Whether you're looking to list your property, or are just demonstrating pride in your home, here are a few quick and affordable ways to immediately boost your curb appeal. Yes, appearances can be deceptive and I'd be the first to say you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, but sadly appearances do matter and first impressions count – a lot!
- Pressure wash your driveway and patio. It's an afternoon well spent. A well swept driveway looks good, but a pressure washed driveway looks better. You'd be surprised at the difference it makes. Unless you've already got a pressure washer, I'd advise again buying one – a high quality one that will do the job properly can easy cost $300+, so you have to do a lot of pressure washing for it to deliver a return on investment. Instead, there's plenty of places you can rent one at a fraction of the cost. Make sure you get one that's at least 2500 PSI (pounds per square inch if you're interested!), – 3000 or 35000 PSI would be better. In my experience the likes of Lowes or Home Depot rarely have the high powered ones. Instead I'd recommend a specialist tool rental shop. R&R Rentals is a good one, and I even saw Sherwin Williams are now renting them. A 4-rental should be more than adequate to do a 3 car driveway and a small rear patio. Learn from my mistakes and have some additional gas at the ready. There's nothing more frustrating than running out of gas before the job is done, particularly if you're on a 4 hour rental window.
- Give your front porch a quick makeover. Sweep away the cobwebs. Polish the hardware and the kick plate. If you've got brass hardware, consider switching to brushed nickel or stainless steel – it instantly gives a more modern look. If you don't have a kickplate, consider getting handy with a can of spray paint and spray your hardware black. Against the right color door it can look amazing. And a new lick of paint on the front door and trim will go a long way – but be sure to chose a color that coordinates with the rest of the house.
- Throw down a new layer of topsoil or bark. It transforms the look of your landscaping.
- Add some color by planting some seasonal annuals. Petunias, lobelia, coleus all look great and are very cheap to buy. A couple of well planted pots flanking a porch or front door give an inviting feel
- Clean your windows and gutters. Crystal clear windows and clear gutters give the impression that the home has been well cared for. Trust me, buyers will notice your gutters as they look outside from an upstairs window and even if they love the house and are considering making an offer, clogged gutters will plant ideas in their head that the inspection will raise some issues – and therefore an opportunity for them to get the price lowered.