Improve Your Curb Appeal: 6 Projects You Can Tackle in a Weekend

The outside of your home is the first thing visitors see when they show up for a visit. It’s also the first thing potential buyers see when you put your home up for sale and they arrive to scope it out.


Now that the weather is warming in much of the country, it's a good time to shift your attention from interior projects to exterior projects. Here are six you may be well-equipped to tackle in the course of a single weekend.


1. Do a Yard Cleanup


A messy, unruly yard can give a bad impression even when the rest of your house is in great shape. That’s why Nathaniel Pitchon-Getzels, founder of the Getzels Group at Compass in Los Angeles County, is a huge proponent of doing a big yard cleanup on an as-needed basis.


"A clean lawn and groomed shrubs can frame the whole yard," he says.


It can especially make sense to do a yard cleanup in early spring to clear out winter debris. Remove tree branches and other debris that may have fallen onto your lawn during a storm for a cleaner look overall. And while you’re at it, trim and shape your shrubs for a more uniform, neat look.


2. Give Your Front Door a Fresh Coat of Paint


Many people regard their front doors as utility items and don’t tend to focus on the aesthetics. Pitchon-Getzels says if you take that approach, you’re missing a big opportunity to add color and life to your home's exterior. He says painting your front door is a great weekend project, and one that could have a lot of impact.


“Often, your front door is the first thing a visitor touches or interacts with,” says Pitchon-Getzels.


He cautions not to go overboard on colors for your home’s exterior. “You should probably have a max of three colors," he says. "Trim and house are the main color, front door has a pop color, and then maybe some furniture outside that complements that color." If you stick to that rule, you shouldn’t be afraid to turn a white door into a brighter one.

3. Clear and Reframe Your Walkway


Your walkway is something all of your guests need to use, so it’s important to make it safe and accessible. Clear debris to eliminate trip hazards and trim shrubbery that may be interfering with your walkway, says Pitchon-Getzels.


Consider putting stones around your walkway for aesthetic appeal. “Walkway stones are usually cheap. You buy them at a hardware store and they might be as inexpensive as a couple of dollars each,” he says. “They can completely reframe the walkway.”


4. Replace Your Sprinkler Heads


You probably rely on your sprinkler system to keep your lawn in good shape. Unfortunately, sprinkler heads can break pretty easily. If you use a lawn service in particular, you may risk having them crushed by those giant ride-on mowers. And if they’re not functioning the way they’re supposed to, you risk damaging or destroying a section of your lawn.


Pitchon-Getzels recommends testing your sprinkler system regularly to make sure it’s working properly. If you notice any broken heads, replace them before the temperature really heats up.


"It may not be the most fun project, but it has such a great return on investment," Pitchon-Getzels says. You may want to call ahead before driving to the hardware store to make sure they carry the ones you need.


5. Add Plants and Flowers


Plants and flowers can add some nice pop to your exterior, creating a more welcoming atmosphere. Omer Reiner, founder and director of FL Cash Home Buyers LLC in Hollywood, Florida, says adding plants and flowers can be pretty easy work, even if you’re not a gardening expert by any means.  


“You don’t have to spend hours digging and then a lot of time on maintenance,” he says. “Consider getting a few plants, in varying heights, and sticking them into some nice, decorative planter pots. That allows you to have the look of more mature plants and flowers without as much yard work.”


If you’re going to add flowers, keep your exterior’s color scheme in mind. You don’t want to plant flowers that are going to clash with your newly painted door.


6. Pressure Wash Your Home


Over time, dirt and grime can accumulate on your patio, deck and siding. Not only can this be unpleasant to look at, but in the case of mold, it could cause potential health issues. If you’ve got a free weekend, head over to your local hardware store, rent a pressure washer, and take the time to get your exterior looking spotless.


It costs $35 to $175 per day to rent a pressure washer from a home improvement center, says HomeAdvisor, which may be a less expensive than hiring professionals. On average, a professional power wash costs $0.40 per square foot, or $25 to $100 an hour. Some professionals charge a flat fee of $90 to $200, depending on the size of the job. Also, while some of the projects above are ones you'll probably have or want to put off in the event of rain, pressure washing is something you can do even if the weather isn't all that cooperative. A drizzle or mild rain shouldn't get in the way of your work, and you may find that the presence of rain actually helps speed up the process.





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