How to Freshen Up Your Home's Curb Appeal

04/25/2015 11:38 am ET | Updated Jun 25, 2015

Laura Gaskill, Houzz Contributor

Time to pack away the winter coats and pull out those Wellies -- spring is finally here! With this checklist as your guide, help your home burst into spring with a curb appeal makeover. Pick as few (or as many) tasks as you want to tackle, from porch swings to plantings, and your home will be looking its best before you can say "baseball season."

1. Enhance the front door. The front door should be your home's exterior focal point -- ramp up the appeal by painting it a rich hue, updating door hardware or adding a new knocker. For a seasonal touch, hang a spring wreath or craft your own eclectic one using gardening tools, as these creative homeowners did.

2. Add plantings on the street side of your fence. Remember, curb appeal starts at the curb -- so instead of just planting inside the border of your fence or stone wall, plant perennials and spring bulbs just outside it as well. The extra layer of foliage and color will create a sense of depth, making your front yard appear larger. If you don't have a fence, planting perennials in the hell strip between the curb and sidewalk can have a similar effect.

3. Check that house numbers are easily visible. Go across the street from your home to get a better idea of how easy it is to find your house numbers. Large house numbers in a clear font are the easiest to read from a distance. Place them where they are not blocked by trees or porch railings, and position the numbers horizontally rather than vertically if possible -- they're easier to read that way. Ideally, place house numbers beneath a porch lamp or landscape light, where they will be illuminated in the evening.

4. Group pots of flowers on the porch. They're beautiful and as easy as can be to add. Cluster three pots in various sizes on your front porch or stairs, and fill them with blooming spring flowers.

5. Carve out space for front-yard living. If you're blessed with a deep front yard but find you rarely use it, consider whether it would be better put to work as a fun and functional hangout zone. A bench curved around an outdoor fireplace is sure to become a favorite gathering place for friends and neighbors -- but even a simple garden bench (minus the fireplace) can be a welcome addition.

6. Care for grass and mulch flower beds. If you have a lawn, early spring is a good time to reseed or add sod if it looks like it's coming back patchy. Mulch flower beds with a natural mulch to help the soil retain moisture and give the beds a finished look.

7. Check the condition of the roof. If you notice spacing or curling at the edges of shingles or crumbling bits, it's time to have a pro roofer take a look. If you need a new roof (or a second layer of shingles), check references and get at least three competing estimates before hiring a pro for the job.

8. Clean windows and siding. Give your siding a fresh start this spring by washing off the dirt, road salt and cobwebs using a power washer or a regular hose with washing attachment. A hose with a window washing attachment can get windows shiny and clean. Just remember to clean inside windows too for the most sparkle.

9. Plant flowers with a fragrance you love. Even though you can't see it, fragrance can have a big impact on a person's experience of walking up to your home -- and of course it will make your own walk up the front path more pleasant! Consider fragrant roses, lilacs, honeysuckle, jasmine, lavender or even fresh herbs, like rosemary.

10. Check the condition of the garage and driveway. The garage and driveway often take up a lot of visual real estate in the front of a house, so problems here can seriously detract from curb appeal. Have any driveway cracks repaired and freshen up the garage with a coat of paint, sconce lighting and flower boxes.

11. Hang a porch swing. There is something that says home about the sight of a crisp white porch swing. If you rent your home and can't install a swing, go with a glider or rocking chairs instead for a similar effect. Now just imagine sitting out on your porch on a summer evening, rocking, swinging or gliding your cares away -- a pastime that would be made even sweeter with the fragrance of scented blooms on the breeze (see No. 9).

12. Upgrade night lighting. In the evening a well-lit porch is welcoming to come home to and more fun to hang out on, and makes the space look bigger. If your porch has a single porch light, consider hiring an electrician to install one or two additional lights. For instance, if your porch has a single overhead fixture, add a pair of sconce lights flanking the door. If you have a long pathway leading to your door, consider adding landscape lighting as well -- your guests will thank you.