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How to have a low-maintenance front yard that increases curb appeal immediately

The front yard of your house is the first impression of your home and first impressions matter. Like putting a bow on a wrapped gift, giving your home curb appeal is like a finishing touch and should make people want to see more. Curb appeal is probably the hottest item when it comes to raising your home’s value. Since the outside of your house is the part that potential buyers see first, it makes sense that updating the outside of the house raises its value. Not only does curb appeal make your house easy to sell, but it also gives your house that finished look that makes you proud of your accomplishments. There are dozens of inexpensive home improvements that you can do to raise your home’s curb appeal. Not every house and front yard are the same, so some items will work better than others, depending on what you are working with. When in doubt, go for a clean and manicured look that highlights the time and care you’ve put into maintaining your home.

Boost Gardens with Planters

flowers in planters
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There are plants that raise curb appeal immediately without demanding too much effort from you. But if you already have gardens in your front yard, you are well on your way to having decent curb appeal. Flower beds take time to bloom and reach their full potential each season so you can help by adding potted plants that are already in full bloom. Adding potted plants to existing gardens adds versatility to the garden, and you can vary them by height, size, and style to create a particular ambiance. Try adding wildflowers planted in pots with contrasting shades. Or you can give your garden a more modern look with sleek geometric patterns with potted shrubs. Revamping your flower beds and gardens can be completed for as little as $100 and a little bit of time. If you don’t want to spend a ton of money, you can use pots you have already and plant flowers or shrubs in them. You can even use old tea kettles, bots, or any other object you think will fit into the look you are going for. If you have existing pots or planters that need some new lift, you can paint them to give them a fresh look. Fill in cracks with joint compound and sand down before painting with acrylic or spray paint.

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Spruce Up Your Walkway

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After the initial first impression of your yard, your guests or potential buyers will walk up the walkway to your front door. Cracked cement or pavers, weed growth, and untidy edging can all bring down the overall look of your home. Though repairing or replacing the actual walkway can be very expensive, there are some things you can do to improve the look without breaking the bank. Edging along your existing sidewalk is a simple way to add appeal that doesn’t cost anything. Dig a narrow trench along the length of your pathway and install hardscape edging to make the walkway look more inviting. This technique makes the whole yard look well-maintained and doesn’t take a ton of work. Lining your walkway with potted plants is another way to add to the ambiance of your walkway. You can create a staircase arrangement for added appeal if you have stairs leading up to your front door.

Don’t Let Your House Hide

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Mature trees and shrubs can add shade and privacy to your yard, but if the vegetation is out of control, it hides your house and makes the overall look of your yard messy. Plants in the wrong places create an unwelcoming atmosphere and can make your home look smaller than it is. If you have existing trees and bushes that would be too tough to remove or you simply don’t want to remove because you like them, be sure to trim them and keep up on their maintenance. You can always hire someone to spruce up your trees and shrubs, but you can also tackle this yourself with a little time, energy, and know-how. You can look up ideas on how to shape your bushes and trim your trees online. Electric trimmers can be dangerous, so be sure to take the necessary precautions, such as proper eyewear and gloves, and to read the owner’s manual thoroughly before beginning work.

Add a Water Feature

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Adding a water feature to improve curb appeal adds visual appeal and brings about an aura of serenity and luxury. The sounds of running water from a waterfall or fountain are not only calming, but they can also help dampen the noise of a busy street or playground that may be nearby. You can add a small pond filled with water lilies and Koi fish, a formal fountain, or a little water feature that is aesthetically pleasing. Pricing for this project can climb quickly, depending on what you want and your existing water sources. Obviously, professionally installed water features will cost more than doing it yourself, but these projects can be rather involved, and you may not have the skill to tackle them yourself. You can, however, get small fountains at hardware stores and online and probably install them yourself since they are designed for the do-it-yourselfer.

Upgrade Your Mailbox

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If your mailbox is at the road, replacing the old box can add curb appeal very easily. You can find a new mailbox relatively cheaply, and they are not that tough to install. Be sure to check your local ordinances if you are replacing your mailbox with a different style of mailbox since all cities have varying regulations. If you don’t want to replace the entire mailbox, you can also paint the existing mailbox. A fresh coat of paint can clean up the look of the mailbox and add curb appeal instantly.

Install New House Numbers

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If your house has weathered or old fashioned numbers on it, you can purchase new numbers to add some life to your address and instantly increase curb appeal. You should try to match the color and style of the new numbers to the finish that is on your exterior light fixtures since this will make everything look polished and well put together. Since numbers can be found at hardware stores for as little as $2 each or you can get customized plaques or numbers from several online services.

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Kelly Kaliszewski
Kelly's work has appeared in blogs and on websites. When she's not writing, she is playing with her two dogs, cooking, or…
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