10 ways to increase your home’s “curb appeal”

The following 10 projects could help your home make a good first impression and possibly raise its value.

Tags: Home, Planning, Home equity
Published: June 20, 2020

If you are getting ready to sell your home, having an assessment coming up or just have pride in home ownership, curb appeal is key.  It's the first impression for potential buyers or new neighbors. Keeping up with maintenance for the exterior of your home can also help avoid costly cleaning or maintenance bills down the road.

The following 10 projects could help your home make a good first impression and possibly raise its value.

1. New siding 

According to the Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report, siding replacement may provide great value at resale. New siding can range in cost, but homeowners may be able to recoup as much as 76 percent of that investment. Make sure you look for a siding solution that fits with your city's climate.

2. Well-maintained lawn

Brown grass or a front lawn that hasn’t been mowed in weeks may not bother you, but it likely bothers those around you. Consider using grass seed or a sod tile to fix rough patches in your lawn, and mow at least once a week during the months where your grass is growing quickly. The good news: You can keep up with your lawn, save some green, and stay green. Battery-powered or push lawnmowers can be found for the same cost (or less!) of a conventional mower. Or consider natural landscaping to cut down on maintenance time while maintaining an attractive lawn.

3. Clean windows

Maintaining clean windows is a quick and easy project that could go a long way toward transforming the look of your home. And as a DIY project, it costs almost nothing. Bonus: A clean window allows more natural light to come through, which will improve the look (and feel!) of your home's interior as well!

4. Clean driveway

This is another project with a potentially big reward. Renting a pressure washer is generally a low-cost investment that could significantly improve the look of an older driveway. If your driveway is starting to crack or discolor, consider resealing the blacktop, which can be done DIY in a day or two.

5. Exterior lighting 

Professional landscape company Bahler Brothers recommends adding low-voltage lighting to your landscaping. These lights may provide security and increase the appeal of the property after dark. It may also act as a deterrent for someone considering breaking into your home or garage.

6. New front door

The National Association of the Remodeling Industry reports that installing a new front door improves the energy efficiency and livability of a house. At an average cost of $2,000, the estimated return on investment (ROI) could be as much as 75 percent. You may find more cost-efficient door options at your local home improvement store.

7. New garage door 

The average ROI of a garage door replacement is 87 percent, according to the NARI Report. Investing in a new garage door is a smart choice for homeowners, especially if the garage is a prominent feature of the house.

8. Energy-efficient windows 

Window replacement can be pricey, but it works in two major ways. First, it can make the home look more appealing inside and out. Second, it can increase energy efficiency and reduce utility bills. These aesthetic and financial perks may be very appealing to potential buyers.

9. Deck or patio 

Typically costing less than $35 per square foot, a wooden deck can be a great way to expand living space. Return on investment depends on region, but House Logic says adding a deck is a smart choice because it allows you to expand your living space at a minimal cost4.

10. Shuttered windows

Shutters may increase the curbside appeal of a home when they complement the home’s design. Available in wood, vinyl, aluminum, composite and fiberglass, you should be able to find the right shutter for your home and your budget.

Ready to get these projects going at your house? Learn more about home equity loans or home equity lines to determine your options to help fund them.