4 Tips to give your home curb appeal

May 21, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. ET

Maybe you're ready to put your house on the market and move on, or perhaps you want to keep up a welcoming look for neighbors and visitors. Either way, consider these tips to easily give your home great curb appeal.

Home with curb appeal

Get some perspective

You know you want to make some changes or spruce up the outside of your home but where should you start? First things first: Put yourself in the shoes (or car) of a passer-by. Head out to get the view — and perspective — of what others see when they drive by or walk up to your front door.

Freshen up

Think about whether the outside of your home needs a new paint job. Realtors say it's one of the most important things to consider when you're ready to sell your house. If you can afford to have the exterior of your home painted (not a small expense), consider matching the color that's already there (in other words, don't wait to get really creative until just before you list your house).

You might also consider whether a good powerwash would help — it just might, and it might not be as costly as painting. If your home doesn't need an all-over painting, consider sprucing up your front door with a fresh coat of paint. If you really want to add a splash of color that isn't so permanent but that brings a smile to faces,  add colorful furniture like a bench or chairs to an outdoor seating area.

Review these tips for how to paint an accent door >>

ShovelGet a manicure

Manicures almost always add polish, but in this case it refers to the condition of your yard. If your yard, lawn and plants are looking a little ragged around the edges (or center), it might be time for professional help. Consider hiring a landscape company to trim overgrown trees, add gravel to areas that have thinned out or to plant bushes to help camouflage utility boxes. Add fresh mulch to garden beds and around bushes and trees (if it makes sense with the style of your home). Take on the tasks you can easily do yourself, like regular mowing and weeding the garden.

Consider these five quick fixes for ugly yards >>


Has your mailbox seen better days? Can visitors even spot your address? Are your light boxes dangling from a wire? It might be time to bring out some new accessories. Whether your mailbox is on a post near the curb or hanging near your door, you can find several replacement options at local home improvement stores like Lowe's and Target.

While you're checking out the mailboxes, you’ll also find new light boxes and address plaques with pretty embellishments, probably a few aisles away. Don't forget to replace burned out bulbs — people pass by in the evenings, too! These items may only seem like functional things, but once new ones are in place, they make a world of difference with their added sparkle.

Learn about the best perennials for your garden >>

Flowers in planterAdd some color

The best way to add color to the outside of your home is to plant pretty flowers and plants. Whether you plant flowerbeds along the sides of a walkway, or place colorful plants in container pots on your porch, this adds instant warmth and rolls out the welcome mat at any home (while you're at it, you may want to replace your old welcome mat, too).

Think window boxes, too. These can be easy to add, and vibrant flowers make a nice addition near the windows. Whatever flowers or greenery you decide to plant, make sure you tend to their upkeep. They'll need TLC that includes watering and weeding.

Whether you're selling your home or staying put, it doesn't take a huge effort to make a big impact on your home's curb appeal.

More ideas to make your home sparkle

Tips on staging your home for a quick sale
Container gardening
Yard care: best ways to conserve water