Your Home’s Curb Appeal: 18 Tips!

Rob Johnson Real Estate Leave a Comment

Are you looking to boost your home’s curb appeal?

Whether you are in the market to buy a home or put a “Home For Sale” sign in your front yard, every home’s curb appeal is a major factor in it’s marketability. The front exterior of a home is a tell-tell sign of how the home has been maintained and how the interior has been loved.  Maybe you don’t want to sell and you just want to help lift your neighborhood’s beauty? Your effort of adding curb appeal will boost the love factor on the street you call home and add habitat for wildlife. We have 18 improvements to increase the love, enjoyment and beauty of your home’s curb appeal.

Yellow cement home built in 1954 with a hot pink front door. There is a lush green lawn and manicured hedges in many shades of green.

Curb appeal in Live Oaks Neighborhood, St. Petersburg FL

1.  Add Botanical Wonder

We have found that adding landscaping, no matter how elaborate or simple will boost your curb appeal.  It’s important to add plants with height at all the corners of the house.  In Florida, great corner plants are White Bird of Paradise, Christmas Palms, or Crepe Myrtles.  Cooler environment choices include Holly Trees or other evergreens with upright growth.  Don’t plant too close to the house.  From each corner, measure at least 6 feet in front of corner then 2 feet to the side of that point away from the corner.    Then add foundation plants or hedges. 

We installed 3 levels of hedges.  Next to the house we have Awabuki Planted 5 feet from side of house.  In front of the Awabuki, we planted a hedge of Cuban Gold shrub (it has a lime green tint in summer and gold tint in the winter)  Then in front of the Cuban Gold we planted Lirope. There is so much potential with adding islands of shrubs and plants, butterfly garden areas, and don’t forget that simply adding potted plants and window boxes boost curb appeal too.  You might think this is too complicated.  But any greenery you add, no matter how limited, will boost your home’s curb appeal.

2.  Give Your Lawn Some Love.

Loving on your lawn will boost curb appeal. Keeping your lawn properly watered, mowed to the correct height, weeds pulled and bare spots repaired will tell the world your house is given proper affection.   The key is to maintain the lawn regularly, and then it is easier to maintain.   Or you can utilize other possibilities like plant beds or artificial turf.  Your lawn will be a highlight of your home’s curb appeal.

3.  Go Bold with Your Front Door

If you are color blind, hire a professional designer to choose the right color for your front door.  Otherwise, you can choose your own!  Just make sure you take into consideration all the colors in your home’s exterior palette.  What color is the roof, siding, trim? 

Hot pink front door of a yellow house with white trim. There are pumpkins bu the door and a thanksgiving wreath on the front door.

Curb Appeal St Petersburg FL

Is there another color like brick or stone?  Bring all those colors together and that is your exterior palette.  Now try different colors that are complementary to the most pronounced color of the house.  Complementary color brings out the richness in the other. When using complementary colors, one color should be subtle and the other color should be more dominant. For example, a light yellow house will come to life with a bright, bold, pink door.  Are you ready to start boosting your home’s curb appeal yet?

4.  Bright, Happy Light

Create a warm welcoming home with bright and happy lights to light up the entrance.  If your lighting is tired and worn, replace with a fun happy designed sconce or hanging lantern.  Also consider using string patio lights on the porch and adding solar walkway lights.

5. Splurge On the Best Welcome Mat

How many times have you walked up to a front door with an old, worn out welcome mat?  Nothing speaks “We Love Our Home” like a top of the line door mat.  We love the Smith & Hawken mats at Target.  These are quality mats that will last.  Or if you find something better, let us know…we are always open to cool new ideas.

6. Create Balance

The blue door pops and the topiaries on both sides of the door create a focal point. The home is an English tundra build in 1925. There is a brick sidewalk that leads to the front door.

The blue door pops and the topiaries on both sides of the door create a focal point.

Balanced patterns draw the eyes to a focal point.  When utilizing symmetry a home will look cleaner and more orderly.  We love to place potted topiaries on both sides of front doors to elevate an entrance.   The use of matching wall sconces on both sides of your door will also enhance the focal point.  Do the same thing around your garage door to create balance with your front door.  But keep the potted plants to a smaller scale than the front door.  This will keep your front door the exclamation point!

7.  Add Vines.

If you have railings you can grow a beautiful vine to increase curb appeal.  Or to make an even more dramatic statement, install a pergola at your entrance and grow a vine on it.  Another way to emphasize your front door is to attach a stainless steel wire around the perimeter of your door and windows.  Then choose a slower less aggressive vine to grow on the wire.  In a year or two, the vine will perfectly frame your entrance.  We love using confederate jasmine for this purpose in Florida, or potato vine in the California climate.

8. Spruce Up Your US Mail Box.

Your home will testify that it is loved if you upgrade your mailbox.  If your mailbox is beside your front door, make sure to use the same finish that will match your lighting and door hardware.  We love the mailboxes at Restoration Hardware.  For a little more cost, you can have the top of the line letter holder.  If your mailbox is at the street, make sure the post is just as beautiful as your box.  This is another opportunity to grow a vine up the post Norplant flowers around the base.  All these added touches will create more curb appeal for your dwelling place.

9.  Maintain Your Gutters

Repair any dented or bent gutters and clean the side.  No mold or green growth allowed on a home that is loved.  Also clean out the inside of the gutter too.  Keeping your gutters sparkling clean will boost your home’s curb appeal.

10.  Jazz Up with New Home Numbers.

There are so many options with numbers for your home.  Online you will find every style and option.  We encourage you to go bold with your numbers.  Just keep it in line with the style of your home.  Get modern numbers for a modern home, craftsmen numbers for a Craftsman styled home.  No matter the style of your home, there is a matching number to uplift your statement.  Therefore, just go online or go to your neighborhood hardware store to search for your favorite.

11.  Decorate Your Front Door Every Season

Wreaths are not only for Christmas!  They are for making your front door happy all year long.  We have a Christmas Wreath, Thanksgiving wreath, Halloween wreath, and a generic boxwood wreath that we use between seasons.  But there are Valentines, Easter, St. Patricks, and 4th of July wreaths too.  Make your front door a happy place and keep it decorated.  This will always add curb appeal to your home.

12.  Camouflage the Ugly.

Electrical and Telephone utility boxes and wires will take away from curb appeal.  If attached to the side of the house, just paint the wires and boxes the same color as your siding.  But you might have a utility box is in your yard as well.  If so,  paint it dark green, then surround it with shrubs.  Let’s say you are a free spirit and you have bohemian style.  Another alternative is to use the surface for a mural.   Just keep the murals in the backyard to keep the neighbors happy.  With a little bit of work, you can turn house lemons to lemonade.  Camo is another great way to boost your home’s curb appeal.

13.  Rub-A-Dub-Dub

Let your inner child take over…remember your love of water gun fights?  Put on your bathing suit and rent a power washer.  That’s right, power washing can be fun!  It’s so exciting to see your home transform before your eyes into the sparkling clean treasure it is meant to be.  Just watching the grime from time wash away is like a rebirth for your abode.  A sparkling clean home will definitely boost your curb

A home in Celebration Florida. There is a brick walkway lined with landscaping, potted flowers on both dives of front door. The house is yellow with white trim and a brown front door.

Curb Appeal in Celebration FL Neighborhood.

appeal in a major way.  If you are not into getting wet, just contact a top rated power washer in your community to do the job.

14.  Give Your Garage Door a Refresh.

If you power wash your garage door, and it still looks like it needs more love, a great way to boost curb appeal is to paint or stain it.  Once again choose color that will complement the color palette of your home.  Did you know you can give your garage door the look of a high end wood door?  Yes, a metal door can be transformed.  Just click here for instructions.  Or just paint it the same color as your trim.  A freshly painted or stained garage door will boost your curb appeal in a big way.

15.  Screen Your Screens.

After your windows are sparkling clean from a good pressure washing, screen your window screens for rips or damage.  Every community usually has a screen repair business.  Either call them to come fix the damaged panels or take the opportunity for another DIY victory.  Yes…screen repair is an easy DIY project.  Just read online guides how to do it perfectly.

16.  Upgrade Your Path to the Front Door.

The path to your front door is your first opportunity to welcome and love your guests.  Make sure the path is clearly defined and enhanced with landscaping or solar lighting.  Also, you can go big time with a stone walkway, or create a path with stepping stone pavers.  Other options include concrete, beautiful pebbles, shell or other landscape aggregates.  Once your path is created, augment the visual appearance with landscaping and lighting.  A welcoming path will boost the curb appeal factor.

17.  Create Places for People to Relax

Curb appeal gets a major boost when your yard is people friendly.  A swing hanging from a sturdy tree, a bench in the middle of plants that draw attract butterflies, a table for enjoying lemonade and cookies with friends…all these people places will take the curb appeal over the top.  A yard that can be enjoyed and experienced will make the home feel more welcoming.  Get creative.  I personally have a snow globe garden in one part of my yard.  It’s a fun whimsical place to shake snow globes on hot days in Florida!  A people friendly yard will boost the curb appeal of your home and also provide opportunities to enjoy your yard with friends.

18.  Replace All Your Front Door Hardware

So you have a basic or generic door knob on your front door?  If so, go big by investing in custom  hardware for your front door.  Make sure you choose a finish that will contract to the color of your door.  Don’t stop with the door knob and handle, get a matching door knocker and kick plate.  Our favorite place to get really beautiful door hardware is Restoration Hardware.  You can get it all to match…even your mailbox.  But your local hardware store is always a great place to support too.  Just choose something that you love.  

New 2 story home in Sarasota FL. The house is gray with white trim. There is a two car garage, a front porch with a USA flag mounted on a column. The house is flanked with beautiful landscaping.

Chris and Kyle’s Home displays curb appeal in Sarasota

So Wow…we have 18 projects listed here to boost your home’s curb appeal.  That’s HUGE!  The good news is that you can prioritize each of these and spread them out over a year or two to complete.  Or you can tackle them all at once.  With a little planning, you can do anything you put your mind to.  Once your neighbors see the love you are putting into your home, you might just see your neighbors start to love on their home as well.  An added benefit is that all these projects will boost your home values.  But most of all, these projects will show the world that your home is a place where love resides.

 

Rob Johnson is in charge of training, research and strategic planning for Avalon Group.

Rob Johnson is in charge of training, research and strategic planning for Avalon Group.

 

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