8 Landscaping Projects to Improve Your Curb Appeal on a Budget

A home's outside windowsill covered in colorful flowers and shrubbery.

Are you ready to sell your house? One of the best ways to prepare your home for sale is to undertake a landscape makeover. The Wall Street Journal reports that excellent curb appeal can enhance a home’s value by 7% versus homes with poor curb appeal in the same neighborhood. There are plenty of low-cost projects you can do yourself if you have the time and the right tools.

“Curb appeal is definitely important,” says Realtor® Greg Hawkins with Silvercreek Realty Group. “Many times potential buyers are driving by scouting neighborhoods before even setting up a showing appointment.”

Make a list of projects that you want to accomplish before you offer showings and open houses. Speak with your agent if you have questions about where to spend your energy. Read on to discover eight simple landscaping ideas that can help you supercharge your curb appeal.

1. Add New Mulch

Mulching your landscape is an inexpensive weekend project that can boost your curb appeal. Sprinkle new mulch in your flower beds, trees, and sparse areas. The Home Depot has an easy tutorial you can follow for this project. 

Bonus: Get creative with DIY succulents (buy varieties that can withstand your weather), and pop them in unique planters that can nestle in the new mulch. A bag of mulch runs for about $3, which covers a yard of space.

2. Trim Trees and Bushes

If you have trees that overshadow your home or pose a safety hazard, it makes sense to keep them trimmed. The same goes for unwieldy bushes that frame your home—you want them to look uniform. Pruning regularly helps your greenery produce healthy branches, leaves, and fruit. Check out Lowe’s trimming guide for expert advice on maintaining your shrubbery.

Garden shears start at $10 and go up to $300 for high-end products.

3. Manicure Your Lawn

Hawkins, with Silvercreek Realty Group, recommends mowing your lawn regularly and edging along walkways, sidewalks, and curbs. “Look for areas where the grass is growing out over the walkway and simply trim it back to create a clean straight line. Along fences, make sure you’re trimming so the grass is not growing tall in front of or into the fence. A few extra minutes of addressing details can make all the difference,” Hawkins says.

Also, consider:

  • Raking your leaves
  • Eliminating dandelions and weeds
  • Watering—adjusting and replacing sprinklers
  • Fertilizing your lawn
  • Removing grass and weeds from sidewalks

Lawnmower rentals from a big-box store like Home Depot start at $22 for four hours, rakes start at $10, garden gloves start at $10, sprinkler heads start at $2.50, sprinkler valves start at $12.50, and fertilizer costs about $25 to $50 per bag depending on coverage needs.

4. Clean Up Dirt, Debris, and Oil

Add some sparkle to your home’s exterior, patio, driveway, and anywhere else that needs pressurized cleaning. Use a regular garden hose and attach a pressure washer. Be mindful to use the correct pressure on specific areas to avoid accidental damage. Check out this guide for specifics on the nozzle and surface type.

Garden hoses start at $10 and pressure washer rentals (nozzles included) start at $40 a day.

5. Install a New Mailbox

Bring some personality to your front walkway with a shiny, new mailbox. This project takes about four hours to complete and can make a good impression on homebuyers when they drive up to your property.

A mailbox starts at $12, self-adhesive house number decals start at $10, wood post runs for about $30, a 50-lb bag of concrete starts at $6, and post hole digger rentals start at $6 for four hours.

6. Spruce Up Your Walkway

Adding potted flowers or greenery is a simple way to make your home’s landscaping more attractive. You can space your flowers out in large, sturdy pots that will hold up in inclement weather. Different pots and flower types add an array of height, color, and style, take advantage of these configurations and get as creative as you want!

If you have small cracks you can seal them with a cement repair kit. Or if you’d like to add a protective coat with a glossy finish, try a concrete sealant. Both are inexpensive and require little working knowledge to fix and apply. 

Sealant costs about $5 a tube and a cement repair kit costs $15-150.

7. Fix Your Flowerbeds

Annuals are beautiful and cost-effective for a vibrant landscape. To make your garden glow, consider adding chrysanthemums, petunias, dahlias, and more. For more flower ideas, check out The Spruce. Before you plant, do some research on your hardiness zone, or temperatures your flowers and plants can withstand.

Annuals start at $10 each or packs for $17, and perennials start at $10 a shrub.

8. Refresh Your Outdoor Lighting

Set the mood at dusk with lights that show off your home. Try wrapping fairy lights around your tree trunk and branches, install string lights on your terrace or patio, and swap out old porch lights for new ones.

Fairy LED lights start at $2.50 for 7.5 ft, string lights with or without bulbs start at $12, outdoor sconces start at $20, and a pack of 8 light bulbs starts at $10.

The Bottom Line

While the word “landscaping” can bring expensive upgrades and fixes to mind, there are a plethora of cheap projects you can take on over the weekend. You won’t necessarily need to call on a pro for help and you only need to spend a few hours a week refreshing your home’s overall look.

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