We have always been one of those families that would rather spend money and time working on the inside of our house…
or eating out…
or craft supplies (me)
or camera equipment (Matt)
or new clothes
or new home decor
or thrifting treasures
Really, we have always been that family that would rather spend time and money on ANYTHING but the landscape of our house. Our poor neighbors and tenants! Although we love to play outside, none of us have much of a green thumb. We also exclusively use our backdoor since it’s connected to our carport, so we’ve kinda taken the front entrance for granted over the years.
When we went to put our house up for sale, we took a good look at our front yard with new eyes. It didn’t look good, and we knew we had to get rid of some of the major eye sores so we could get people in our house. This is where the term of curb appeal became a new word to my vocabulary. We needed curb appeal.
I want to share a few easy and less costly ways you can create curb appeal than having to hire someone or a bulldozer to completely redo your appeal to buyers.
The biggest change we did outside was spruce up our front entrance. Having potential buyers be greeted with an appealing warm entrance sets a good tone for opening the door and going in. I got two cans of black spraypaint and sprayed about everything outside my house. I started with the mailbox and lamp post we have beside it, and I worked up to all the railings that led to our front door. In the above picture, you can see the rust that was showing. I simply gave the railings a light sanding and spray painted them. If you are to do this too, be careful to block the spray from getting on the concrete or house siding!
A few more obvious things that needed to change are pictured above. Play “what’s wrong with this picture” with me and see if you can spot the eye sores. After you make your guesses, keep reading.
I’ll now break down what was wrong in each picture, and what we did to fix it.
1. Problem: There were obvious spider webs and dirt on and around the door, doorway and entry. Solution: I got a bucket of warm, soapy water and washed the door, door frame, and ceiling down. I then painted the trim and foot board with a new coat of white paint. It looks so much more fresh and clean.
2. Problem: As fun and wintery as my wreath might look with the sparkly white ribbons, it blended into the door and looked more cheap than intentional. It might have come down, but I did save it. Solution: We painted the door a deep red. It took four coats, but I think the result is worth it. All of the sudden my door pops and looks intentional and loved. After painting the door, I made a new wreath. I wanted it to have a taste of red to blend with the door and create a warm feeling, but I also wanted an artistic and creative wreath to go with the rest of our decor inside.
3. Our welcome mat was wet and old. It was not a clean welcoming feel. It felt dismal and forgotten. I scrubbed it clean, dried it out, and brushed all the leaves off the steps. We could have easily bought a new mat as well, but I didn’t want to spend the money on it.
4. Our planters had dead flowers from last fall still in them. They looked abandoned, forgotten, and could give off bad feelings that the inside might look worn too. We cleared out the planters and put some fresh, bright colored plants in that created a new alive vibe. I also added a third pot because I like the look of three better than two pots.
I think the difference in the old entrance and new entrance is so cool. I am amazed that it wasn’t that much work and it didn’t cost a lot.
Here is the break down of costs for this cheap upgrade:
- Paint: $17.00 (we bought a quart of red paint/already had the white paint)
- Spray paint: $7.00 for two cans of flat black spray paint
- Flowers: $9.50 (we bought three purple cabbage plants at $2.50 each and two flower plants at $.99 each)
- Wreath: $2.50 for stick wreath (with coupon from Hobby Lobby/already had all the burlap, feathers, stones, hot glue) Note: I dried out the rose type flowers (they were real) and hot glued them into my wreath rather than buying fake flowers. I think they look so much better and create a warmer more romantic feel than cheap fake flowers.
All in all this new front entrance cost about $36.00. It was not an expensive project, yet I think it changed the front of our house.
My five year old told me he didn’t like the new red door because it didn’t match the outside of the house anymore. I thought this was success. I had to explain that is a good thing that it no longer blends in with the trim or shutters, but it is a “pop” of color that draws your eyes. We have now been spotting front doors when we are out and about and it is remarkable at the ones that stand out to you and the ones that don’t.
Other than the front stoop, we added 30 bails of pine straw. I know, we could have taken our curb appeal even a step further by replacing those front dead hedge bushes, but come on!? We couldn’t stretch ourselves that much with outside projects. 🙂
So, what about you? Do you like working out in the yard/outside of the house or are you more like us and would rather do anything else??