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Home Improvement Tips: 15 Cost-Effective Ways to Improve the Exterior of Your House

Updated on May 29, 2016
A newly renovated house.
A newly renovated house.

Introduction

The saying, “Do not judge a book by its cover,” is not always agreeable. A great counterexample for this would be in terms of home exterior appearance. You can definitely put in the effort to make your home a head-turner for passers-by on the street – without breaking the bank. Here’s how.

1. Trim your bushes.

The first tip is the simplest and cheapest of them all – clean up your yard. If half of your house is covered by tall bushes and poorly maintained trees, then chances are people won’t even think twice about looking at it. In addition, it’s also an inconvenience for you if you feel like you have to go through a jungle every time you go in and out of your house. And so, cleaning up your lawn and making sure it’s manicured can showcase your home and how much you care for it.

2. Practice your green thumb.

Part of having a manicured lawn is making sure that your trees and plants are healthy and thriving. It is also important, therefore, to make sure that there aren’t any dead or dying plants in your front or back yard. Getting rid of these nuisances and practicing your green thumb is like hitting two birds with one stone; you’re developing a relaxing hobby while also improving your yard.

3. Make a clear path.

Lead your guests into your humble abode by making sure that your walkway is well-defined, and wide enough so that at least two people can walk together, side by side. You can do this by re-using some old bricks, wooden planks, or stepping stones. There is a wide array of custom walkways to choose from, and most of them provide DIY alternatives so you can have fun while re-vamping your walkway. If you’re not really the hands-on type, there are a lot of home improvement companies that offer materials such as faux flagstones, timber steps, and tile-topped stepping stones. Your creative choices together with your practicality should determine which option you would take.

A beautiful walkway or pathway.
A beautiful walkway or pathway.

4. Spice up your porch.

There are a number of ways you can add a little bit of life to an otherwise drab-looking porch. One of the simplest ways? Add a pop of color to your door. Paint it a vibrant red or a sunshine yellow if you will, but make sure that the color won’t clash with the color of the rest of your house. You could also add furniture such as porch swings and outdoor tables to create a cozy seating area. If you want to go a step further, you could even add (or change) deck railings in order to keep up with the latest trends and set your house from the rest.

5. Out with the old, in with the new.

To ensure that your home does not look dated, replace any old hardware with new ones. These may include (but of course, are not limited to) mailboxes, house numbers, door knockers, or light fixtures. But don’t just stop at making sure they’re new. The small features of the exterior of your house can add personality and style, so aside from ensuring their functionality, make sure that they also look good together.

6. Let out your inner architect.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to have a degree in architecture to accomplish this tip. All you need to do is make sure there is symmetry with your front door. What does that mean, exactly? For instance, if you want to add a plant beside your front door, make sure that there is a plant on both sides. The same goes with light equipment. Symmetrical views look organized and are aesthetically pleasing. They show that you have put in a lot of thought into your house – and that’s really something to be impressed about.

Plants placed on the door wall.
Plants placed on the door wall.

7. Add window boxes.

These things aren’t only going to add charm to your home, but they will also give you another chance to showcase your personality. If you are a little bit old school, then choose copper iron for the material of your window boxes. On the other hand, if you are more on the soft and warm type, then use painted wood. Whatever it is you decide on, make sure that it goes well with the flowers and lighting.

8. Get rid of old gutters.

Indeed, the gutter system is a little bit dated. If you have unconsciously neglected your gutters, then there is quite a big chance that you’ve also overlooked some chipped paint or loose hinges. Replace your gutters with a copper system that can withstand wear and tear, and give you longevity.

9. Renew, renew, renew.

If a real estate agent’s mantra is “location, location, location,” then yours should be what is written above. Renew old paint jobs every few years to keep your house looking modern. Trim details should also be given importance, because it adds an interesting flare to an otherwise flat-feeling exterior.

10. Add exterior shutters.

Having house shutters for your home exterior is an excellent way to further energize your curb appeal and add color to your house. These can be made of vinyl or the more expensive cedar, but whatever material you choose, the important thing is that it fits two things: your budget and your desired aesthetic. Lastly, make sure that your shutters go well with the style of your house – you wouldn’t want to be caught matching and missing.

Shuttered windows.
Shuttered windows.

11. Replace your threshold.

Your threshold has to endure the natural elements, as well as the steps of your guests as they come over. Surely, sooner or later it’s going to have to be replaced. No need to worry, though, since it is a fairly easy job that won’t put much of a dent in your wallet.

12. Install dormer windows.

If you have a sloping roof with nothing but old shingles, then you could opt to add a dormer window while you’re already replacing those shingles. Dormer windows are excellent for bringing symmetry to your homes, and, again, a touch of personality.

13. Add siding.

Once again, you can choose different materials for this exterior material that is meant to help shed some water from rain and protect your house from the other elements. You may opt for vinyl or fiber cement. Whatever it is you choose, just make sure you actually install one, for it is a key feature for your house’s aesthetic. And of course, always get the help of professionals on this technical matter just like the best siding contractors in Plymouth Michigan.

14. Add an Pergola (Arbor).

This landscape structure will surely add that last bit of oomph that you’re looking for in order to make your house into a home. With its versatility, you can make your house feel and look like a cottage or an island getaway; nothing can stop you from getting creative with your arbor.

15. Make use of stone.

Applying stone veneer to your home exterior shows that you mean serious business. Not only is it protective of your walls and surfaces, but it also serves some decorative purposes.

Conclusion

Those are some simple, cost-effective ways you can make your house look like your dream home. All you need to remember is to keep your budget and personality in mind. If you have those two things, then your house will surely the star of your street.

Discover more tips here!

Of the tips above, which ones will you use in improving your house exterior?

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    • Evane profile image
      Author

      Lovely Evaine 15 months ago

      Hi there! Thank you.

    • word55 profile image

      Word 15 months ago from Chicago

      Hi Evane, Being a real estate professional, I admire your recommendations all the way through. Great hub/article. Keep up the great writing.