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5 Easy Ways to Create Beauty and Value

Spring is a great time to amp up your home’s curb appeal. Set aside a sunny Saturday and use these five easy, cost-effective ideas to jump-start your efforts. P.S. Once the neighbors see the fruits of your labors, don’t be surprised if they start spiffing up their own homes!

Freshen up your front door

Whether you live in a mid-century bungalow or a classic Colonial, a freshly painted front door is an easy way to add instant impact. Can’t decide between cherry red and lemon yellow? Search “painted front door” on Pinterest to find images, inspiration, and even instructions. If your door is badly fitting or damaged, consider replacing it with a new door. According to the National Association of Realtors, a new exterior door often pays for itself with reduced energy costs and increased home value.

Go by the numbers

It’s not just mail carriers who care about house numbers. Well-designed, well-placed house numbers show that you care about the details. Drive by your house in daylight and again at nighttime to see whether your house numbers are easily visible. If they’re hard to see, consider moving the numbers to a different spot, illuminating them with sconces or uplighting, or replacing them with contemporary or traditional numbers that reflect the architectural style of your home. Etsy is a great place to find antique and vintage numbers reclaimed from old houses, as well as custom house numbers that deliver big design impact for a relatively small cost.

Plant your pots

Classical urns and colorful glazed pots filled with flowers, herbs, and trailing vines can instantly make a house worth Instagramming. Take a tip from professional landscape designers and choose generously scaled pots and a mix of tall and low plants to make a sophisticated design statement. To keep the pots from becoming too heavy, fill the bottom third of your pots with pinecones in mesh bags before filling with dirt and plants. Add a layer of mulch, water frequently, and prune faded blooms every week to keep your pots looking their best.

Go green

Especially in northern states where spring and summer are in short supply, a vibrant green lawn and gardens filled with flowers and vegetables deliver immeasurable curb appeal. To create a healthy, abundant landscape while being mindful of the environment, start by understanding your soil. For $17, the Soil Testing Laboratory at the University of Minnesota will give you the dirt on your dirt. By understanding your soil pH, nitrate, potassium, and phosphorus levels, you can select the right fertilizers and other products to ensure lush grass, beautiful flowering pots, and other plantings.

Polish your front porch

If those cobwebs have been hanging around since Halloween, use a broom, Shop-Vac®, or power washer to give your porch (and your outdoor furniture) a thorough spring-cleaning. Lightly sand the porch floor and ceiling, and finish with several coats of weather-resistant stain or paint. For a welcoming, summery look, paint the celling bright white or sky blue and add stylish, cabana-style curtains made of Sunbrella® fabric. Mix up a pitcher of mojitos, garnish with fresh mint from your newly planted pots, and invite the neighbors over for a porch party!

Discover more tips on home renovations by visiting At Home with Cambria Mortgage.