It’s that time of day to check the mailbox. You get to the curb, pull out the mail and close the lid. Stepping from the curb, you look up and stop. From there you see the entire picture of your property, and it doesn’t make you happy. You think to yourself, “Oh my gosh, this is a mess!”

Because so many aspects of life keep you busy, the upkeep of your investment can be forgotten. The same curb appeal that encouraged you to invest in the home should continue to thrive during your ownership. The presentation of your property emulates the pride you have as an owner. It also creates a welcoming for visitors and incorporates the overall appeal of the neighborhood.

Giving your home a facelift doesn’t take a lot of money. With a little planning, a small budget, and some elbow grease, you can revitalize your property.

Take a snapshot of your property as appears now. Enlarge the photo so that you can easily write on it. Use the picture as a map to target areas of concern as you inspect the property. If you are familiar with photo editing software, you can edit the look of your home to test your ideas.

Here are ten cheap project ideas that will increase the value your home.

Shape The Lawn


Image by walmand

Landscaping creates boundaries and is the first thing people notice about a location. It helps the eye flow from curb to the garage to the entry. An unkempt lawn confuses the overall picture and distracts from the flow of the property. Maintaining the yard creates symmetry, color, and texture.

Cutting the grass is not enough. A few extra steps will align the property and give it a polished look.

1. Cut the grass the proper length according to grass type.
2. Plant grass seeds for balding areas.
3. Frame sections with an edger to give it a cleaner look.
4. Kill weeds between bricks or pavement with white vinegar.
5. Use a weed wacker to get into harder to reach areas and along fencing.
6. Shape hedges to add personality.
7. Reposition sinking stones to make a visible dividing line.
8. Spot treat weeds and refresh mulch areas.
9. Understand watering restrictions and keep a consistent watering schedule.

If you do not have tools, find a cheap landscaper. Several people maintain lawns for an inexpensive exchange.

Wash Away Dirt, Mold, and Mildew on Exterior Walls

There’s no better way to brighten up a home than to perform an annual cleaning of the exterior walls. Even weather resistant siding requires cleaning.

Along with dust and dirt, mold and mildew may accumulate in the shaded areas of the home. Leaves and debris hide in gutters. Insects and other small animals build nests under eaves and spread waste around lighting.
These elements create a worn and drab appearance.

To begin this project, check all surfaces for needed repairs. Make repairs to prevent water buildup. Protect nearby shrubbery from flying debris or spilled chemicals with plastic. Saturate soil to prevent spilled chemicals from draining directly into the foliage. Based on the type of siding, determine the best cleaning method for this project.

1. For minimal dust and dirt, a good spray with the garden hose may be sufficient.
3. A bucket of warm sudsy water, a garden hose, and a natural bristol brush works well to clean challenged areas. Working at arms length will give you a close-up view of the siding to spot areas in need of repair. This method can be time-consuming. Use a ladder for high reach areas. It may be best to have someone assist with holding the ladder in place. Stubborn areas may require additional cleaning agents. Always be sure to test a spot when using chemicals.
5. A pressure washer is a quick and easy tool. An extension can easily get to high places. However, if not used correctly, it could cause damage by stripping material or allowing water to accumulate in unseen cracks.

Touch Up Windows and Doors

Image by Paul Brennan

Windows and doors say a lot about a home. Clean windows sparkle and give way to interior decor. A newly painted entry door marks a clear path into the home. Framework secures these objects and adds a geometric design. A little work to these areas will make a significant improvement to the overall picture.

1. Scrape loose paint from framework and doors.
2. Check edges of windows and doors for repairs.
3. Repair areas and make sure they are water resistant.
4. Sand areas to make them smooth before painting.
5. Change the color of the paint to bring attention to the windows.
6. Use vinegar to polish glass.
7. Clean screen and replace broken mesh.
Select the best time of the year to address these issues for repairs to dry fast.

Remove Spills from the Driveway

The driveway makes it convenient to keep vehicles near the home. The surface can also alert the owner to problems under the car by accumulating automotive leaks. Where this can be handy for the car maintenance, it creates an ugly sight in the driveway.

A pressure washer and a wire brush are most useful for cleaning flat surfaces. Degreasing chemicals will help remove stains. If you are looking for natural cleaners, vinegar, baking soda, and other household items can work with more scrubbing.

Upgrade Lighting Fixtures

Lighting fixtures provide light during the evening to illuminate the home. During the day, they are accents that enhance the structure. Replace dull globes with dazzling new geometric shapes.

Like your current fixtures? Add a new coat of paint to bring them to life. Outdoor fixtures usually have two different surfaces: powdered coating and solid material such as brass or copper. Select the paint according to the surface. Add a UV protective coating to prevent fading.

Turn On Daylight in the Evening

Years ago, a light bulb was a light bulb. Unless you were getting a green, red or black light bulb, all the other bulbs created the same yellow hue. Today, light bulbs come in brighter shades.

A daylight bulb produces an unclouded white cast. The hue is cleaner and brighter. Brilliant lights in the evening accent your home and provide a safer environment.

Lowes and Home Depot often have illuminated displays with samples light bulbs in the “on” position. Before deciding on a light bulb, take a trip to your local store. The store display will help you better than looking at a picture.

Update Other Accents

The mailbox, house numbers, door knobs, shutters, utility vents are considered accents of the home. Every accent should be checked for rusted surfaces, peeling paint and stable application. If the number “6” on your home is actually a “9,” it needs to be fixed. Make a list of needed repairs and then clean or repaint the items to give them a fresh look.

Add Color with Planters and Hanging Baskets

Image by Circe Denyer

Colorful flowers and plants add a punch of color to highlight entry ways, porches, and decks. Place planters sparingly to give an open and natural feeling. You don’t want to crowd everything together. If you are tight on space, hang a few baskets with overlapping flowers or vine plants. A couple of colorful flowering plants can make a difference.

Create a Little Zen with Wind Chimes

Wind chimes come in a variety of shapes, size, and colors. These dangling pieces of art can give your property a warm and welcoming tone. As the wind blows, the sound from the colliding objects creates a soothing atmosphere. Your home will have a calming effect for the entire area.

The Garage Counts Too

You might feel giving a facelift to the exterior of your home should not include the inside of the garage. Unless your garage is in the back of the house, it is the most view interior part of the house. The garage door is open for parking the car, bringing in groceries or just working in the space.

Can you imagine what it will look like with a renewed exterior and a garage exposing a mess? Take time to clean up the garage and organize things. When looking at the property from the curb, think of an open garage as a picture within a picture. Balance your efforts to give your property curb appeal.

Now that you have ideas determine the right time of the year to target the project. Create a plan and make a schedule for completion. Where possible, make it a family project. It will be work, well worth your time. Make it as enjoyable as possible.