Whether you are planning to sell your home or simply looking for ways to add value and enjoyment to your home, these helpful tips and tricks go a long way towards accomplishing that goal.

1. Dress up your front door.

Your home’s front entry is the focal point of its curb appeal. Make a statement by giving your front door a change of color with paint, by installing a door with specialty glass panels, or with a custom wood door. Clean off any dirty spots around the knob, and use metal polish on the door fixtures. Your entry should also reflect the home’s interior, so choose a swag or wreath that reflects your personal style.

2. Replace old hardware.

House numbers, the entry door lock set, a wall-mounted mailbox, and an overhead light fixture are all elements that can add style and interest to your home’s exterior curb appeal. If they’re out of date or dingy, your home may not be conveying the aesthetic you think it is. These elements add the most appeal when they function collectively, rather than as mix-and-match pieces. Oiled bronze finishes suit traditional homes, while brushed nickel suits more contemporary ones.

3. Make a grand entry.

Even with a small budget, there are ways to draw attention to your front door and improve curb appeal. Molding acts like an architectural eyeliner when applied to the sides and top of the doorway. A metal kick plate at the bottom of the door adds a statement of elegance while being functional.

4. Create perfect symmetry.

Symmetry is a balance or exact match of the central line of a building or garden space. Symmetry is not only pleasing to the eye, its’s also the simplest to arrange and comprehend. Symmetrical compositions of light fixtures and front door accents, for example, create welcoming entryways and boost curb appeal.

5. Install outdoor landscape lighting.

Low voltage landscape lighting makes a huge impact on your home’s nighttime curb appeal while also providing safety and security. Fixtures can add accent lighting to trees or the house or can illuminate a walking path. Lights can be hardwired and connected to the home’s electrical system; however, this method is generally more costly and may require the services of a licensed electrician. Solar fixtures can usually be installed quickly and easily by the homeowner or handyman, and will operate at maximum strength in sunny areas of the yard. Yards with mature trees and deep shade may need to have lighting fixtures that are connected to electricity. When selecting a style for your new light fixtures, be sure to coordinate with the door hardware and landscape planter urns.

6. Create an instant garden.

Container gardens add a welcoming and colorful accent to your home’s exterior space – quickly and can be done affordably. You can buy ready-made planted containers from garden centers or create your own with your favorite plants for a more custom look. Container gardens can be very colorful comprised mostly of a variety of flowers, or all greenery using palms, shrubs and ground covers, or very simple and direct as with one shrub trimmed into the shape of a ball. Whether you add only one landscaped container or several,

7. Do a mailbox makeover.

Mailboxes should complement the home’s style and express the homeowner’s personality. Dress up mail boxes for curb appeal by painting the wooden post to match the house’s exterior color, or by surrounding it by a beautiful flower garden.

8. Install window boxes.

Window boxes offer a fast, easy way to bring color and charm to your home’s curb appeal. Choose boxes made from copper and iron for a traditional look, or painted wood for a cottage feel. Mix and match flowers and plants to suit your lighting conditions and color scheme.

9. Renew planter beds.

Get landscape beds into shape by pruning growth, pulling weeds, planting flowers, and adding new mulch to restore color that was taken away by sunlight and harsh weather. For any unsightly stone or brick borders surrounding the landscape beds, clean off algae with a product that will not harm vegetation and rinse with a blast of hose water or a light duty pressure washer. Reset any pieces that are dislodged. If your border is old and tired-looking, try upgrading to stone or a decorative cast concrete edging system for improved curb appeal.

10. Add contrast and color to your home exterior with a new planting bed.

Prime spots for curb appeal are at the front corners of the yard, along driveways or walkways, and immediately in front of the house. When creating a new landscape bed, choose features that will frame your home rather than obscure it. Opt for stone or precast concrete pavers to edge the bed. Include a mix of plant size, color, and texture for optimal results. Consult a landscape design professional for assistance with choice and arrangement of new plant materials.

11. Add arbors or fence panels.

Arbors, garden gates, and short sections of decorative fence panels will enhance your garden and the value and curb appeal of your home. These amenities can be found in easy-to-build kits or prefab section you simply connect together. For best results, paint or stain these items with one of the colors already on your house, or a contrasting color (the opposite color on the color wheel) or a neutral color such as brown, tan, black or white.

12. Add outdoor art.

Give your yard a little spunk and curb appeal by adding weather-resistant artwork. Choose pieces that complement your home’s natural palette and exterior elements. Birdbaths, metal cutouts, sculptures, and wind chimes are good choices for outdoor art. Water sculptures not only function as yard art, but the burbling sounds soothe and make hot days feel cooler. Place fountains on level ground in optimum hearing and sight vantage points. Avoid locations within leaf-dropping range.

13. Add shutters or accent trim.

Shutters and trim add a welcoming layer of beauty and curb appeal to your home’s exterior. Shutters also control light and ventilation, and provide additional security when closed. Exterior shutters can be made of wood, aluminum, vinyl, composite materials or fiberglass. New composite materials, such as PVC resins or concrete fiber formed with the texture of wood, make trim details more durable and low maintenance.

14. Replace old or add new gutters and downspouts.

If your home has an older gutter system, odds are its also suffering from peeling paint, rust spots, or other problems that can convey a sense of neglect. Repair this damage or replace old systems with newer, snap-fit vinyl gutter systems that go together with few tools and require no painting. Copper systems, while pricier, convey an unmistakable look of quality and elegant curb appeal.

15. Renew paint, siding and trim.

An exterior facelift (new paint, siding, or trim details) automatically transforms the look of a home. Periodic maintenance of that exterior surface is the surest way to keep your house and its curb appeal looking its best. Any obvious defects, such as cracked or rotting material, can downgrade the aesthetic and quickly turn away potential home buyers. Once defects are repaired, look for ways to add personality with color, trim, or shingles.

16. Tile your doorstep or porch.

Create a permanent welcome mat by tiling or painting a design that contrasts with the porch floor or front stoop. Not only will you not have to worry about replacing the mat when it gets ratty, but you can impress your visitors with your creativity.

17. Dress up the driveway.

If your driveway is cracked or stained or has vegetation sprouting from it, you can upgrade it for curb appeal without doing a complete redo. First repair the cracks and pressure-wash the stains. Kill the weeds with a 365 day chemical formula, then dress up the driveway by applying a concrete stain to the clean, weed-free surface. If you need more space to park your vehicles, add brick or concrete pavers as a side border to widen it with a decorative flair.

18. Build a walkway.

Well-designed walkways make your home feel warm and inviting. For a dramatic improvement to a straight, plain poured concrete path,k replace it with a contoured one made of stone, brick or concrete pavers. For a less radical upgrade to your curb appeal, apply a colored concrete resurfacer to the old walkway, then edge with brick or stone borders. Brick pavers offer traditional, classic beauty to the landscape of any home.

19. Upgrade railings.

Porch and stoop railings can deteriorate quickly if not maintained properly. If your railings are past their prime, look for quality pressure-treated, cypress or cedar wood, PVC or composite materials, or aluminum components to replace the existing material and improve curb appeal. As with other improvements attached directly to the house, make sure the color, scale (size), design, details, and material are compatible with the home’s main features and overall style.

20. Apply stone veneer.

Nothing carries pedigree and permanence like real or faux / simulated stone. It’s a great option for dressing up exterior features such as concrete foundations, column footers, and other masonry details. Natural and manufactured stone can be costly options for large expanses, but both are affordable and well-suited for use as accent material.