10 easy DIY projects to improve your home’s appearance
Summer’s long days are perfect for working around the house. If you’re trying to figure out how to boost your home’s curb appeal, look no further than these 10 easy tips.
1. Power wash the driveway and front porch. Wash away dirt and grime that’s built up over the year to make outdoor areas look like new. You can rent a pressure washer at most hardware stores, or buy a small one if you think you’ll use it a lot. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can also clean your siding, brick, deck, fence, doors or window frames.
2. Add big, colorful flowerpots near your front door. Large lightweight pots filled with lots of color can be staggered informally up the front steps or can flank the front door for a more formal look. Buy pre-planted groupings or make your own by putting one tall, grassy plant, a couple of flowering plants, and a trailing ground cover into each pot. Geraniums (for sun) or impatiens (for sun or shade) are popular because they bloom all season and come in cheerful, bright colors.
3. Mulch the flowerbeds. Mulch discourages weeds and shades the roots of your desirable plants, but it also gives an instant polish to the whole yard, even if your flowerbeds and shrubbery borders aren’t fully developed. Before you mulch, pull weeds and work a little compost or fertilizer into the beds.
4. Give tired lawn furniture a fresh coat of paint. There are so many easy spray finishes available at your hardware store! Grab lots of masking tape and paper and some plastic drop cloths while you’re there. Freshen up the finish with a coat of white, black or forest green if you’re a traditionalist. Or get creative with colors like mango, lime and brick.
5. Wash the windows. If you have tilt-in windows, you can use glass cleaner and paper towels. Otherwise, get a bucket, squeegee and hose and spend an afternoon shining up the panes. Dry with old newspapers to eliminate streaks. You’ll be amazed how much brighter your whole house will seem, inside and out.
6. Edge the lawn. Clean, straight edges around the walkways, gutter and driveway give the lawn a manicured look. This is a great job to hand off to a teenager (your own or a neighbors) while you work on other projects.
7. Put a coat of fresh paint on the front door. Consider also painting your trim, shutters or window frames. Power wash first, or scrub with a stiff brush, to remove loose paint and dirt. Black, white and red are traditional choices. If you’re willing to think outside the box, designers recommend cheerful colors like lime green, raisin, buttercream yellow or Mediterranean blue.
8. Modernize your outdoor light fixtures. Lighting can give an instant facelift to a house, and is more affordable than you think. Take stock of your current fixtures, then browse the outdoor lighting aisle at your home center or look at options online. Consider a new porch light, new fittings on the garage, or new landscape lighting.
9. Give your patio or deck a quick makeover. Outdoor rugs are very popular now and bring a splash of color to your seating areas. A few new seat cushions or durable throw pillows will invigorate your outdoor living spaces instantly.
10. Invest in a new wreath and doormat for a warm welcome. Bring a final dash of vitality to your entryway with a colorful doormat and a new wreath for the front door.
Now you’re ready to enjoy the rest of summer!