Sometimes, people want to improve the appearance of the fronts of their homes to help make the house easier to sell—or to get more money from the sale. Other times, they want to make the home look more attractive for their own enjoyment. In either case, there are plenty of curb appeal ideas to consider.
Curb appeal is the level of attractiveness of a property that can be perceived from the street. In other words, from the curb. Now, here are five ideas to consider.
1. Revitalizing the Front Door and Mailbox
A fresh coat of paint on a front door can do wonders—and an eye-catching new color can be especially appealing. HomeBNC shares insights into trending front door colors, and the good news is that a broad spectrum of options are listed. From elegant neutrals to a bodacious blue, and from a pretty pink to a regal mixture of purple and gold, there are colors to please just about anyone.
This can also be the time to update the doorknob and door knocker, and any hardware on the door, including the street number. While at it, what about a matching new mailbox? They even come with LED lights nowadays to do double duty.
2. Curb Appeal Landscaping
When choosing landscaping elements, keep the design of the home in mind, along with the size and slope of the lawn, Better Homes and Gardens says. A large lawn might look wonderful with shrubs that would likely overwhelm a smaller one, while eye-catching flowers might look perfect in front of a cottage-style dwelling but get lost in the shuffle in front of a big home. For curb appeal landscaping, also consider how its design moves guests in an attractive way to the front door, perhaps wending along the walkways.
For people who want to be the first on their block with brand new plants, BobVila.com suggests the following for 2021:
• Azaleas: One new variety, Autumn Starburst, is an attractive bi-color bloom in coral and white; another variety, Autumn Majesty, is bold in hue (purple) with blooms that are soft and ruffled.
• Midnight Cascade: This is the first hanging basket variety of blueberries available. First up are white flowers that bloom in the spring, belled in shape. Next, enjoy a summer with fresh blueberries that give off the scent of vanilla. In the fall, the touches of red in the leaves will become bolder for a new look.
• As a third choice, there’s a brand new lilac: Syringa New Age Lavender with fragrant flowers in the spring and appealing foliage that lasts beyond that.
Entire books can be written on curb appeal landscaping options, so enjoy exploring! While doing so, don’t forget how attractive window boxes full of blooming flowers can look. Factor in your local climate, which can impact the types of plants that will thrive in your yard.
3. Upgrading Windows and Shutters
For a significant change in the look of a home, consider a brand new style of windows. Options include eye-catching casement windows that are hinged to open horizontally through the use of a crank. With these windows, one side stays in place while the other side opens like a door.
Awning windows can be another interesting choice. With this style, the window swings open from the bottom while the top part stays fixed in place. Bay windows can also really make a difference in curb appeal. Also consider new shutters, perhaps ones that complement a newly painted front door.
4. Don’t Forget the Lighting
As part of curb appeal landscaping and more, also think about outdoor lighting that will really set off the new look. A new fixture on the porch can make a difference, aesthetically.
Along the front of the home and walkways, outdoor solar LEDs can be one option because they aren’t hard to install and are cost efficient. They don’t create bright light, though, so they can be used as a form of supplementary lighting.
Traditional glass lanterns can be attractive, especially when paired with vintage-style bulbs. Ones that mimic the gas lanterns of the Victorian era have been trending.
5. Repairing the Roof
If the roof has loose or missing shingles, this can make even the most appealing home look in need of some tender loving care. So, addressing these problems can add to curb appeal. As part of the project, check gutters and downspouts and take care of them, as needed.
After thinking about what projects to take on, the next question to consider may be what these curb appeal ideas will cost.
Costs for Upgrades
Small roof repairs can cost between $150-$400, with labor charges of anywhere from $45 to $75 hourly. Nationally, the average roof repair costs $913, with a range between $355 and $1,475. Repairing the gutters can come with an average price tag of $351 (falling somewhere between $171 and $531, depending on the height of the house, the gutter length and type, and repairs needed). When a full replacement is needed, figure $1,600-$2,175.
On average, new windows cost $650 apiece, although this can vary by style and where the home is located, geographically. If replacing them for an entire house, the cost for a three-bedroom home and cost between $3,000-$10,000. New energy-efficient windows can save an average of 15% of energy bills.
As with just about any home improvement project, curb appeal landscaping costs can vary. On average, a project costs $2,600, with a complex one going up to $20,000 or more. For larger projects, the American Society of Landscape Architects recommends to put aside 5% to 10% of the home’s value for the project.
Hourly rates for landscapers are, on average, $50. That said, they can range from $28-$92 per hour.
A new door can cost under $100 for a basic hollow core choice, or $1,000-$1,400 or more for solid oak ones with beveled glass. High-end options can range from $3,500-$6,000. Installation of the door generally costs just under $1,000. Painting an existing door and replacing hardware and a doorknob can cost much less.
Funding Your Curb Appeal Ideas
After brainstorming what upgrades are desired, it can make sense to price-compare to see how to get the most for the money. This result dollar amount may be something that can be paid out of a savings account or put on credit cards with the balances paid in full when due.
When using credit cards—but unable to pay off balances in full fairly quickly—could be an expensive way to fund the projects because of the compound interest charged on credit card balances. To see how compound interest can pile up, take a look at this credit card interest calculator.
If it doesn’t make sense to use credit cards to fund curb appeal ideas, then it may make sense to compare and contrast a home equity line of credit (HELOC) and a personal loan.
Taking out a HELOC can make sense under certain circumstances, including these:
• Significant equity exists in the home.
• A large sum of money is needed.
• Potential tax benefits are attractive.
Benefits of a personal loan include the following:
• If the loan is unsecured, then home equity will not be tied up.
• Fees are probably less; in some cases, there aren’t any.
• The application process is usually easier, with the approval process typically quicker than the process for a HELOC.
Personal Loans by SoFi
When renovating a home, SoFi has the unsecured home improvement loans that have got you covered. These aren’t HELOCs, so the loan doesn’t have an effect on the equity on the home. Plus, you can use the money to enhance and improve your home in ways that matter to you.
It’s fast and easy to apply online, with fixed payments and no fees.
SoFi Loan Products
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