Improving Curb Appeal in your House

Here are some simple ideas for improving curb appeal for any home.  Sometimes it is the small subtle details that work together and make a big difference.

Look at these before and after pictures on the latest home I renovated.


This house lacked curb appeal, but we did not want to spend to much money getting it ready to sell.

Often times you can work with the existing materials and make adjustments that will yield big results.

Can you identify what small details were added to improve the curb appeal?

 If you have an experienced eye for detail it may be obvious but keep in mind, we were working with a tight budget.  In fact, I spent under $200 improving the curb appeal for this property.  Money was only spent on plants, flowers, light fixtures, and foundation plaster.  Everything else was just modified, added to, or removed.



how to add curb appeal

The previous owner had a new railing installed on the front porch, the problem is that it just did not look right.  Do you recognize specifically what is wrong with it?  Most people would agree that something looks off, but can not quite put their finger on exactly what it is.

The answer is, that this railing is actually a section of fence.   It was never intended to be a railing.  Railings typically have straight smooth top rails that allow a persons hand to glide across.



Look how much cleaner the railing looks after we finished modifying the old section of fence being used as a front porch railing.

We took off the section of fence, then simply cut the spiked points that extended beyond the top and bottom of the horizontal members.  Next, we cut down and inserted a solid 2 x into the hollow vinyl horizontal members at the top and bottom of each section.  This made the railing more sturdy and also gave us something solid to attach an additional 2×4 at the top and bottom, capping the cuts in the hollow vertical members.  Now it looks like railing.


I re plastered the foundation eliminating the cracks and defects on the front of the house.




Here is the detailed list of work completed, improving the curb appeal.

  1. We removed the old, worn out storm door, added trim around and painted the front door.
  2. Added recessed panel details to each of the three front columns, added new house numbers.
  3. Modified the fence on the front porch to look like a railing.
  4. Added trim around the basement entrance, added new light fixture, painted the storm door white.
  5. Plastered the foundation walls.
  6. Cleaned and power washed exterior surfaces.
  7. Planted bushes and flowers.  Added fresh mulch in the flower beds.
  8. Extended the stairwell to the basement to the front sidewalk to curb water from entering.
  9. Installed a section of cedar fencing on left side of the house.
  10. New mailbox



how to add curb appeal to your house

This mailbox was an eye sore.  A new mailbox is a cheap, easy way to make a better first impression.


I added a little color around the base of the mailbox.


I like to shield anything that has a negative visual impact.  One little plant and the ugly gas meter at the front corner of the house basically disappears!



A good power washer helps freshen up the exterior surfaces.  Especially the dirt that can stick to silicone and caulking around windows.



Sometimes a good high pressure spray of water can bring the life back into a dirty old surface.



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