It’s the first part of the home people see. And yet, the front yard and its adjoining area is often the last place homeowners think about when choosing how to add financial equity and aesthetic value to their property.
That’s a huge oversight, says Chip Gaines, the other half of HGTV’s mega hit, home-improvement show Fixer Upper. In a January 16, 2018 AOL.com article, Chip explains: “When you’re selling your home, curb appeal is the best way to get prospective buyers in the door.”
And, according to the experts, these are the top 10 ways to get the most bang out of your curb appeal-boosting buck:
1. Fresh Coat of Paint
If your home still dons the avocado green/mustard yellow color pallette of the 1970s, this option may be for you. It’s actually recommended that home exteriors be repainted every 7-8 years, 15 for brick to maintain structural and stylistic integrity.
If a total makeover isn’t in the budget, consider repainting the window trims and shutters; or, redesigning parts of your home’s facade with classic textural detail like clapboard, lap siding, ornamental columns, or cedar shake shingle
2. Window Dressing
A great way to elevate the “eyes” to your home’s soul is with quaint window boxes filled with pretty, delicate flowers like daisies, baby’s breath, and purple basil.
3. New Garage Door
Do you close your garage door with a chain and padlock? Well, consider this: According to a January 11 Realtor.com article, replacing your home’s garage door is one of the most valuable upgrades you can do. From the article: “It essentially pays for itself, earning you a whopping 98.3% of your money back.”
4. Carry the Porch
Nothing conveys “home sweet home” like a beautifully restored front porch, fit with antique rocking chairs and cushioned porch swing, ceiling fan, old-fashioned tea tray and decorative railing. This area should be an extension of the home’s living space, a bonus mud room, craft area, potting station, or breakfast nook.
Add creative adornments: canvas drapery, sheer curtains, and Pinterest worthy containers like an upcycled Radio Flyer wagon turned plant holder.
5. Bright Doors
2018 is all about the #Brightyellowdoor -- or blue, green, red (please note: a purple door means "a witch lives here," which makes it arguably the coolest color to paint your door this year). Permission officially granted to go bold with your home’s front door color, adding a dramatic contrast with the rest of the house. Next, replace old hardware with shiny chrome, crystal knobs, vintage knockers, and so on. Top it off with a statement piece like a customized wreathe or bronze house numbers.
6. Light the Way
Imagine walking up to a beautiful home as the early evening sets in, only for the pathway to be cast in darkness by foggy light fixtures covered in a thick film of dead bugs and dirt? Regularly clean casings, replace dimming bulbs, and spruce up outdated fixtures with trendy sconces, pendants, hanging lights, and so on.
First and foremost, make sure the path to your home’s front door is clear and clean. Line the pathway with oversized planters filled with fragrant and colorful flowers. Consider repaving the walkway with a modern, updated material such as stone veneer, stamped concrete, or pavers.
8. “Curb” Your Appeal
Most homeowners ironically neglect the “curb” part of curb appeal, that often overlooked area between the front yard and the street. Easy and effective solutions include:
- Building a decorative retaining wall bordered by lush greenery
- Putting up a timeless white picket fence
- Renovating the sidewalk in front of your home with brick pavers or stone borders
- Adding a customized driveway apron
- And lastly but definitely growing in popularity -- replacing your generic mailbox with a customized, hand-crafted statement piece that sets your house apart.
Follow the rule for a healthy and “yard-of-the-year”worthy lawn: green, clean, clear and cut. Also:
- Fill the front yard with a balanced mix of native and decorative species
- Say “yes” edible additions like blueberry bushes
- Bring the garden forward, to the front yard
- Adorn front of house structures with climbing roses, hanging baskets and trailing ivy
10. Garbage Obscura
It’s the easiest way to boost curb appeal and yet so many homeowners forget to do it: hide your trash cans! If the skills and budget allow, consider building a charming garbage bin “shed” that complements your home’s exterior design.