26 Easy Exterior Updates to Boost Curb Appeal on a Budget

Spend a little and get a lot with these inexpensive and easy updates for your front entry.
white home exterior
Save money while you update your home’s outdoor appearance by putting your dollars to work on high-impact projects. If you’re looking for curb appeal for a small front porch, our ideas on a budget will update your home’s appearance. We also have tips for improving your front door, driveway, steps, and other hardscaping. Try these easy updates for instant impact.

Paint Your Front Door

front yard gray door
JASON DONNELLY

One of the easiest ways to transform your home’s exterior is to paint your front door. Choose a subtle shade that blends with your home’s existing materials, or add unexpected color to your front door with a splashy hue. This budget-friendly project can be done in just a few hours for a quick boost to curb appeal

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Add Curb Appeal with a Rug

Blue, gray, and purple porch with chevron run and couch
JEAN ALLSOPP

Create a relaxing outdoor room by adding a rug underfoot. It brings softness to a front porch, deck, or patio, and a rug encourages guests to sit and linger. Place a table for drinks within arm’s reach, and your guests might never want to leave!

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Illuminate Pathways

Brick house with white trim and flowers
KRITSADA PANICHGUL

Curb appeal doesn’t end when the sun goes down. Highlight pathways and trees with landscape lighting. It improves safety and can dramatically affect your home’s nighttime appeal. Plus, new solar landscape lighting can help you save on energy and go green outdoors

04of 26

Add Container Plants

Wooden porch steps with chair and plants
LAURIE BLACK

Use planted containers to create instant curb appeal on a budget. Turn your home’s entry into an inviting focal point by adding a few well-chosen and nicely arranged plants on the front porch. Vary the plant and container sizes, and arrange them on multiple levels.

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Accent with Colorful Furniture

blue house exterior with shakers and turquoise door
KIM CORNELISON

Add a pop of color to your front porch with outdoor furniture in a bright shade. Use the color wheel to find a complementary color for your home. Here, tangerine orange perfectly contrasts the dark blue-gray siding. Updating your porch with colorful outdoor furniture is an easy way to boost curb appeal on a budget.

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Plant Trees

white house front yard garden
WERNER STRAUBE

Planting small ornamental trees is worthwhile if you’re preparing the house for sale soon. If you’re staying put, think long-term and try oaks, maples, honey locusts, or other large and robust species suitable for your region. Consider fast-growing species or small ornamental trees, such as pagoda dogwood, redbud, flowering pear, river birch, or Japanese maple; these can add dramatic interest without requiring years to get established.

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Window Curb Appeal Tips

Outdoor planter on brick wall filled with plants
ANN VANDERWIEL WILDE

Use budget-friendly ideas to increase the curb appeal of your windows. To dress up characterless windows, install house shutters or paint the trim in a modern color to create playful contrast. Window boxes filled with lush foliage bring life to your home’s exterior.

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Install a Prefab Trellis

Garden with wooden fence and archway
LAURIE BLACK

For exterior design on a dime, use an arbor or trellis to give form to your front yard and complement your plantings. To make this curb appeal idea even more budget-friendly, build a DIY trellis. Then train a flowering vine up it for a gorgeous living wall treatment.

09of 26

Boost Basic Concrete

white home exterior
KIM CORNELISON PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

Refresh a plain concrete walkway to boost your exterior’s character. Install brick edging or apply a colorful concrete stain to the surface for a playful touch. This inexpensive curb appeal idea is a quick way to transform your front entry, driveway, or garden path.

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Landscape for Curb Appeal

White house with garden elements in yard
DANA GALLAGHER

Smooth the transition between the street and your front steps with inexpensive landscaping ideas. A clear, curved path directs visitors towards the front door and is pleasing to the eye. Surround the walkway with midsize shrubs and flowers; passers-by will notice plant groupings more than individual flowers, making a greater streetside impact.

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Hang a Wreath

Letter K planter filled with succulents
CAMERON SADEGHPOUR

Whether placed on your front door or beside it, a wreath is a simple way to personalize your entry. This living monogram planter was created using spray-painted cedar boards and chicken wire. The interior is filled with peat moss and a variety of succulents.

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Get a Healthy Lawn

House with stairs and outdoor stone planters
KIM CORNELISON

One of the least-expensive improvements you can make to improve curb appeal requires two simple steps:

  • Apply a weed-and-feed treatment ($30, Home Depot) to your lawn to ensure the grass has the soil nutrients it needs and doesn’t have to compete with weeds.
  • Sharpen your lawnmower blade regularly and cut the grass at or near the mower’s tallest setting.

If your lawn is too unhealthy or choked with weeds, consider installing new sod. Remove the old lawn, lay new sod, and keep it well-watered for a few weeks.

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Replace Old Walkways

Brick and stone walkway leading to front door
EDWARD GOHLICH

If a concrete walkway needs repair or freshening up, replace it with a new path made entirely of stone or brick. Here, visitors access the front door via square pads of bluestone trimmed with brick.

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Create Porch Appeal

Porch with white wicker furniture and striped rug
WERNER STRAUBE

If you’re lucky enough to have a sizable front porch, use furniture and accessories to create a simple but inviting outdoor room. Add a comfortable bench, a cozy porch swing, or chairs to create a conversation nook. Keep the porch open for gatherings as a budget-friendly way to boost curb appeal.

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Upgrade the Garage Door

lavender gray siding on cottage exterior
DANA GALLAGHER

An attractive garage door is an essential part of curb appeal. Sectional doors can feature windows in an upper panel, and some higher-end versions mimic the look of traditional carriage-house doors. If a new garage door is out of the question, add character with a pergola, new lighting, or by painting it to coordinate with your exterior color scheme.

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Give Planters an Edge

Close up of flowers in a garden
PETER KRUMHARDT

Keep your lawn from invading your flowerbeds with stylish edging. Concrete edge planters are a quick and easy curb appeal idea that can customize your landscape at an affordable price.

Plant perennials and sprinkle in flowering annuals to bring a mix of color, texture, form, and scale. Allow adequate space to accommodate the plants as they grow.

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Restore an Asphalt Driveway

neutral cape code-style home exterior and driveway
MICHAEL LUPPINO

Keep your driveway in top shape with a few simple repairs. Patch and seal the surface of the driveway, filling holes and cracks with asphalt patch. Apply fresh sealer to make a worn asphalt driveway look new again.

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Power Wash Exterior Surfaces

home exterior with wrap around porch
ROBERT BRINSON

Take a weekend to freshen up your home’s exterior. Aluminum, wood, and vinyl siding are safe surfaces to power wash, as are wood decks and concrete sidewalks. If you don’t own a power washer, you can rent one from your local home improvement center. Cleaning the siding is an easy way to boost curb appeal on a budget.

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Coordinate Hardware

Black front door with flowers, wicker chair
CAMERON SADEGHPOUR

Address numbers, mailboxes, locksets, and porch lights are simple curb appeal upgrades. Although these elements are small, they add a lot of polish to your home’s look. Keep the finishes consistent, so the pieces look like an ensemble of accessories, not a batch of mismatched hardware.

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Bring Style to a Slope

Brick house with stone wall planters in yard
MARTY BALDWIN

Use cut stone or precast decorative wall blocks for a high-end landscaped look for sloped areas that need terracing. To save on landscaping costs, build a retaining wall yourself.

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Install a New Storm Door

green house front exterior front lawn landscaping
KIM CORNELISON

Many homes have inexpensive aluminum screen doors that hide a more attractive entry door. For an eye-catching look, paint your storm door in an accent color, or look for one with larger glass panels and a sturdier frame. Install a full-view storm door design to allow the front door color to shine through.

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Exterior Door Trim Ideas

Porch with rocking chair and plants
JAMES NATHAN SCHRODER

Create a statement with your front door by adding trim. Bright white trim accentuates bold front door colors, like this robin’s egg blue. Or consider an exterior door trim in a shape that suits your home’s style. Trim with molding and decorative accents fits a traditional home, while trim without curves creates a contemporary look.

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Makeover Your Mailbox

Mailbox that says "Hello again have a good day"
ANN VANDERWIEL WILDE

Add curb appeal to your mailbox with a splash of colorful paint. To keep with postal regulations, makeover the inside of your mailbox only. After painting the lid a bold color, stencil on a favorite phrase to bring a smile as you send and receive letters.

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Add an Accent Chair

flea market project on porch
LAURIE BLACK PHOTOGRAPHY

Create an inviting outdoor space by placing a chair (or two) on your porch. Don’t worry if that chair isn’t in perfect shape. Flea market finds or hand-me-down chairs can add charm, and you won’t mind if they get battered by the elements.

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Beautify the Driveway

Garage and house surrounded by flowers and trees
ERICA GEORGE DINES

Line your driveway with lush greenery for a curb-appeal-boosting effect. The colors and textures of plants soften a driveway’s expanse and make it look less utilitarian. Groundcovers and low-growing plants are best in beds along one or both sides of the driveway.

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Driveway Ideas on a Budget

Gray house with garden front yard
BRIE WILLIAMS

The driveway plays a crucial role in your home’s curb appeal. For an affordable driveway refresh, line the pavement with ornamental grasses or flowering perennials that will boost curb appeal from season to season. In addition, solar-powered lanterns provide flexible lighting.

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