10 Curb Appeal Tips On a Budget


One of the more valuable, cost effective home improvement projects according to the National Association of Realtors is exterior projects. The curb appeal of a home makes a great first impression and gives you a big bang for your buck.  Replacing the siding, windows, or entry door are several of the best exterior projects that recoup the most money, up to 75%,  upon the sale of your home. These projects are recommended on older homes if you want to make more on the sale of your home. There are some smaller things that you could do to spruce up your curb appeal on a budget and you don’t have to go spend a fortune on landscaping. In fact, I learned this the hard way several years ago.

Spring was around the corner and my wife wanted to redo our flower beds. We hadn’t really done much to them since we had moved in. She purchased several hundred dollars worth of plants and we spent an entire day preparing the flower beds and planting the new additions to our yard. The flower beds looked amazing and we were thrilled at the result of our hard work and money spent…until morning.  We awoke to admire the lovely plants only to discover that they had served as an all-you-can eat expensive buffet for the deer.  Lesson learned.  Next season we purchased less expensive deer-resistant native plants that grew beautifully for years.

With a little inspiration and not much money you can spruce up your curb appeal with these 10 tips and hopefully learn from my costly deer buffet mistake.

1. Wash Your House

Hire someone to power wash your house or borrow a power washer from your neighbor. Your sidewalk, patio, and brick will look like new. Our siding in the back yard was a nice brownish color from waist level down thanks to our 2 dogs. A little hot water, dish soap, and scrubber took care of the problem. Don’t forget to clean your windows and trim.

2. Clean Up Existing Plant Beds By Removing Weeds and Overgrown Plants.

This won’t cost you anything except a little bit of time.

3. Paint or Re-stain the Front Door

You will be amazed at how much of a difference a fresh coat of paint makes. While you are at it, update the door handle if it is out of date.

4. Install Molding Above the Front Door

front door3

Such a simple touch that makes a big impression.

5. New House Numbers

There are so many creative ideas out there to accomplish this. Whether you buy new numbers or paint the numbers on flower pots, this is an inexpensive way to up the curb appeal.

6. Add a Potted Plant and Welcome Mat

Over time doormats can get dingy so replace the old one with a fresh one and pick up a nice potted plant to place at the front door.

7. Hide Eyesores With Paint

Paint your electric box, piping, and wires the same color as your house. The idea is to make them blend in with your house.

8. Make Your Own Faux Shutters

Check out the video below to learn how to do this. These shutters look nice painted or stained depending on the style of your home.

9. Create A Walkway


With a little mulch and stones or slate you can create a nice walkway in an area of your yard where there is a  worn out path.

10. Plant Native Plants

Don’t spend a lot of money on fancy ornamental non-native plants. They often require a lot of work and upkeep. Unless you are an avid gardener, choose local plants native to your area. When we planted native plants in our yard all we had to do was trim them back because they went crazy. No fertilizer and no additional watering.

Here are several plants that are native to the greater Houston area:

purple coneflower

Eastern Purple Coneflower: attracts butterflies,blooms all spring and summer, drought tolerant


Texas Lantana: attracts butterflies, drought tolerant, deer resistant

autumn sage

Autumn Sage: attracts hummingbirds, flowers late spring to early frost, drought tolerant

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