Ways to Step Up Your Home's Curb Appeal

Make them stop in their tracks every time with these tips to help your house stand out.

While winter blues may be in full effect for some, but it is never too early to think about how to get that home-magazine-cover worthy look that will help your home standout this spring. ESTATENVY spoke with top Midwest-based landscape designers for their tips on what to focus on, even if you have limited time and budget.

Have a point of focus

When looking at enhancing your house’s curb appeal, it’s always good to start with a point of focus. John M. Algozzini, director of design at K&D Landscape Management, Inc., an innovative provider of landscape services servicing the Chicagoland area since 1999, says that the front door and the immediate surrounding area is a good place to start.

Adding a couple of large containers makes a world of difference in the presentation if the whole front is not being re-done.

James M. Drzewiecki, principal at Ginkgo Leaf Studio based out of Cedarburg, Wisconsin, adds that homeowners should try and “draw attention to the beginning of the front walk with plantings that focus on color and texture. Make the shape of the walk more interesting than just a straight line.”

Prioritize landscaping when looking for high-ROI projects

According to Drzewiecki, landscaping is right behind kitchen and bath remodeling from a return on investment standpoint.

“If the existing landscape is old and overgrown, then replace with new shrubs, mixing deciduous and evergreen and varied heights. Add simple groupings of annual flowers or better still, long blooming perennials for seasonal color and interest.”

Pick the right project for your budget

If you have the opportunity to make an investment to improve your house’s curb appeal, then Algozzini recommends starting with the sidewalk and entry to your house.

“Doing a brick or stone sidewalk and entry would by far be the most impactful change a homeowner could make.”

However, there are a lot of options for budget-conscience homeowners that can help bring a home’s curb appeal to the next level.

“Mulching, pruning and bed-edging done together are inexpensive solutions to spruce up the front and they could certainly be done in a weekend. When complete, they always make a positive statement about the home and the current resident,” said Algozzini.

If you don’t have the time or budget to focus on adding additional elements to the walkway to your front door, Drzewiecki advises not to “underestimate a new coat of paint on the front door and/or window shutters.”

DIY Network provides some great low-cost options (under $100) to consider as well. One that sometimes gets overlooked, but can help improve a home’s curb appeal, is installing new house numbers.

“Try to match your new house numbers with the finish that is on your exterior light fixtures. Simple house numbers can start at two dollars for a number or you can look into customized plaques that can cost $50-$100.”

The beauty is that these lower-cost options don’t require a lot of time, just a little bit of elbow grease. A green thumb won’t hurt either!