Now that summer is right around the corner, you may be wondering how to add curb appeal to your home — but not all of us can afford the extravagant big-budget remodels.
Why should the budget stop you? There are still plenty of ways to enhance your front yard so visitors get the best first impression.
To help you add curb appeal and show off the exterior of your home (without breaking the bank), we’ve created a list of nine simple yet stylish improvements that can be done for less than $75.
1. Buy or create a DIY doormat. [$15-$30]
Replacing your old doormat with a new, colorful one is an easy change you can make. Take a quick look at what you have as your first impression when someone comes to your front door. Is your mat stained, tattered or weathered enough to be retired?
Getting another doormat can instantly make your home entrance look better and more inviting, and it won’t cost very much at all. A quick trip to your local hardware store or a click on your favorite online shopping site and you will find plenty of new approaches to replace your worn-out, unwelcoming mat.
If you have a creative spirit like Kelly from Smart Schoolhouse, opt for a DIY mat like the one we’ve shown here!
2. String lights for year-round ambiance. [$15-$75]
Hanging lights around the front of the house or porch doesn’t have to be reserved for the holidays. In fact, Summer from Simple Stylings recommends using white lights to brighten a front porch during warm-weather seasons.
When deciding what lighting could liven up your porch’s mood for those long summer nights, consider these ideas:
- White lights can add a pleasant, radiant ambiance to the front of your house.
- Have your other color schemes for fall and winter holidays ready to go in the garage to keep a year-long creative, festive look.
- For an even more stylized or seasonal look, experiment by using colored fabric lantern lights.
3. Add a stylish door knocker. [$20-$75]
Installing a unique, personalized door knocker can establish a classic look as people walk by or approach your front door. This touch-up is probably the most underrated, but certainly a must if you want to give your visitors a great first impression.
Keep these things in mind when selecting a door knocker:
- If you want a more subtle option, opt for a bronze or iron finish in a simple ring design.
- Your knocker should complement the existing door color and finish of nearby hardware.
- For a more contemporary style, go for a nickel finish.
- Knockers are also available in nature-themed designs, such as animals, birds or insects, if you prefer patterns over solid colors.
- Consider engraving a welcoming message or your family’s name for an extra element of personalization.
When selecting a door knocker, make sure you pick one that represents your personal style.
4. Add shutters (or paint existing ones). [$35-$75]
Shutters act as a focal point on a house, so if yours are very faded, have chipped paint, or have been temporarily removed, it might be time for some updating. Refreshing your shutters with a new color or buying new ones altogether will give your home an immediate upgrade.
With a little labor and around $35 for exterior paint from your hardware store, you can give your old shutters new life with a new coat. To start from scratch, you can buy a pair of vinyl shutters starting at around $50.
5. Give your garage door a makeover. [$10-$20]
Garage doors are a large feature of your home, so even a simple enhancement can go a long way. Since they’re one of the main focal points to your home, it’s best to keep them clean and painted.
A popular approach that Eliesa from Pinterest Addict used on her home was the addition of faux carriage-style decor. With new a few pieces of hardware that come together in a DIY kit, she was able to transform the look and feel of her home.
6. Illuminate landscaping with solar lights. [$25-$30 per pair]
Another great way to add more illumination effects to the front of your house is to install a series of solar lights.
After a full day of powering up from a long sunny day, the lighting systems use solar cells and convert sunlight to electricity. The electricity is stored in batteries that illuminate the landscaping in front of your house at night. With just six to eight lights spaced evenly across the front, your house will have a subtle but welcoming glow.
Purchase several packs of solar ground lights at your local hardware store and place them in your flower bed or landscaping.
7. Furnish your porch. [$40-$75]
Adding furniture to your porch is a great way to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere. If you don’t like any of the styles at your local hardware store, think creatively. Consider a fresh paint job to existing furniture to match the exterior of your home.
A few other things to consider as you furnish your porch:
- Pick a bright or earthy paint color, depending on the color and style of your porch.
- Add weather-proof pillows to transform a stiff-looking piece of furniture into a welcoming place to sit.
- Drape a couple of blankets over the chairs for cool nights when you have guests over.
8. Make your windows shine. [$10-20]
As you figure out how to add curb appeal to your home, it’s important not to overlook the small details. As obvious as it may seem, maintaining clean windows can really make the front of your house shine. In a couple hours of work and some diligent scrubbing, you can have your windows looking like new again.
First, wash the outside windows by spraying them with a garden hose to remove larger amounts of dirt and cobwebs. You can then buy a cleaning solution, or make your own. Sponge the windows with your solution or a small amount of vinegar or detergent diluted in warm water. To avoid any streaks, consider purchasing a small window wiper. Finish with a good rinse by spraying each window thoroughly.
If you want to take it a step further, use an Exacto knife or paint scraper to remove insects, dirt, and particles from the corners of the window and around the entire frame. You may also want to touch up any worn or faded sections of the window frame for additional luster.
9. Give your mailbox a makeover. [$20-$75]
Giving your mailbox a makeover can add a unique look to your property. You can even turn it into a DIY project, as illustrated by Traci from Beneath My Heart. Her before and after photos perfectly demonstrate how you can take a plain black mailbox and turn it into a welcoming point at your driveway.
To personalize your mailbox, consider these options:
- Add a base ring of bricks or stones.
- Plant flowers around the base of the post.
- Add a decal of your family name on the box or post.
- Paint a decorative vine, flowers or animals vertically down the wood post.
- For added visibility, put a second set of house numbers on the post horizontally or vertically.
By pursuing any of these small changes, you’ll be sure to improve the exterior look of your home. With a modest budget, a little work, and some creative vision, you’ll figure out how to add curb appeal to your home in no time.
- 9 Curb Appeal Ideas that Cost Less Than $100–Total!
- How to Increase Backyard Curb Appeal When Selling Your Home
- Creating Curb Appeal to Sell Your Home
Editor’s Note: Published May 24, 2016; updated May 19, 2020.