improve-your-porchAre you planning to put your home on the market in the near future? Do you simply need a few tips to make the exterior of your property more appealing? Regardless of the reason for boosting curb appeal, there are quite a few simple DIY projects that can significantly change the first impression that people have when they walk up to your door. It may not seem like the following ideas will make a big difference, but you'll be surprised what a little home improvement can do to change a home's overall appearance. [clear]

Keep up With the Lawn Maintenance

In the spring and summer, mow the lawn as needed. Make sure that the plants are watered and healthy, and keep the weeds to a minimum. Trim the shrubs so that the doors, windows, and house numbers are clearly visible. In the fall, rake leaves as needed. During the winter months, clear snow in a timely fashion and salt the walkways whenever it's icy or it has snowed recently. If lawn maintenance becomes too much for you and/or your spouse to handle, consider asking a relative or neighbor to help out with the chores. Many teenagers are happy to take on these jobs to earn a few extra dollars. [clear]

Add a Few Plants

front-yard-maintenancePutting in some plants in front of the bushes or along the front path goes a long way toward making the home more inviting. Research plants that do well in your particular area and with your specific property conditions (i.e. ample sunlight, lots of shade). If you have a smaller yard or a large front porch, container plants are a great option. There are lots of herbs and flowers that thrive well in pots. Be realistic about the amount of work that you want to put into caring for your new plants. Don't start growing something high maintenance if you're not committed to a substantial time investment. [clear]

Accessorize Your Home

Small house accessories are relatively inexpensive and go a long way toward improving the outward appearance of the home. Think about adding or upgrading the mail box, house number, door knocker, and doorbell button. Look for tarnish free pieces that will not loose their shine easily. You can pick up many home accessories at any hardware store and install them in a matter of hours, if not minutes. If you enjoy decorating for the holidays, consider changing up a few items for different seasons and occasions, such as a wreath for Christmas or a flag for the Fourth of July. [clear]

Upgrade the Lighting

upgrade-outside-lightingOne of the quickest ways to make your home off putting is to keep the front entrance dark. Visitors should have no problem locating your house number, navigating your front walk, and finding the doorbell or door knocker. Small solar lights are a simple affordable way to light front walkways and stairs. Make sure that the porch lights illuminate the house number. Change burned out light bulbs right away.

As you pursue ways to improve your home, it's important to keep in mind that you don't have to do everything at once. People can get easily overwhelmed when they take on ten new projects in a month. Prioritize the biggest areas for home improvement and start there. As you work through the largest projects, you can slowly take on smaller tasks.