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Explore These 7 Exterior Upgrades for More Curb Appeal

by Max Dichter

October 7th, 2019

Homeowners looking to sell and those who want to spruce up the approach to their home should explore these upgrades to improve curb appeal.

Many HGTV and home improvement campaigns focus on the kitchen and bath. However, what you add to curb appeal usually adds to the bottom line at resale. How welcoming the front of your property looks, the better chance you have of people coming to the open house to look at the kitchen and bath.

The following seven upgrades are relatively inexpensive and should get people interested.

#1 — A Garage Door Makeover

This inexpensive project will likely give you the most “bang for your buck” of any exterior upgrade to add curb appeal. Most garage doors make up one-third to one-half of a home’s exterior. The national average to install a new garage door with all the hardware and lifts is $1,100 and close to $2,000 with an automatic opener.

However, if you already have a working garage door, a simple facelift will give you a significant return on investment (ROI) if you’re looking to sell. Some new trim around the door, classic lanterns on both sides, and beveled or frosted glass insets can be done professionally for around $500 to $1,000. What’s more, if you can DIY, you’ll save much more.   

#2 — Add Shutters

Stock vinyl shutters start at about $50 a pair, up to $200. There are dozens of styles and materials to choose from whether you decide on screw-on shutters or fully functional hurricane shutters, which might come in handy in some areas.       

#3 — Fix Up the Fence & Add a Gate

You can increase your property’s curb appeal, and thus, its value with repairs or fresh paint on that fence. It typically costs between $200 and $400 for a fresh coat of paint on a 125 square foot fence.

What’s more, Inch Calculator says the national average for a new gate is $400. However, it depends on what size gate, the materials used, custom-made or stock, and labor. Always get a written estimate before you hire someone.     

#4 — Create a Front Door That Says, Welcome, Come on In

You would think this would be a costly task, but if you use foam crown molding or even PVC, this is an inexpensive project. Foam crown molding is $1.00 to $2.00 per linear foot, and PVC costs $2.00 to $4.00. For $25 to $50 you can buy the PVC or foam molding and the paint to match or contrast your door.

This DIY project can get completed in one weekend if you are handy with and have the right tools. Alternatively, you could hire a handyperson service for $75 to $100. Another option might be adding window tint if your door has panes.

Add a wreath of autumn flowers and foliage to create a welcome sign over the mat, which is another easy add.  

#5 — Redesign Your Concrete Patio or Carport

You might think this task would be much more expensive than it is. That ugly concrete patio or carport might not be an eyesore, but it sure doesn’t inspire enthusiasm either. Although experts estimate a new concrete patio is about $2,000, it can be much cheaper to get an old concrete patio, walkway, or driveway resurfaced.  

A professionally stained or stamped design will make your patio or carport look like tile or marble and cost about $8.00 to $16.00 per square foot. However, you can DIY with a YouTube video for $500 to $600.

If you like everything the way it is, but you want to clean it up, you could rent a surface grinder and power washer to make it look like new at a fraction of the cost. But, when you don’t have the time or tools, it might be better to hire a professional.   

#6 — Pressure or Power Wash the Siding

Power washing is the preferred method for most siding, and many handyperson services will do your entire house for about $200 to $250 regardless of size, while others charge 35 to 40 cents a square foot. Get a few estimates, ask if they spot paint where necessary, and clean up after.

A pressure wash for the driveway and walk is another option when you find the right service. The driveway and walk or patio cost about $150. You might get a better price if you let one service do everything.  

#7 — Add Patio and Landscaping Lights

Lights are another inexpensive addition. Also, adding solar lights can reduce your home’s energy bills, which could be another draw for prospective buyers.

Landscaping lights might cost a little more than a security spotlight or floodlight but could be well worth it. These lights are particularly useful along walkways and those equipped with motion sensors to scare off intruders. 

Explore the Front of Your Home

When you follow these seven tips, your ego will likely get a bump with more compliments from your neighbors, and the resale value of your home will get a boost as well.

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