8 Easy Ways to Add Curb Appeal

Boost the beauty of your home with these affordable projects

Money is tight and time is short, but you don't have to skimp on beauty. Even shoe-string projects can make your home more inviting and boost your property value. The trick is to have fun, be creative, and be willing to get your hands a little dirty.

01
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Paint the Front Door

Brightly colored front doors, an English Cottage
Brightly colored front doors, an English Cottage. Photo by VisitBritain/Grant Pritchard/Britain On View/Getty Images

For a home that makes a statement, turn the front door into an exclamation point. Bold red, yellow, and blue add pizazz to traditional Cape Cod and Ranch style houses. Older houses turn glamorous when natural oak doors are cleaned and revarnished.

02
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Lay Pretty Pavement

White wooden house, flowers blooming around front porch, brick walkway is an inviting entrance
An inviting brick walkway. Photo by Phillip Spears/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Forget the boring slabs of gray concrete. For a warm and welcoming entry to your home, build a walkway and patio with brick or paving stones.

03
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Dramatize the Details

Bright red accents bring out the details on this Victorian dormer. Photo © Jackie Craven
Bright red accents bring out the details on this Victorian dormer. Photo © Jackie Craven. Bright red accents bring out the details on this Victorian dormer. Photo © Jackie Craven

Even the most modest house has something to boast about. Use contrasting colors to draw attention to eaves, brackets, shutters, moldings, or other interesting details. Don't forget the window sashes! (Yes, you can paint vinyl and aluminum window frames. Just be sure to sand them first.)

04
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Build a Better Porch

Adding a porch gave this Ranch Style House a bold new look. Photo © Jackie Craven
Remodeled Ranch Style House. Adding a porch gave this Ranch Style House a bold new look. Photo © Jackie Craven

A new or remodeled porch will give your house a brand new face. For a welcoming accent, build a small entry porch. To transform your house, build a porch that extends across the entire facade.

05
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Add Flower Power

Blue window box with yellow flowers
Flower Boxes Have Color, Too. Mitch Diamond/Photodisc/Getty Images

Flowers can help even the most ordinary house stand apart from look-alike neighbors. For quick color, fill planters, window boxes, and hanging pots with inexpensive annuals.

  • Tips: Grow Great Container Gardens
  • Photos: Container Garden Ideas
  • Free Woodworking Plans: Wooden Planters You Can Build
06
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Turn Trash Into Treasures

Colored bottles were used to make a playful bottle tree. Photo © Jackie Craven
Colored bottles were used to make a playful "bottle tree" for this Virginia garden. Colored bottles were used to make a playful bottle tree. Photo © Jackie Craven

Browse flea markets and and architectural salvage centers and you can find just the right accents to make your home unique. Replace conventional hardware with antique door knobs and door knockers. Turn old wrought iron gates into decorative screens and wall hangings. Make mailboxes and lawn ornaments out of discarded corbels, columns, and other architectural salvage. (Just be careful that you don't overdo.)

07
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Strip Off Old Vinyl

Vinyl siding used to cover the charm of this Victorian cottage
Vinyl siding used to cover the charm of this Victorian cottage. Vinyl siding used to cover the charm of this Victorian cottage. Photo © Jackie Craven

Does your old house have vinyl siding? You don't have to live with vinyl that's faded, cracked, or just plain blah. Peel off a corner in a hidden spot. With luck you'll find intact clapboards underneath. Strip off the ratty vinyl, scrape, and paint. Yes, it's a messy job, but restoring your home will cost less than installing all new siding. Then, watch your property values go up.

08
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Plant Vines

Vines cover this house in Hinton St. George, England. Photo (cc) Flickr Member Damien Smith
Vines are part of the architecture for this house in Hinton St. George, England. Vines cover this house in Hinton St. George, England. Photo (cc) Flickr Member Damien Smith
Frank Lloyd Wright is famous for saying "A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines." He may have been joking, but vines really can cover a lot of sins. To protect wood and mortar, give your vines strings, wires, or a trellis to climb.
  • Design Tips: Favorite Vines and Climbing Plants
  • Learn More: Landscape With Flowering Vines
  • See Pictures: Climbing Vine Photo Gallery