When people imagine home renovations, they usually think about interior upgrades like recessed lighting and walk-in closets. Too often, the outside of the house goes neglected, with little to no money being spent on enhancing the curb appeal. But with an estimated 80% return on investment, perking up the outside of your home may be the smart move, particularly if you want to sell.
The good news is that you don’t have to spend a lot to update your home. Many exterior home renovations can be done on a budget; some are even easy DIY fixes that can be completed on the weekend. So, if you are ready to make your neighbors jealous, get out your paint clothes and consider these six affordable projects.
Want to make your house shine at night and add extra security? Kill two birds with one stone by installing exterior lighting. Well-placed lighting fixtures can not only look beautiful they can also help deter animals and other creatures lurking in the night.
A motion-sensor security light can be set to come on when movement is detected within a given range. Your after-dark guests (those that are invited) will appreciate not having to fumble in the dark.
Depending on the amount of lighting you need to be installed, you could have basic lights put in for a few hundred dollars. Lighting your whole house and yard may run $2,000 or more.
Looking for an easy way to make your home more colorful without breaking the bank? Add a beautiful flower bed or some drought-friendly shrubbery to the front of your house.
Improving landscaping is a quick and affordable upgrade. The best part is you can set your own budget and do it yourself; no experts are required. Your local nursery should have a wide selection of plants that would do wonders for your home. If you aren’t in a rush, you could ask neighbors for succulent clippings or buy inexpensive plant seeds and watch your improvements take bloom.
Garage Door Reno
While best left to a professional, giving your garage door a facelift can significantly improve your curb appeal. It is relatively inexpensive at $800 to $1,800 for a 2-car garage door replacement. Better yet, garage door upgrades have a long shelf life. HomeGuide estimates that one lasts for 15 to 30 years and offers a whopping 95% return on investment.
Today, there are ample options to choose from. Your garage door will be the talk of the town by adding fancy features such as glass inserts and carriage-style facades. A few words of caution: this is not a DIY project unless you are well-versed in installing garage doors; the more customizations, the pricier it will be; and make sure you are choosing a material that will withstand your local climate.
Front Door Uplift
Want to add a pop of color but can’t afford to repaint the whole house? Consider painting your front door a bright shade that will make you smile whenever you pull into your driveway. For the cost of a bucket of paint, you can change the feel of your house, moving it from drab and dreary to fun and festive.
When choosing a color, be sure to select something complementary to your house. A beige house with a lipstick-red front door will stand out for all the wrong reasons. Also, make sure that you purchase exterior paint. Your front door will take a lot of abuse from outside elements, so you need paint that can take the beating.
Fence It In
Ever dreamed of a house with a white picket fence? Make dreams come true by adding a small fence around your front yard. If you have young children or a dog, the fence will pay off big time. Fencing allows little ones to play while giving you peace of mind so you can work on that gardening project or sip iced tea on a long summer day.
On average, a wood fence costs approximately $13 to $27 per linear foot to install; vinyl will run you a little more but may be worth it since it is more durable. A traditional split rail fence is around $15 to $25 per linear foot and will give you that picturesque feel of true Americana.
Wash the Dirt Away
With the cost to repaint the exterior of your home running several thousand dollars, you may want to consider a less expensive alternative. Power washing is a great way to freshen the outside of your house without having to dip too far into your kid’s college fund.
You can remove years of dirt and grime for a couple of hundred dollars, giving your house a makeover in less than a day. If you really want to see what a difference a quick wash can make, do a test run on your windows. Wash your exterior screens and see just how much dust accumulates each year.
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