40 Ways to Boost Curb Appeal on a Budget

Shannon Quinn - April 12, 2019

The phrase “curb appeal” means that when you go up to a house, you get that “wow” factor from the outside. If you are looking to sell your home, it is important to boost your curb appeal, if you want to attract buyers. Not all of these tips will apply to everyone, since there are many different styles of homes out there. But you just might be able to find some ideas that will brighten up the appearance of your house.

Symmetry is extremely pleasing to the eye. Credit: Shutterstock

40. Make Things Symmetrical

The human brain is attracted to things that are symmetrical. There truly is something satisfying about seeing a front door where there are identical plants, windows, or lights on both sides. There are some home designs out there that will not by symmetrical, and you may not be able to do anything about that. Do your best to achieve that in any way you can.

Installing new lights on your front porch can totally transform the look. Credit: Shutterstock

39. Porch Lights

When people first buy a house, they might pick up the cheapest porch lights they could find from Walmart or Home Depot. If you are aiming to give the front of your house a “wow” factor, consider investing in some high quality lights to go in front of your house. They should be in line with the interior design style of your home overall, so that the decor is tied together throughout the house.

Window boxes are beautiful, especially when they are full of flowers. Credit: Shutterstock

38. Window Box Planters

Installing planter boxes in front of your windows is inexpensive and easy to do, and it will seriously transform your outdoor living space. Adding seasonal flowers and plants will help bring pops of color to the front of your home, especially if you do not have enough land to make a real garden. At all major home good stores, you can buy planter boxes ranging from inexpensive plastic to high-quality wood.

Front doors with unique colors truly stand out. Credit: Shutterstock

37. Paint the Front Door

Most doors are brown, or simply made of wood. That doesn’t mean you have to keep it that color forever. Try painting your door a color that either matches the shutters and other accent colors, or pick a completely different shade that will make it stand out. Even if it does not match the trim of your house, you can choose a very bold color like red or black to make it pop.

Multiple layers of plants have a huge impact in landscaping. Credit: Shutterstock

36. Layers of Plants

When it is time to landscape the front of your property, you may be tempted to plant a couple shrubs, and call it a day. But most proper gardens have more than one plant, and there is truly an art to landscaping. You do not necessarily have to create a tiered terrace in order to achieve a layered look. Look on Pinterest for front gardens, and you can see how people have paired varieties of plants, flowers, and shrubs to make their yard look stunning.

New doorknobs truly make a front door look more luxurious. Credit: Shutterstock

35. Replace Your Door Knob and Knocker

If you have had the same door knob and knocker since you purchased your home, it may be time to buy new ones. This will required you to change the keys to your house, of course, but that small inconvenience may truly boost the appearance of the front of your house. If you plan to rent your home on AirBnB, you almost may want to consider an electronic lock, as well.

Adding stoen columns to your porch make a huge difference. Credit: Shutterstock

34. Create Stone Columns on Your Front Porch

If you are in the process of giving your front porch a makeover, consider installing columns with stone bases, instead of cheaper ones that are made out of wood. It may be a bigger investment, but they truly do make a big difference in the appearance of the home.

Painting the door of your garage can make a huge impact on curb appeal. Credit: Shutterstock

33. Wood Stain or Paint Your Garage Door

Most garage doors are white, but that doesn’t mean you have to keep it that way. Some people use wood stain to make it appear as if they have purchased a much more expensive type of garage door. Or, they paint it to match the trim of their house.

Perennial flowers grow back year after year. Credit: Shutterstock

32. Plant Perennial Flower Beds

Perennial flowers grow back every single year, so there is no need to keep doing your landscaping over and over again. They are a happy reminder that spring has sprung, after waiting all winter long. If you always want wild flowers growing on your property, plan out some space for both spring and summer blooms.

Giving your front steps a fresh coat of paint can make it feel like new again. Credit: Shutterstock

31. Paint or Re-Stain Your Front Steps

Sometimes, people only have stone front steps or a stoop, and not an entire porch. If this is the case with you, consider painting or staining that entry area. This will freshen up the look of your house. It is also very cheap, and can usually be done in one weekend.

Adding plants to a front porch can look really beautiful. Credit: Shutterstock

30. Plants on the Front Porch

If you have space on your front porch, consider buying some potted plants. It would be a good idea to either have identical plants flanking both sides of the door, or buying multiple plants to create a front-door garden, like the one shown in the image above.

A walkway in front of your home looks really sharp. Credit: Shutterstock

29. Create a Walkway

If your house is designed where it is necessary for your guests to walk through the grass to get to your door, you may want to install a sidewalk or walkway to help them get there without getting their feet muddy. Walkways are also great for giving an inviting way to get to your backyard or side garden.

If you have a walkway, you should be able to see your way at night. Credit: Shutterstock

28. Walkway Lights

Once you have that sidewalk or walkway installed, you will want to make sure you can see where you are going at night. Solar powered post lights are a great option, because they do not require any electricity. They will charge up in the day time, and turn on at night. There are even some that are motion-activated, and will only turn on once someone triggers them by walking by.

Arbors help make a home look like it’s apart of an English country garden. Credit: Shutterstock

27. Add an Arbor

A little white picket fence and a front arbor is a quintessential American dream house. Lucky for you, this can be accomplished with just a few hundred dollars. There are also a lot of different arbor options to choose from at retailers like Home Depot and Lowes.

If your home is stuccoed, you might want to white-wash it. Credit: Shutterstock

26. White Wash Your Stucco

If your house has stucco siding, you know that over the years, it will begin to turn slightly yellow. It can also pick up on the green from nearby plants. If this is the case, you can patch-clean the stucco, or rent a power washer to get the entire house done, so that it looks good as new.

Porch railings need to be replaced or repainted every few years. Credit: Shutterstock

25. Give Your Porch Railings an Upgrade

If your porch railings are made out of real wood, they will sometimes begin to rot or fade. You can replace the broken rails, and give everything a fresh coat of paint. Or, consider re-doing your railings with vinyl, which will last significantly longer than wood.

If you want to help your house look fresh, clean or paint your siding. Credit: Shutterstock

24. Paint or Wash Your Siding

Vinyl siding is extremely common on homes in the United States, by few people actually take the time to make sure they are kept clean. In the spring and summer, you may want to take the time to clean the siding, paint anything that is chipping, or even replace pieces that have become broken or damaged.

Every few years, gutters need to be replaced. Credit: Shutterstock

23. Replace the Gutters

Over the years, gutters become filled with leaves. If water cannot flow through them properly, it can lead to roof damage. It is necessary to clean them out. After a while, you may notice that they are damaged, and you have to completely replace your gutters and get new ones.

If your driveway is cracked, it may be time to re-do it. Credit: Shutterstock

22. Repair Your Driveway

Concrete driveways will crack as the years go on. It can look very unattractive, and take away from your home’s curb appeal. You may want to get that repaired, or get an entire new driveway. If you have a stone driveway, the rocks will eventually sink down into the dirt. Most of the time, this happens in patches. It is actually very cheap and easy to keep up with this problem. They sell bags of landscaping stone in the garden center of Lowes for just $4 a bag, and it will cover 5 cubic feet. By doing this regular upkeep, you can prevent yourself from dropping a few hundred dollars at once to get a new stone driveway.

Some people plant a garden around their mailbox. Credit: Shutterstock

21. Give Your Mailbox a Makeover

Most people buy a cheap mailbox, stick it in the ground, and call it a day. This may get the job done in the short-term, but if you are trying to elevate the look of your home, consider buying a new mailbox. Many people also plant a garden around the box, so that it looks beautifully manicured.

Fountains in your garden truly look luxurious. Credit: Shutterstock

20. Add a Fountain

Fountains can be expensive to buy and maintain. But if you are willing to spend the money, they truly do give your house a “wow” factor. If you are thinking about putting one out front, find one that is small and not too distracting. Larger fountains are usually reserved for the backyard.

Sometimes, adding shutters to your windows give a home tons of characater. Credit: Shutterstock

19. Add Shutters and Accents

By adding shutters to you windows, it adds an old-world charm to your home. People also add accent molding around the door frame and windows, so that they have something to contrast the siding of the house. If you do this, try to paint the shutters and accents so that they match one another.

This gutter river is a truly clever idea. Credit: Pinterest

18. Create a “Riverbed” for Your Gutter Water

Most people purchase a stone or plastic rain gutter splash block to help guide the water down to the front garden, but it can sometimes leave your yard soaking wet. Some people have come up with the solution of making an entire mini-river so that the rain water can travel down to the gutters on the street. This looks beautiful, and it is relatively inexpensive to do, as well.

Hide ugly garbage cans with fencing. Credit: Shutterstock

17. Fence In Your Garbage Cans and AC Unit

Everyone has to use garbage cans, but no one actually wants to see it. Same with your air conditioning unit. It is big, loud, and unattractive. An easy solution to this issue is to buy a few panels of fencing, so that you can close off the area that you need to hide. There are also cheap privacy screens made out of the same vinyl fence material, if you would prefer to have something that can be moved around.

Adding stones to a home can make it look far more expensive. Credit: Shutterstock

16. Add Stone Siding

Adding stone siding can be expensive, and you may have to hire a professional to help you. But once it is installed on the front of a house, it truly elevates the curb appeal to the next level. If done tastefully, it can help your home turn into a castle.

Taking the time to tile a doorway is very impressive. Credit: Shutterstock

15. Tile the Doorstep

If you have a cement front stoop or step area, consider purchasing stone tiles. By laying them on top of your door step, it truly makes the space looks more luxurious than plain or painted concrete. However, before you take on a DIY project like this, make sure you watch YouTube tutorials, or ask a handy friend for help.

A cozy front porch seating area. Credit: Shutterstock

14. Front Porch Seating Area

If you have a large front porch, you will probably want to have a nice seating area. Consider getting a table and chair set, rocking chairs, or big lounging chairs, like the ones seen in the photo above. Of course, not every home is the more comfortable place to sit outside, especially if you are viewing your neighbors across the street. Always consider privacy and safety as a factor.


Let your guests wipe their feet in style. Credit: Shutterstock

13. New Door Mat

After a few years, door mats become ragged from the number of people stepping on them every day. If this is the case with you, or if you do not have a mat at all, consider buying a new one. Thankfully, this is a relatively inexpensive way to boost your curb appeal.

Bird houses are adorable, and will attract wild life to your home. Credit: Shutterstock

12. Bird Houses and Feeders

If you love nature, it only makes sense to invite birds into your living space. If you hang a bird house on your front porch, or on a post in your garden, it looks incredibly charming, but it also gives your feathered friends a place to rest. There are also humming bird feeders and bird baths that double as decor.

Porches should be painted every few years to keep them fresh. Credit: Shutterstock

11. Paint or Stain Your Porch

Many people consider their front or back porch the heart of the home. It is a place where they can sit with a cool drink and forget about the stress of their lives for a while. So it only makes sense that you should keep the wood fresh and beautiful. Give it a fresh coat of paint, or wood stain.

House numbers should be clearly visible for delivery people. Credit: Shutterstock

10. Add New House Numbers

When you have people coming to your house for deliveries or services, they will need to find your home for the very first time. If your house numbers are not clearly visible, it will be difficult for them to figure out where you are. There are loads of options, from installing numbers on the side of your house, on your mailbox, or on a roadside plaque like the image shown above.

It is a good idea to trim the shrubbery on your property. Credit: Shutterstock

9. Trim the Bushes

A lot of people plant bushes in their front yards, and they eventually get out of hand. Unkempt bushes can block the sunlight, or make it more difficult to see out of your driveway. In order to prevent these issues, trim your bushes. It’s not necessary to make them look like something out of Alice in Wonderland- Just make sure they are well-manicured.

A cozy porch swing is amazing in the spring and summer. Credit: Shutterstock

8. Porch Swing

Installing a porch swing will set you back a few hundred dollars, but for many people, they believe it’s worth it. You can sit on your porch with a book, or a good drink with some friends. If you have kids, they will often have fond memories of a porch swing. Before you buy one, just make sure your porch is structurally sound enough to support the weight.

Power washing can help clean off years of dirt and grime. Credit: Shutterstock

7. Power Wash Everything

Whether you have vinyl siding, stucco, stone, or almost any material, a power washer can be used to clean almost anything. After you are done cleaning your house and driveway, you can also move on to lawn furniture, and so much more. Walmart and Home Depot have power washers you can buy under $200, but they admittedly do not have a lot of power. If you are looking for an industrial-strength washer, consider renting a power washer from Home Depot for a day, and get all of your cleaning done in one go.

It may be time to get a new front door. Credit: Shutterstock

6. Replace You Front Door

Replacing your front door is not cheap. Before you spend a couple hundred dollars replacing your door, try to paint or stain it. However, having a brand new front door truly does wake up the front of a house. There are a variety of price ranges, depending on the design of the door you choose. You can also find leftover doors at places like the Habitat for Humanity Restore. Just come prepared with measurements to make sure you get the right size.

Fences don’t last forever. Credit: Shutterstock

5. Rebuild and Repair Your Fences

If your fence is made out of wood, it is only natural that it will eventually begin to rot and paint will peel away. If you are lucky, you may only need to replace one or two posts in the process of repair. When you are done replacing the wood that has gone bad, give it a fresh coat of paint so that all your whole fence matches.

There are so many wreaths out there, you could swap it every few months. Credit: Shutterstock

4. Buy a Seasonal Wreath

No matter what time of year it is, there are wreaths for every season. They are warm and inviting, and give a nice touch when you first arrive at home. Check out the wreaths made by Hearth and Home at Target, which are designed by Joanna Gaines from the HGTV series “Fixer Upper.”

If you want your house to stand out, pick contrasting colors. Credit: Shutterstock

3. Pick Contrasting Colors

If you want your house to truly stand out, try to pick two bold colors that contrast with one another. It may be as simple as black and white, or a bold choice like the photo above, where the home owners painted their siding a dark blue, and had white trim.

There are so many seasons and holidays to celebrate. Credit: Shutterstock

2. Decorate for the Holidays and Seasons

No matter what time of year it is, there is always an occasion to celebrate. If you can find a clever way to decorate for the seasons, it will make your home even more inviting than before. One way to do this is to use seasonal foliage, like the image above.

Try to accept the house’s current style, and do the best you can with it. Credit: Shutterstock

1. Embrace your Home’s Current Architecture

In the United States, we have such a huge variety of different architectural styles. But every few years, there is one style that becomes more trendy than the others. So people feel like they need to conform to whatever is in style at the moment. Unfortunately, that can leave a house looking kind of strange. If your home has a very unique style, like this Victorian house, don’t try to fight it by giving it something completely different, like a concrete modern industrial look. Embrace its architecture, and work with what you’ve got to the best of your ability.