First impressions may not be literally everything, but they are likely to account for 20% of a house’s value when home buyers come knocking. So jump-starting your home’s curb appeal to provide a great first impression should top your to-do list even when you’re short on preparation time. Here are three steps for quick and easy do-it-yourself (DIY) projects that can increase curb appeal exponentially without needing a ton of time and money.
1. Shine up the entryway with elbow grease and paint
Entryways aren't just highly visible on first approach; they're also the first part of the building that prospective buyers will see up close. This means that your entryway needs to hold up well under scrutiny; however, it needs to look good from a distance too, so start by sharpening the overall lines and colors:
- Power wash the door (unless you've just replaced it), the entry tiles or concrete, and the walkway leading up to the door.
- Repaint the door and/or the trim for a pop of contrasting (but not clashing!) color.
- Add trim (if you don't already have trim) and molding for an eye-catching accent.
- Arrange planters and light fixtures around the door in a symmetrical and/or artsy way.
Follow this broad-brush refurbishing with a more attentive, detailed makeover. Here are some ideas on what to include in this step:
- Upgrade door handles and hinges to a more modern style.
- Or, for an easy and inexpensive/affordable solution, simply polish or spray paint your old door hardware instead of replacing it.
- Upgrade the light fixtures, if you haven't already. Shiny new wall sconces can be impressive and add a welcoming touch.
- Speaking of welcoming touches, make sure you have a new welcome mat. They're cheap, and there's a world of difference between a new one and a slightly-used one.
- Add brand-new house numbers beside the door, ideally large enough to be seen from the road.
2. Add charm with affordable landscaping touches
The often-neglected factor of landscaping, according to HGTV, can add up to a tenth to your home’s overall value, which is big dividends compared to the amount of effort needed. First, cover your basics: make sure there are no weeds in the paths and no bushes encroaching on the paths, and of course be sure to keep the lawn well-manicured. But on top of that, there are several easy additions you can make to ensure potential buyers start out with a positive impression. Try one or more of these tips and tricks for landscaping accents:
- Hang up some mellow-sounding wind chimes for a pleasant acoustic touch.
- Add an affordable, but not "cheap" looking, birdbath or water feature (or clean and touch up any you already have).
- Try adding flower pots to the porch or entry; hanging pots and/or window boxes are an especially popular option.
- Consider adding a pretty garden gate and/or some garden fence panels (prefabricated), depending on your budget.
3. Accentuate attractive features, but give ugly ones a makeover
Do you have big, beautiful windows? Add window boxes and decorative shutters to optimize their charm. If you have a great shaded porch, plop a rocking chair on it and hang some ferns. But what about the less attractive spots? It’s not your fault that your house has an ugly electrical panel, but that doesn’t mean home buyers have to like it. So why not do something about it? You can simply spruce up any ugly spots in your yard or on your house’s exterior, either by removing or replacing them or by camouflaging or disguising them. Here are some examples:
- Instead of a big fake rock, cover your well pipe with a cute wishing well, birdbath, lighthouse, planter, or other accent piece.
- Cover unattractive concrete foundation walls with prefabricated panels, or simply give them a shiny new coat of paint.
- Paint over your power meter or circuit breaker box in the same color as the house or make a DIY decorative cover to conceal them.
Even if you don’t have time for big DIY repairs before your first showing, you can use these three steps to guide you through simple, affordable upgrades to your home’s exterior and landscaping. Some of these suggestions will only require a quick trip to the home improvement store plus setup while others need plenty of elbow grease. Whether you have all weekend or need an instant fix, Chrysmo Experts are here to help.