7 Simple & Affordable Curb Appeal Ideas

7 Simple & Affordable Curb Appeal Ideas

Making your house look great at the first glance doesn’t have to be a costly investment. These simple and affordable curb appeal ideas can update your home while boosting its appeal to visitors and potential buyers.


House number wall planter box
This house number wall planter adds natural texture to a brick exterior. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

1. Dress Up Your House Number

First on our list of curb appeal ideas is stylishly displaying your house number. Not only does it add curb appeal but it also clearly shows your house number for first responders and ensures packages get delivered to the right home.

This house number wall planter project is a two-for-one – you get a wall planter that also prominently displays your house number. Plus, it can be built in less than half a day.

Materials 

Here’s what you need:

  • One 6-foot-long 1×6 cedar board
  • One 6-foot-long 1×4 cedar board
  • Elevated house numbers
  • D-rings
  • Titebond II Premium Wood Glue
  • Miter or circular saw
  • Sander and sandpaper
  • Pocket hole jig and screws
  • Drill
  • Wood screws
  • 3/16-inch drill bit
  • Tape measure
  • Nail gun
  • Clamp
  • Wood sealer (optional)
  • Dirt
  • Faux plants

Instructions

Using a circular saw to cut a board
Cut boards to size with a circular saw. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Step 1

First, measure and cut the wood for your house number wall planter. For this project, we used cedar because of its scent, but you can use any type of wood.

Here are the cuts you’ll need:

  • Three 1x6s at 24 inches
  • Two 1x4s at 3.5 inches
  • One 1×4 at 12 inches
  • One 1×4 at 13.5 inches
Drilling pocket holes into a board
Pocket holes prevent wood screws from penetrating the panel’s front side. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Step 2

Choose whether you want the rough side or the smooth side of your cedar facing out, then drill pocket holes on the backs of two of your 1×6 boards. 

Applying Titebond wood glue to a board
Wood glue creates a water-tight seal between each panel board. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Step 3 

Apply wood glue and drill wood screws to attach the three 1×6 boards together to form the wall planter panel.

Drilling a d-ring into a board
Drill the D-rings into the back of the top board. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Step 4

Drill the D-ring hangers to the back of the panel.

Applying Titebond wood glue to a planter box
To keep dirt from escaping, seal the planter box with wood glue. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Step 5

To assemble the planter box, use the 12-inch piece for the bottom, the 13.5-inch piece for the front and the two 3.5-inch pieces as the sides. Apply wood glue and then nail them together. 

Installing planter box on house number panel
A scrap piece of wood is the perfect height to hold up the planter box place while you attach it to the panel. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Step 6

Use a scrap piece of wood to hold the planter box three-quarters of an inch from the bottom of the panel. Then, attach the planter box to the panel using wood screws from behind. Sand the house number planter box. If you want a glossy look, apply a wood sealer.

Install house numbers to the right of the planter box. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Step 7

Lay out your house numbers and mark the holes’ locations. Drill mounting holes with a 3/16-inch drill bit and attach the elevated numbers.

No green thumb? No problem! Use faux succulents instead. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Step 8

Hang the wall planter up on your house before adding the dirt and plants. 


Mailbox with flowers surrounding the post
Your mailbox says a lot about your home, and you. To maintain curb appeal, keep it painted well or purchase a new one that meets United States Postal Service guidelines.

2. Replace Your Mailbox

While we’re on the subject of house numbers, give some attention to your mailbox! 

Mailboxes serve a dual purpose: they collect your mail, but they also send a message about the homeowner’s attentiveness to their dwelling.

A tattered old mailbox suggests a lack of care. Don’t risk sending the wrong message: install a sparkling new mailbox.

From traditional to polished-nickel options, choose from dozens of styles and sizes. Consider whether you’ll need to enlist help for installation: a wall-mounted mailbox will only require some screws and a screwdriver, but roadside mailboxes that sit on posts might require an expert’s help.

If you have to dig a post hole for your new mailbox, call 811 before you dig to ensure that you stay clear of any utility lines.

And before you do anything, always review the US Postal Service’s mailbox requirements.

Yes, the USPS has requirements, and it enforces those requirements! For instance, roadside mailboxes must be at least 6 inches back from the curb.

If you’re installing a door slot, USPS requires that the opening be at least 1.5 by 7 inches.Find all the specifics at usps.com.

Alternatively, refresh your existing mailbox. Read “How to Paint, Stain and Repair Your Worn-Out Mailbox” for more information.


Front porch with rocking chairs, planters and a dining set
A front porch isn’t complete without comfortable chairs and potted plants. (DepositPhotos)

3. Spruce Up the Front Porch

Next on our list of curb appeal ideas is spruing up the front porch.

Here’s an easy formula to improve your front porch’s appearance: furniture, plants and wreaths.

Furniture

Front porch furniture — like gliding, lounging or rocking chairs — welcomes guests and invites them to sit, take a load off and enjoy some conversation.

You can find nice, inexpensive furniture at a thrift store to add character. Shop for something that looks good but doesn’t require refinishing.

Plants

Plants offer a nice break from your home’s hard features (such as windows, doors, roofing and siding). To add texture and soften your home’s exterior appearance, purchase plants at the home and garden center and place them in pots made for outdoor use.

Just get one or two planters — most hardware stores or gardening shops sell inexpensive faux terracotta ones — to arrange near your front entrance. Place two planters on either side of your front door or cascade multiple down the front steps.

Here’s a suggestion for a starter plant: hardy and beautiful hibiscus! These slow growers provide abundant greenery with massive (up to 10-inch) blooms.

When the weather turns colder, move the pots indoors to enjoy them through the winter months.

When you’re picking out your plants, one simple phrase should be the key to your planter or window box: “fillers, spillers and thrillers.”

  • Fillers: Leafy greens will fill the space and complete the look
  • Spillers: Flowers like Creeping Jenny flow over the container’s sides
  • Thrillers: These plants offer the “wow” factor. Pops of color will draw the visitor’s eye

To fully capture the senses, add some aromatics to emit a gentle fragrance as guests enter your home. Keep in mind that your climate will also play a role in what you should plant.

Check the online version of the Farmers’ Almanac to learn what will and won’t grow well in your area.

Wreaths

Who says door wreaths are just for winter holidays? Make any door look great with a year-round wreath. Embellish the wreath based on the current season and add or remove accessories — such as a large initial of your family’s last name — as needed.

Scan the web, shop around and purchase these items in advance and you can move them into position and dress your front porch in less than an hour!


Chelsea Lipford Wolf paints an entry door
You can paint a door on its hinges, but doors with lots of imperfections need special treatment.

4. Paint the Front Door

A new paint color is the most budget-friendly of this list of curb appeal ideas. Don’t underestimate the power of a fresh coat of paint. The average gallon of paint costs between $15 and $30 — a reasonable investment that packs a punch when it comes to improving the look of a home.

Options for front door colors are as endless as your imagination. However, choose one that complements the color scheme of your home’s exterior. For a monochromatic color scheme, choose darker and lighter shades within the same color. To add eye-catching contrast, pick a door color that’s on the opposite end of the color wheel as your home’s main color.

Playful pops of colors are very on trend when it comes to door updates. But classic colors and stains never go out of style. A simple coat of faux mahogany finish can give instant curb appeal and won’t cost you a boatload.

Tips

Get the most mileage out of your paint job with these tips:

1. Remove any hardware. This includes knockers, kick plates and door handles. By taking these off, you avoid getting paint on your hardware, and you can ensure that you cover the whole door with paint.

2. Clean it. Soap and water should do the job, but if there’s years’ worth of build up, use a pressure washer to power wash the grim away. 

3. Lay it flat. Taking the door off its hinges is an extra step that most likely means a two-person job, but removing the door makes it easier to apply the paint in even coats.

4. Sand it. By sanding your door before you paint, you can remove dust, debris, and old paint layers. Sanding can also help your paint stick better, giving you a cleaner, crisper fresh coat.

5. Change the locks. Now is a great time to invest in some new home security. Replace your old deadbolt and handle with a brand new set and consider installing smart locks for keyless entry.

Watch: How to Paint an Exterior Door the Right Way


Red front door with wreath
Installing a new door handle is a small change that can make a big difference. (Jason Finn, Getty Images)

5. Add New Hardware

Number five on our list of curb appeal ideas is upgrading your front door’s hardware.

It’s a simple, cost-effective and you can choose from a variety of colors and metal types, like silver, gold, satin nickel, copper, and oiled bronze.

Plus, hardware comes in many shapes and sizes, so before heading to the home center, consider the look and function you want — for instance, do you want knobs or levers? Do you want to turn, pull or push the handle to open the door? 

With all of these options, you can easily find hardware to match your personal style and enhance your home’s aesthetic on a budget.

Just consider how the new hardware will look compared with your interior doors’ hardware. You may not want, say, an oiled bronze lever on the front door if brass knobs are on two close-by interior doors. 

Or you may want to replace all your interior knobs with levers to match the front door for a consistent look throughout the home. Or at least spray the existing knobs with an oiled bronze finish to match. 

Either way, it’s your home, and it’s your decision.  


Flower bed with concrete border in front yard
Add concrete borders to give any flower bed a sense of order. (©Mariusz Blach, Adobe Stock Photos)

6. Install Concrete Borders

Lawn borders contain your mulch and define flowerbeds and pathways, giving your landscaping a finished look.

It doesn’t cost much to install concrete borders — expect to pay an estimated $2 per linear foot for materials. Out of all these curb appeal ideas, this is the most hands on, do-it-yourself project, so keep in mind the time and labor it will take.

Expect to dig a trench, build and install wood forms, pour in some gravel and then top that with concrete mix. Add just a few extra steps if you want to color the concrete mix, and give this project about three days to cure.

In a week, your flower beds will look better than ever and your front yard will have a sense of order to it — all thanks to a simple border!

Read “How to Build Concrete Borders” for more information. 


landscape lighting
Want to add ambiance to your yard? Add landscape lighting. (Alberto Sava via Canva)

7. Install Exterior Lighting

While we’re on the subject of lawns, here’s another home curb appeal idea: install exterior lighting.

Adding a few lights to your front yard allows you to literally shine a spotlight on your home’s best features. 

Landscape lights are easy to install, and solar varieties are self-sufficient, so they won’t put a strain on your energy bill. 

First, light walkways with garden lights or bollard lights, then move on to accent lighting. Use spotlights or up/down lights to highlight features like a large tree or a flag pole. 

Want to add some ambiance to your patio? Hang some string lights

Before you install landscape lighting, test the layout and determine the focal point for the brightest light. Simply tape flashlights to stakes and position them around the yard at night to see how halogen or incandescent landscape lights will look. 

You can also place luminaries – composed of a white bag with sand and a candle inside – around your yard at night to mimic the look of solar-powered landscape lighting.

For more inspiration, read “Landscape Lighting Design Tips.”


Did we miss a project? Add more curb appeal ideas in the comments below!


Further Reading

Concrete Garden Spheres: Add Some Whimsy to Your Garden

Concrete Garden Spheres: Add Some Whimsy to Your Garden

Concrete garden spheres add curb appeal or enhance your backyard with whimsical hardscaping. Think of them as a modern interpretation of the classic garden gnome!

This post is sponsored by Quikrete

Nestle these spheres between plants or use them to accent porch steps or the patio. No matter where you put them, they’ll make a great conversation piece.

Here’s how to make your own.


Plastic planters hold the forms in place while the concrete cures. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Materials

  • 4 hollow half foam balls
  • Hot knife foam cutter
  • Toothpicks
  • Caulk
  • Planter or container filled with dirt
  • Quikrete 5000 Concrete Mix
  • Water
  • Nitrile gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Mixing container
  • Drill with a mixing paddle
  • Garden trowel
  • 120- or 150-grit sandpaper

creating forms for concrete garden spheres using a foam ball and hot knife
A hot knife makes a clean cut in the foam ball. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Create the Forms

You’ll need two hollow half foam balls for each garden sphere you want to create. I’m making two spheres at a time, so I’ve got four half foam balls. 

First, use a hot knife foam cutter to make a 2- or 3-inch-diameter hole in the tops of two half foam balls. (These will serve as the spheres’ tops, in which you’ll pour the concrete — but we’ll get to that later.) 

Then, set the other two half foam balls in planters or containers filled with dirt to hold them steady. (These will serve as the spheres’ bottoms.) Stick toothpicks into the rims of each bottom half foam ball and apply caulk all along the rims. The toothpicks keep the top foam ball from shifting, while the caulk creates a seal so no concrete mix seeps out. 

Inserting a toothpick into a foam ball
Toothpicks secure the half foams balls together. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Place the other two half foam balls on top of the bottom half balls, ensuring the toothpicks connect the bottom halves with their tops, all the way around. Wait for the caulk to dry. Most silicone caulk takes 24 hours to dry, but some fast-drying caulks only take one to three hours. 


Trowel mixing concrete in a plastic bucket
Mix Quikrete 5000 Concrete Mix and add water until it’s the consistency of oatmeal. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Mix the Concrete

When the caulk is dry, you’re ready to mix the concrete. I’m using Quikrete 5000 Concrete Mix because it strengthens quickly. 

Tip: When working with cement-based products, always wear a mask, eye protection and nitrile gloves.

Use a drill with a mixing paddle and follow the bag’s instructions for mixing. 

Your concrete mix should look like oatmeal — if it doesn’t, slowly add more water to get this consistency.


Trowel pouring concrete into a foam ball
A small garden trowel is a perfect size for shoveling the mix into the sphere. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Fill the Spheres

Once the concrete is thoroughly mixed according to the instructions, scoop it into the forms with a garden trowel until they are full. 

Quikrete 5000 Concrete Mix takes about five days to cure in warm weather (70 degrees Fahrenheit or higher) or seven days in colder weather (50-70 degrees Fahrenheit).


Removing foam from a concrete garden sphere
The top of the sphere where the concrete was poured will be the sphere’s base. (3 Echoes Content Studio

Remove the Foam

After the concrete cures, remove the foam balls. 

Chelsea Lipford Wolf uses a hot knife to remove foam from a concrete garden sphere
Cut the foam vertically with a hot knife — this helps to remove larger pieces of foam at one time. (3 Echoes Content Studio

For easier removal, cut long triangles along the balls with the hot knife to help leverage the form off the concrete sphere.


Chelsea Lipford Wolf sands concrete garden spheres
Rub sandpaper in a circular motion for a smooth finish. (3 Echoes Content Studio

Sand Any Imperfections

Once you remove all the foam, sand the entire sphere with 120- or 150-grit sandpaper for a smooth finish. 

Sealing concrete is always a good idea — it will keep the garden spheres from getting moldy, and it will add a slight sheen. Use Quikrete Acrylic Cure and Seal once the concrete has hardened and the surface sheen has disappeared.

Now, all that’s left to do is decide where you want to show them off in your garden!


Further Reading

Creating a Grandmillenial-Style Bathroom

Creating a Grandmillenial-Style Bathroom

This week, we’re creating a grandmillenial-style bathroom by incorporating modern elements to Chelsea’s mid-century main bathroom.

Chelsea plans to do a primary bathroom addition in the future, so for now, we’re updating this bathroom to accommodate her and her husband, Brandon, while keeping in mind its future use for her daughters.

For this reason, we’re keeping the pink bathtub and tile but introducing some new elements that will tie in well to this grandmillenial-style bathroom.


Grandmillenial style floral wallpaper
This granny-chic wallpaper pattern is perfect for this grandmillenial style bathroom. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Hang Wallpaper

When Chelsea first moved into her home, she removed dated the wallpaper in the bathroom. And now, we’ve come full circle and are applying a new, modern-printed paper that will complement the bathroom’s retro elements and complete this bathroom’s modern grandmillenial design. 

We’re encasing this bathroom with literal wall-to-wall wallpaper, including the ceiling. This will give this future girl’s bathroom a jewelry-box feel. 

Danny Lipford applies drywall mud to patch holes from ceiling trim.
Patching the wall where the ceiling trim once was gives us an even surface for our wallpaper. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

First, we remove the ceiling trim so our wallpaper runs seamlessly onto the ceiling. To fill the spots behind the trim, we apply drywall mud with a putty knife to fill in the gaps left behind. 

Next, we clean the ceiling and walls with a mold killer so we have a fresh slate for the new wallpaper. 

Then, we hang the wallpaper. Here’s a step-by-step guide (link) on how to do it. 

Grandmillenial style bathroom with floral wallpaper and pink ceramic tub
Encasing the bathroom with wallpaper creat a jewelry box feel. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Outdated bathroom vanity next to pink tile and grey tile walls
This outdated vanity offers little storage space and stands out in a bad way. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Replace Vanity

This vanity isn’t original to the house, so it looks out of place in this bathroom. Plus, it’s a little too short and narrow. So we’re replacing it with a more functional, modern one that still works with our grandmillenial style.

To replace the vanity, we remove the toiletries stored inside and disconnect the sink plumbing. This old vanity wasn’t connected to the wall, so a firm tug is all that’s needed to detach it. 

A hole in ceramic wall tile.
The wall tile fused to the wall underneath, making it impossible to remove whole pieces. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Before we install the new vanity, we try to salvage some of the wall tiles behind it to use for replacement tiles on the wall behind the ceramic towel holder. Unfortunately, the tile is not coming off in one whole piece.

Titebond paiter's plus caulk filling in screw holes on ceramic tile.
Grey painter’s caulk camouflages the holes left behind from the grab bar. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

We’re disappointed we can’t remove the towel bar, but when in the end, it’s still functional. The metal grab bars, however, can be removed. We remove the screws and fill the holes with grey caulk that’s a near match to the tile color.  

Removing ceramic holders with a hammer and chisel
A chisel and hammer easily knock off these ceramic holders so we have a flush surface for our vanity mirror. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

We knock off the ceramic soap and toothbrush holders above the sink so the mirror can lay flush above the vanity. 

New vanity with brushed golf faucet in a grandmillenial style bathroom
The new vanity adds more counter space and storage. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Finally, we install a new vanity that’s taller and wider to provide more counter space and drawer storage. Here’s how we did it:

  • First, we apply some construction adhesive for extra security. 
  • Then we drill through the tile and drive screws into the studs. 
  • Next, we dry-fit the vanity top before we secure it with more construction adhesive.

Soft Spa by Fluidmaster bidet
The new bidet adds a luxury spa feature to the bathroom. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Install a Bidet

The toilet in the bathroom is the only thing that’s been updated this century, so we keep it. However, to add some extra pizzazz, we install a bidet.


This page contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product from these links, we will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.


We chose theFluidmaster Soft Spa Electronic Bidet Toilet Seat. It features an integrated water heater, adjustable water pressure and wand positioning, as well as a heated seat and warm air-dryer. Plus, it has a remote, so you can face forward to use it, instead of reaching behind to make adjustments.

A T-valve connects to the existing water line that supplies the water to your bidet toilet seat. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

The bidet requires a water line, so we shut off the water at the toilet to install a T-valve so both the toilet and the seat can get water from the same source.

We also:

  • Installed a ceiling vent fan
  • Replaced the light fixture
  • Added an outlet for the bidet

Brandon Wolf and Chelsea Lipford Wolf with Danny Lipford.
Brandon Wolf and Chelsea Lipford Wolf with Danny Lipford. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Post-Production Thoughts

Chelsea and Brandon’s bathroom is 65 years old. At that age, there’s some baggage like the pink tub and the lack of ventilation.

The vanity was newer than that, but it really didn’t fit the style of the room and it lacked character.

But now, the room is overflowing with character and grandmillenial style. The wraparound wallpaper not only creates the jewelry box feel that Chelsea was after it also makes the pink tub look intentional.

The vent fan makes the space more functional, and the larger vanity makes it easier to use. Plus, its black finish complements the room style, and the new bidet toilet seat elevates the whole room to a spa-like experience.


Other Tips From This Episode 


Products Featured in This Episode


Further Reading

Eliminate Paint Drip With This Lid Hack

Eliminate Paint Drip With This Lid Hack

Over the years, I’ve shared more than 500 Simple Solutions — many of them have to do with painting specifically painting neatly

And over time, many Today’s Homeowner fans have shared their own solutions on how to make painting easier.

This tip from John from Clancy, Montana, will help you paint neatly from a can using a paintbrush. 

The challenge when dipping a paintbrush in a can is how to keep the paint from dripping around the rim. Not only do you waste paint, but you also make a mess on the outside of the paint can and the surface underneath it. 

To prevent any paint from dripping down the side of the can, create a built-in paint scraper in the center of the can. Here’s how to do it:

Snippers cutting a paint can lid in half
A sharp pair of snips will easily cut through a paint can lid. (3 Echoes Content Studio)
  • Cut the lid in half using a pair of snips. 
Paint can with lid cut in half to prevent paint drip from a brush.
The half lid acts as a scraper, so the paint stays inside the can instead of dripping down the side. (3 Echoes Content Studio)
  • Tap the half lid onto the paint can to secure it. 

When you dip your paintbrush in there, you can take that excess paint and just strike it off against the edge of the half lid.

Now, you can very neatly apply the paint without any drips, runs or errors.

If you don’t use the whole can, you can preserve the leftover with a separate paint bucket and save the half lid for future painting projects.  

(This page contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product from these links, we will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.)


Further Reading

Wave for Water With Kohler’s Touchless Faucet

Wave for Water With Kohler’s Touchless Faucet

Touchless faucets are nothing new, but Kohler is bringing that technology to your home bathroom. 

You’ve seen them in airports, arenas, restaurants and more. Touchless technology unquestionably prevents the spread of germs and limits water use. 

Kohler’s touchless bathroom faucet gives you those touchless faucet benefits in the privacy of your home bathroom.


This post is sponsored by The Home Depot, and this page contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product from these links, we will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.


Kohler touchless bathroom faucet activated with hand
This Kohler touchless bathroom faucet doesn’t need any knobs, so it opens up valuable countertop space. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

With soft curves and a streamlined design, this Kohler touchless bathroom faucet complements a variety of bathroom decors. 

This touchless water faucet not only helps to limit water waste, but it’ll also save on your utility bill. You’ll be doing your part to conserve this precious resource while saving yourself a few dollars.  

Because it’s touchless, that means fewer fingerprints. Plus, this Kohler touchless bathroom faucet has Spot Repel finish, so it resists fingerprints, smudges and water spots. 

Kohler’s response technology uses a state-of-the-art motion sensor for reliable touchless activation. Just wave your hand to turn the water on and off. 

The only time you need to touch the faucet is to adjust the temperature. Twist the temperature regulator at the top to customize how hot or cold you want your water.


You don’t need to buy any special batteries for this faucet — it’s powered by AA batteries. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Installing this touchless water faucet is quick and easy. The kit comes with ​​supply lines, a plate, and a drain. The motion sensor is powered by six AA batteries, which are also included in the kit. 

Watch the video to learn all about this Best New Product!

Find the Kohler Willamette Battery Powered Touchless Single Hole Bathroom Faucet at The Home Depot.


Further Reading