You’ll never have a second chance at a first impression, so let’s make it count! When it comes to upping your home’s curb appeal, there are plenty of small changes you can make that have a big impact. And best of all, you don’t need to call in the pros or spend a fortune to get beautiful results. Below are some helpful and affordable tips.
A Well-Maintained Yard
Mowing: The first step to a well-manicured lawn is to mow it regularly. The experts recommending mowing high because mowing it too short can damage the grass and allow weeds to set root.
Weeds: To prevent weeds like crabgrass use a pre-emergent herbicide in early spring. These herbicides manage the weeds by stopping the seeds from sprouting in your lawn. Broadleaf weeds like dandelions can be stopped by applying granular weed control products.
Feeding: Lawns consume mostly nitrogen, so look for mixes of fast and slow release fertilizers; they will feed your lawn over time while keeping it lush and green.
Watering: Nighttime watering can result in long spans of moisture on the blades, potentially exposing your grass to disease. Consider watering your lawn in the morning – the sun helps dry out the blades throughout the day.
Flowers: You can quickly and affordably dress up your yard with colorful pre-made flower pots and containers. When placing your flower pots and containers remember that asymmetrical arrangements and staggering plants will provided the liveliest setting.
Dress up the Front Door and Porch
Paint: A fresh coat of paint in a pop color can give your home a well-deserved facelift. Get some color inspiration from House Beautiful.
Replace Old Hardware: Clean off any dirty spots around the door knob, and use a metal polish on the fixtures. Change out house numbers for an updated feel, put up a wall-mounted mailbox, or add an overhead light fixture. Keep in mind that well thought through elements, instead of mix-and-match pieces, will add the most curb appeal.
Create Perfect Symmetry: Symmetry is one of the simplest design techniques to master and is the most pleasing to the eye. Maintain symmetry by flanking your front door with two sidelights (just make sure that your hardware matches); find two urn planters or a unique visual detail to put on either side of your door.
So basically, when you have a baby and wife and a career, your home reno slows down a little when your extended family flies back to their respective time zones. Last month, we shared about that pesky 15% of a project that gets left undone. And maybe we still haven’t fixed the grout line in the shower but… we did start a new project! Cleaning up the yard!
Did you know that gardening tools are really expensive? I didn’t. We even priced out what it would cost to have a landscaper come every two weeks just to mow and edge our front and back yard (which would leave us to the weeding, sweeping, etc.) but alas… that is also expensive (about $100 per month). So… Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to Home Depot we go…
Seven Yard Tools All First Time Home Buyers Need:
Lawnmower: Self-propelled so you don’t have to work as hard. Just being real. Our lot is about 7,000 square feet so there’s a whole lot of other things I will do to break my back. Mowing the yard doesn’t have to make the cut (the cut… because it’s a lawn mower… get it?) $399 + gasoline (verses $150 for a bagless push mower… ain’t nobody got time for that.)
Weed-eater: Not just for trimming weeds but more for making the edges of things look more like edges rather than wobbly overgrown lines. It basically gets to the stuff your mower can’t. My dad advised we buy a gas-powered trimmer – he said they last longer and can be more powerful. A little more tricky to start though and more maintenance. I guess we could have gone either way. Who knew gardening would be such a gamble? No wonder my wife loves to garden. She also loves the casino. $119 + gasoline (Sorry, environment!)
Hose Reel: Speaking of my wife, I called Jenn from Home Depot and told her that I had found the perfect solution to our front yard hose, all coiled up on the ground. I had found a $70 hose reel/box. It was the prettiest hose box I had ever seen. My wife said that spending $70 on a plastic hose box may be a little extravagant so we met in the middle and purchased this $30 reel that seems to do the trick.
Gardening Gloves: Protective gloves are probably the cheapest thing on this list… yet we have not bought them. After paying over $100 for literal dirt to fill our raised garden boxes, I guess some luxury had to be sacrificed. $3.98/pair which is less than my typical triple shot Americano (which is a luxury I cannot part with.)
Hedge Trimmer: I haven’t used ours yet as my wife has taken up hedge trimming to express herself artistically. The previous owner of our 1940’s fixer was really into her yard and planted some really cool stuff over the last 65+ years. But as she aged, the yard was less tended to and some of the larger bushes took on a life of their own. This trimmer does the trick. I recently asked Jenn to commission a topiary of our dog, Whiskey. She declined. $49.97 for a corded trimmer.
Push Broom: Good for sweeping up the big mess you make when you’re trimming stuff. I love that ours is called the “Quickie Bulldozer.” Doesn’t that just radiate power and sweeping efficiency? $9.98 well spent.
Blower/Vacuum: I experienced the thrill of my lifetime when I realized that our electric leaf blower was also a vacuum! Perfect for sucking up all the lawn clippings left behind from the weed eater. It puts that Quickie Bulldozer to shame. It’s got a max air speed of 250 MPH for $63.21. Enter manly grunt akin to Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor.