Given the amount of time we spend inside our homes, it’s no surprise it’s where we spend the bulk of our remodeling dollars. But neglecting your home’s exterior can leave it looking tired and rundown. Here are four projects that will boost your home’s curb appeal and ensure the outside of your home looks as good as the inside.
Liven Up Your Landscaping
Brown spots in your lawn, overgrown shrubs and worn-out mulch do a lot to make your house look more worn down that it actually is. If you’re ready to spruce up your landscaping, you’ll want to do so in the spring or fall when the temps are relatively cool, especially if you’re planning on laying sod or planting new trees or shrubs. While you’re planning your project, be sure to take a look at the grade surrounding your home. Over time, it can become compacted and slope towards your house. If that happens, water will will flow towards your foundation instead from away from it, putting your home’s foundation at risk.
Before you do any planting, take care of those brown spots in your lawn. A lush, green lawn might look simple, but it gives your exterior a clean, attractive appearance. You may want to fertilize or seed your lawn depending on how healthy your grass is already. Total lawn seeding costs, on average, a bit over $700, but if you’re only working on rough patches you won’t spend that much. To do more extensive landscaping, you can expect to spend between $1,600 and $5,000 depending on the total area and whether you want part of it to be covered with grass, which is cheaper.
Touch It Up
Your home’s exterior paint should last about 15 years, but over time, it will begin to chip and peel. Left untouched, your siding could start to rot, mold or warp. Thankfully, a little preventative maintenance can help stave off any costly siding repairs. If you notice chipping or peeling paint, it’s time to breakout the sandpaper, primer, paint and paintbrushes. Most of the time, it’s a project that you can knock out in an afternoon. However, it could be that your project involves more work than you have time to put in. If that’s the case, now is a good time to start talking to pros.
Pro Tip: Pressure washing your home each spring removes dirt and can help prevent mold and mildew infestations. Pressure washer prices run most homeowners between $80 – $500, depending on the surface area that needs cleaning.
Even if your siding is in need of repair, thankfully it’s not an expensive project. The average homeowner only spends $575 on siding repair, and unless your siding is seriously rotten, you won’t need to replace it entirely. A new coat of paint will freshen up that newly repaired siding, leaving more of your budget for other exterior areas that need attention.
Repair Your Roofing and Gutters
Missing shingles and sagging gutters do more than make your home look shoddy; they can cause seriously spendy problems. Water takes the path of least resistance and exploits any crack, gap or hole it can find. Left unrepaired, the damage can quickly make its way down to your sub roofing, or, in the case of damaged gutters, down to your foundation. If you notice that your gutters are having trouble moving water away from your foundation, or if it’s been a while since you’ve had your roof inspected, it’s a good idea to have a roofing pro stop by for an inspection.
The average cost to have your roof inspected is $230, and if there is damage you can’t see, it’ll be worth every penny. Do it before the damage is too extensive. It’s only about $650 to have your roof repaired, but it can cost $6,500 or more to have a new roof installed.
Has your fence seen better days? If so, taking the time to fix it now could prevent you from having to replace the whole thing down the road. In many cases, all you’ll need to do is pressure wash it, replace missing or damaged boards, and throw on a fresh coat of stain or paint. Unless it’s really worse for wear, you should be able to tackle the project in a weekend. Don’t have a fence? Now’s the perfect time to start gathering estimates from at least three pros.
If all you’re doing is staining or painting your fence, you probably won’t spend much more than $100 if you do it yourself. When installing a fence, you must take into account the length you need and what materials you’d like. Don’t install a chain link fence; it won’t do anything to help your curb appeal. Wood and vinyl both look nice, with wood costing an average of $2,500 and vinyl, $3,500.
Dress up Your Windows
Old shutters, metal gratings and decaying flower boxes give your home’s exterior a sad, neglected air. Remove the old window dressings and replace them with something new and stylish. You may prefer wood shutters, stylish awnings or simply a fresh coat of paint. Choose whatever looks nice with the style of your home (for example, the classic look shutters provide doesn’t always match ultra-modern exteriors.)
New exterior shutters will cost you, on average, just under $1,600, though the project can range anywhere from $700 to $2,500. Assuming your windows are a standard size, vinyl shutters will be, on average, $100 to $250 cheaper than wood shutters per window. However, vinyl shutters come in many styles and colors and often look just like wood unless you get very close.
It’s All About Borders
Make your driveway and front path inviting by creating borders up their lengths. Stone edging, flowers and outdoor path lights are all great options. As always, you want to match your borders with the rest of your exterior decor. Path lighting, for example, looks beautiful if you have manicured landscaping, but won’t work if hedges already border your driveway and walkways. Stone borders, on the other hand, look beautiful with concrete driveways but may get lost if you have gravel.
Belgium block is one of the most popular edging materials. A 4x4x4 inch cube usually costs $3, while longer options typically cost between $3 and $7. You’ll have to measure your driveway or garden path to determine how many blocks you need and how much it will cost you. Don’t forget to multiply by two to account for both sides. A project like this will probably cost just under $2,000. Path lights have a greater variation in cost. Small solar-powered lights that you stick into the ground may only cost you $15 a light, while if you install an electric path lighting system, it can reach almost $5,000.
Focus on the Front Door
The front door is the centerpiece of your house’s exterior. A beautiful wood front door with glass paneling and an old-fashioned knocker evokes a welcoming ambiance, whereas an old storm door with a torn screen and a broken latch feels dilapidated. Your front door reflects your style as a homeowner; you may go for a boldly painted front door, a glass storm door or a vintage option with beautiful patterned glass.
Since front doors are much heavier than interior doors, unless you’re good at DIY, call a professional to install your front door. A door made of aluminum may cost you as low as $200 while a high-quality front door with patterned glass made of mahogany can run anywhere between $600 and $2,000 or more. Shoot for somewhere in the middle: get a good-quality door with the kind of paneling and windows you want, then paint or refinish it yourself, and dress it up with a stylish knocker and frame it with sconce lights.