Posted by Clara Beaufort for Gardenergigs.com
As soon as you step across the threshold of your new house, you know you’re home. But outside, something is lacking. First-time home buyers often find themselves in homes that, while lovely, aren’t winning any awards for curb appeal. While the lawn may be tidy, many new homes lack the front yard charm that home owners desire.
Poor curb appeal is no reason to walk away from your dream home. In fact, curb appeal is one of the easiest areas of a home to improve, even if your home improvement budget is tight after pay for closing costs and moving. Here are a few projects homeowners can tackle with nothing more than a good pair of gloves, some basic tools and supplies and a desire to DIY.
1. Tidy the Garden Beds
Simply cleaning up existing garden beds can greatly improve your home’s curb appeal. Start with pulling weeds and pruning overgrown shrubs and ornamental trees. When pruning trees, follow the Arbor Day Foundation’s advice and cut outside of the branch collar to avoid injuring the tree. If there are trees with large dead or damaged branches, call a professional tree service to have the limbs removed.
Next, give flower beds a more manicured look by edging the beds and applying a fresh layer of mulch. Be sure to wear gloves when working with mulch, otherwise, it may stain your hands. Beds can be edged with a straight-edged shovel, which you likely have on hand, or with a half-moon edging tool.
2. Patch the Lawn
Nothing makes a front yard look drab quite like patches of dead, brown grass. A few dead patches here and there can be fixed by cutting new sod to size and pressing it into space. Using sod is great because it’s an instant fix, however, it’s more expensive than reseeding. If you’re dealing with a lot of dead patches or want to save money, remove the dead sod, add compost and scatter grass seed. For either solution, it’s important to water daily until the grass seed germinates or the new sod shows growth.
3. Wash the Exterior
Dirt and grime collect on your siding, windows, driveway and other exterior surfaces, making them appear dull and dingy. Choose a warm, dry day to give your home’s exterior a wash. Renting a power washer is an option for serious build-up, but homeowners can complete the job without any power equipment. To wash siding, all you need is a long-handled scrub brush, rags, a bucket, and cleaning solution. For driveways, porches and walkways, a garden hose sprayer, bucket, and detergent will get it done.
4. Paint the Mailbox
Mailboxes don’t get much appreciation, but you use yours every day and it’s the first thing visitors see when they pull up to your home. Help your mailbox make a good impression by giving it a fresh coat of paint. If the post is looking worse for wear, sand it and apply new stain or follow This Old House’s instructions to install a new post. Once the mailbox is installed and the paint is dry, apply new house numbers to add character and help guests find your home.
As you live in your home, you’ll develop a vision for your ideal front yard landscape and have time to save up for big landscaping projects. However, that doesn’t mean you have to accept your yard as-is in the meantime. With these four DIY projects, you can create more curb appeal so you feel good when you pull up to your home.