How to Enhance the Curb Appeal of Your House

four house exteriors with dramatic upgrades

Maximize Your Home Value

It’s a back-to-basics economy, but that doesn’t mean you should let your house be anything less than a pleasure to come home to. A welcoming exterior can put a spring in your step each time you climb the stoop. Adding the right elements can increase your daily comfort, too. Fixing up a front porch to lounge on during the hot summer months or swapping a failing roof for something new that’s also maintenance-free makes your space more enjoyable—and shortens your to-do list.

Quality upgrades continue to add value. Home prices may have dropped, but the return on remodeling investments remains strong, according to the National Association of Realtors. Not surprisingly, exterior improvements still lead the pack in terms of biggest bang for the buck, with siding and windows paying you back over 75 percent of their cost upon resale.

But it isn’t only major projects that make a difference. Whether it’s investing in a good faux version of a real, and really expensive, material like wrought iron or switching in new hardware to freshen your front, the following pages are packed with small ways to spruce up your exterior on any budget. After all, there’s never a wrong time to make your home more of a haven.

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How to Get the Best Curb Appeal on the Block

manicured house with welcoming walk, lush landscaping and curb appeal

Photo:  Linda Oyama Bryan

Image is Everything

Here at This Old House, we believe that a handsome front facade ranks right up there with a solid foundation and good bones.

Sure, there’s the satisfaction you get in showing passers-by that yes, indeed, you’ve got a gem on your hands. But more important, it’s about how appealing details such as cheery blooms, a crisp white fence, and eye-catching shutters create a welcome sight for you and your family to come home to each day.

On the following pages, see nine stunning exterior transformations, including some from fellow readers whose homes were among the worst-looking in their neighborhoods. Through smart investments and, often, sweat equity, their diamonds-in-the-rough soon caught up to—and even surpassed—the rest of the block. Read on to see how these readers, as well as other inspiring homeowners, did it.

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