6 Ways to Boost Your Curb Appeal This Fall
By Becky Moore
Think about fall chores, and the first thing that might come to mind is raking up leaves. But the mild days are perfect for rolling up your sleeves and improving the curb appeal of your home. Whether you’re selling or you just want an attractive home, these tips won't cost you a fortune. Here are six ways to boost your curb appeal this fall.
1. Clean It Up
Dirty windows and walls are an instant turn-off — but one of the easiest things to fix. Make your windows sparkle with a little window cleaner and elbow grease. You’ll be amazed at the amount of grime a power-sprayer takes off your exterior walls. You can rent or buy sprayers or hire a pro to do the job. A power-washer will also clean up oil stains in the driveway. Be cautious when spraying the exterior. Too-aggressive spraying can do more harm than good.
This is also a great time to seal any cracks in the pavement before a winter freeze makes them worse.
2. Spruce Up the Landscape
After you rake up leaves, get rid of old annual plants that will look dead and dreary during the winter. Leave the perennials alone, but peonies, hosta, irises, and daylilies can be cut back after the first fall frosts. You can do some light pruning of your trees to shape them up and get rid of dead wood, but save the heavy pruning until winter when your trees are dormant. Mulch for flower beds and around trees and shrubs comes in a variety of colors that can add some zing to the landscape. For the best look, use whatever type of weed eater you’re comfortable with to trim back grass around the edges of all landscape installations.
Fall is also the right time to plant annuals such as chrysanthemums, pansies, and petunias. They can add lively color as the weather begins to cool.
3. Freshen Up the Paint
Even if you don’t want to tackle the entire house, a paint touch-up or a change in color on trim, doors, and shutters can make a world of difference. Peeling and worn paint is an instant turn-off for potential buyers. Color fashions change, and your white shutters and door may look worn and outdated. The trend for trim is toward bold, so you can consider reds, deep blues, greens, or even black.
Your front door is the first thing visitors and potential buyers notice, so make sure it gets a fresh coat. Don’t forget your garage doors, especially if they face front. They usually take up more than 50 percent of the facade, so consider giving it a trendy look with a coat of wood-look paint.
4. Little Things Mean a Lot
Attention to small details will add pizzaz to your home’s appearance. New door hardware, address numerals, and mailboxes can freshen up your entryway without breaking your budget. A wide selection of stylish new ones is available through online retailers and at home and garden centers. Sometimes the old plain-Jane porch light gets overlooked. You’ll find a wide variety of attractive styles nowadays. Over time, window screens sag and fray. Replacing the old fabric is easy with a rolling tool.
5. Make It Look Inviting
Potted plants at your entryway or on the porch give your house a homey look. If you have room, add a garden bench and a small table. An autumn wreath on the door can be a nice touch.
6. Let There Be Light
As the days grow shorter, prospective buyers may drive by your home or even book a showing in the evening. Well-placed outdoor lighting at corners, along flowerbeds, and along a walkway will give your home a cheery appeal. Many outdoor lighting kits on the market are programmable and have LED bulbs that use very little electricity and last a long time.
Even if you’re not putting your home on the market, fall is a great time to shape up your house and landscape. Make good use of these wonderful days when the blazing heat of summer has faded away — and before the frigid days of winter blow in!
Becky Moore calls herself a dedicated DSIY — a “Do-Some-of-It-Yourselfer” — who writes about home and landscaping issues. She and her equally handy husband have moved into and refurbished a new (to them) house every two years for the past decade.
- Brenna Foley