15 ways to boost your home’s curb appeal this winter
This article originally published on Thumbtack and is syndicated by Cheapism.
It might be surprising, but the winter months can be a great time for homeowners to improve their curb appeal. Whether you want to create a more welcoming space for loved ones, increase your property’s value to attract potential buyers or just beautify your home with seasonal decor, there are plenty of home projects to get you started.
Here are the best ways to maintain or boost your home’s curb appeal this winter, starting with a few decorative ideas and a sprinkling of important projects that will protect your home this season.
It’s that time of year again. Your neighbors are unpacking their holiday decorations, getting out their ladders and hanging up the string lights. If you live in an area where homeowners go all out for the holidays, join in on the fun. Otherwise, your home will stand out among the rest (and you’re not a party pooper, are you?).
Getting creative with outdoor seasonal decor makes your property more attractive and spreads good cheer. Start with your front door and porch. Spruce up this area by adding an evergreen wreath, red bows, garland, potted plants and more.
Is it really winter if your home isn’t decorated in glowing string lights? Don’t be that one house on the street that’s so dark and gloomy you’d think the Grinch lives there. If your neighbors go big with their holiday lights, meet them halfway. We’re not saying you have to buy a lighted deer family for your lawn. Just hang a few lights on your porch or around a tree or two.
Related: How much does Christmas light installation cost?
Don’t feel like climbing a ladder to hang up your string lights? Consider getting lights that project on your home’s exterior. It’s easier, faster and safer than putting up your traditional string lights. Plus, you can find dozens of patterns and colors at retailers — from snowflakes and snowmen to Christmas trees and stars.
Landscaping doesn’t have to be a spring or summer project. Winter is also a great time to improve your property’s value by upgrading your yard with winter plants, evergreens and other beautiful features. For example, consider adding blue spruce, holly, barberries, boxwoods and shrubbery to your front lawn or porch.
To start, find out what your neighbors are doing with their yard. This can help you see what works in your area and what plants will do well in your climate, especially during the winter months. You can work with a landscaping professional or gardener who can help you create a cohesive plan for the entire property. You can also ask a professional if there are steps you can take to protect your current plants. For example, you may want to add mulch to help protect them from freezing temperatures and promote growth.
Related: How much does landscaping cost?
Give your home’s exterior a splash of color and texture by styling a window planter box. Lean into the holiday theme by filling it with seasonal plants and items like miniature stockings, a small lantern, red berries, poinsettias and cypress branches.
If your home has a fence or gate, take advantage of it when you’re decorating your home for the holidays. Hang garland, ornaments or a wreath. You can even skip hanging string lights on your home’s siding and wrap them around your fence instead.
Getting into the holiday spirit is one way to boost your home’s curb appeal. But if you want to protect your home and its appearance, you need to do more than that during the winter. Click through to see which tasks to prioritize this season.
First things first: clean up your property, especially your driveway and front yard. It’s easy for clutter to accumulate on porches, near sheds, around the garage and even in your front yard. A thorough property cleanup can ensure that your home looks inviting and clean. Start with the following tasks:
Declutter your front yard. Get rid of old decor and lawn ornaments that need replacing.
Put away unsightly items that are leaning up against sheds, garages or porches.
Store or throw away empty flower pots and planters on your porch and window sills.
Rake or mulch fallen leaves on your lawn, driveway and walkways.
Related: How much does leaf removal cost?
Unsightly siding can detract from your home’s overall curb appeal. If you have outdated, peeling, cracking or otherwise drab siding, it may lower your home’s value and prevent it from protecting your home. Examine your siding and decide if it’s time for repairs, a wash, new paint or a replacement.
If your existing siding needs to be replaced, figure out what type of material you should install. You have plenty of choices on the market, including vinyl, wood, metal and more.
Related: How much does new siding cost?
During the spring and summer months, your trees and shrubbery likely grew in size. The winter is a great time to cut back branches that are hanging over your home, obscuring windows or encroaching on your walkway. Winter is also the best time to prune most plants to ensure healthy growth next spring. Walk around your property and take note of all trees, bushes and shrubs in need of trimming.
For smaller bushes and shrubs, you might be able to tackle the much-needed trimming with hedge clippers or handheld pruners (be sure to cut back dead foliage). Remember: cutting down large branches can be an extremely dangerous task that could result in both property damage and injuries. It’s always a good idea to consult a professional first.
Related: How much does tree trimming cost?
Don’t want to put up holiday lights? No problem. Instead, consider upgrading or fixing your outdoor lighting to achieve spectacular curb appeal.
New outdoor lighting will make your home’s exterior more inviting and help prevent trips and falls. Darker days make shadowy spots on your property less safe. So, line your walkway with lights or invest in smart lights you can control from anywhere. For example, install post lights or inground lights (also called well lights) to illuminate your walkways or driveway. Or, attach lights to your patio, stairs or deck. There are many ways you can give your home’s exterior a warm glow.
Before you start, test all of your existing outdoor lights to ensure they’re working correctly. Take note of any lights that no longer work. Then, walk around your property and identify any areas where lighting is lacking.
Related: How much does it cost to install light fixtures?
If you grew up in the snow, you already know the deal. But for those of you spending your first winter in the snow this year, don’t let it pile up on your driveway or lawn. Too much snow may damage your grass, plants and trees. And, of course, you’ll want to always have a clear, snow-free path to your home. You can either shovel away your snow or use a snow blower. There are also local pros who can remove the snow for you.
Related: How much do snow plow service cost?
When ice dams form on your roof, you risk damaging your home’s exterior (as well as the interior). We’re talking broken gutters, loose shingles and indoor leaks. You can prevent ice dams by removing the snow from your roof and keeping your gutters clean. You should also make sure that your home is properly sealed to prevent warm air from leaking and interacting with the snow on the roof (another way ice dams can form).
Related: How much does gutter cleaning cost?
While your windows might be good at letting light in, an upgrade can improve your home’s curb appeal and even help with energy efficiency in winter and summer.
Inspect your windows to pinpoint drafts or other energy losses. The U.S. Department of Energy suggests checking your windows for air leaks and investing in new weatherstripping and caulking. In some cases, this is enough to mitigate energy losses.
For windows that are still drafty — or for windows that are simply outdated — and in need of replacement, take measurements and write down the number of windows you need to be replaced. There are many different types of windows you can install. Choose a window with a vinyl, wood or fiberglass frame, which have greater thermal resistance than metal, according to the Department of Energy.
If you don’t have the budget to replace all the windows in your home, consider doing it in sections. Prioritize the windows located at the front of your house to enhance your winter curb appeal.