markers or numbers in two places – at the curb and on the house itself – to enhance visibility.

Edge and mulch the front beds.
Your entire property will look neater and more cared for with a quick edging and a fresh layer of mulch in the planting beds. You can either buy mulch in bags or have bulk quantities delivered at a reasonable cost. Pine straw or dark brown or black mulch looks the best and the most natural.

Prune foundation plants.
Cutting back landscaping plants to below windows and/or porch railings will give your home a clean-cut appearance, plus leaving the doorways and windows exposed helps with security. Allow for future growth by clipping about 6 to 12-inches below where you want the shrubbery to eventually end up. Electric pruners usually cost around $50 to $100 or you can hire a landscaping company for a few hundred bucks.

Light your pathways and/or driveway.
Nothing says "unwelcome" like a dark, unlit house. Not only does landscape lighting add ambiance, but it also helps prevent accidents and keeps unwanted intruders away. Solar lighting is the most affordable but also the least dependable. If you have basic wiring skills, you can install affordable landscape lighting yourself. Check housing and neighborhood codes in your area.

Add architectural interest.
Painted shutters, window boxes, decorative molding, columns or brackets can go a long way in adding value to your home. You can spend as much or as little as you like on these items, and great deals can be found at architectural salvage and resale shops, as well as your local flea market.
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