Let a home fall into disrepair and it no longer has charm or character—it’s just old and ugly. But not everyone wants to spend a bundle on an entrance-way remodel.
Instead, consider these five low- or no-cost tips to help boost your home’s curb appeal—adding thousands to the value of your home in just 30 minutes.
1. Focus on the front door. (Cost $200 to $1,000+)
Your front door is quite literally the gateway to your home, so focus your efforts (and money) here.
If your door is old and no longer does its job—efficiently trapping heat or cooled air, while keeping outside elements out—then it’s time to buy a new door. Standard replacement front doors cost as little as $1,000 at a big box retail stores and should last a decade or more.
If your door is in good shape structurally but has a few worn spots, such as peeling or flaking, then you’ll want to repaint. You can retouch the door using your home’s original colours or you can opt to add a splash of colour by repainting the entire door. A do-it-yourself job will cost about $200 for paint and supplies or you can pay a handyman (at a cost of $500 or more).
But don’t stop at the door. Pay attention to the hardware—the handle and lock that gets used every day. If your hardware if old or out-dated just replace it. If it’s new but dirty, clean it. Tarnished door hardware can turn off potential homebuyers, as they’ll wonder what other small items were left to age.
2. Give your home a haircut. (Cost $0 to $250)
Unkept trees and bushes give your home an overgrown, shoddy appearance. The good news is that a quick trim will not only give a fresh face to your home—much like getting a haircut—but will also encourage healthy growth for future foliage.
3. Balance it. (Cost $0 to $100)
The human eye loves symmetry so make sure your entranceway is balanced. If you a garden on side of the door and nothing on the other, consider adding some potted plants (or add a planter to each side of your front door for a more dramatic look).
4. Think cleanliness. (Cost $0)
We all ignore the dirt on our walkway or driveway. Why not? But this dirt adds to the shabby appearance of a house. Grab a stiff-bristled broom and vigorously sweep away the dirt, debris, acorns, pinecones, pine needles, soil and leaves that collect. For stains, such as oil and grease, sprinkle a bit of cat litter, saw dust or laundry detergent—these will soak up the lubricant in develop moist clumps, which you can sweep up in a dustbin and throw in the garbage.