Increase Your Curb Appeal in a Weekend

A nicely-kept house.

Most homeowners work five days a week with a measly two days off at a time. Unfortunately, a schedule like this can get in the way of doing much-needed home improvements. There are, however, some simple things you can do to improve your home's curb appeal in just one weekend.

Replace Your Old Mailbox

Most homeowners work five days a week with a measly two days off at a time. Unfo

Although you may not think of a new mailbox as much of an upgrade, replacing one can really improve your home's curb appeal since mailboxes are usually front and center of a home and one of the first things people see when approaching a house. Try ordering one that matches the color of your home or perhaps get a unique one that expresses your personality. Whatever you choose, the process of putting in a new mailbox is relatively simple

Things you'll need:

  • Yard stick
  • Shovel
  • Gravel
  • Mailbox post
  • Mailbox (and brackets if not included)
  • Level
  • House Letter/Numbers (approximately 1 inch)

Step 1 - Measure for the placement of your new mailbox so it follows federal regulations. This is especially important if you want to move it to a new place. For easy access, your mailbox should be 42 inches from the ground to the bottom of the mailbox. It should also be 2 feet from the curb.

Step 2 - Dig a 10-inch hole for your mailbox post. The Post Office recommends you don't anchor the post in concrete. Since it's close to the curb it's safer if the post will easily break away in case it's hit by a car (or mail truck). Once your mailbox is in place, you can fill the remainder of your hole with dirt.

Step 3 - Pour about 2 inches of gravel into the hole, leaving room for the dirt and your post.

Step 4 - Set the post in the hole, 8 inches deep. Use your level to make sure that your mailbox is even as you back fill the hole. Double check to make sure that your post is 42 inches from the ground to the top.

Step 5 - Attach the mailbox to the post.

Step 6 - Label the front and sides with your house number or name.

Paint Your Shutters

Replace Your Old Mailbox

A simple coat of paint is a much less daunting task then painting the exterior of your entire home, but the results are practically the same. You can give your house a facelift by just giving your shutters a new coat of paint.

Things you'll need:

  • Soapy water
  • Cleaning rags
  • Ladder
  • Newspapers
  • Painters tape
  • Two buckets
  • Vinyl gloves
  • Paint can opener
  • Exterior primer
  • Exterior paint in your color choices
  • Two stir sticks
  • Two paint brushes (2 to 2 1/2 inches wide)

Step 1 - Clean your shutters with soapy water. If you need a ladder, position it where appropriate. Scrub all surfaces that need painting; dirt and dust will prevent your paint from adhering properly.

Step 2 - Place old newspapers under each shutter and around your doors.

Step 3 - Use the painters tape to cover the house around the shutter to protect against accidents.

Step 4 - Get your buckets ready and put your vinyl gloves on. Pour primer into the first bucket.

Step 5 - Paint at the top of the shutter and work your way down. Make sure to get in between the slats. Use light pressure to eliminate brush strokes.

Step 6 - Once your primer dries, repeat the steps for your paint in the second bucket.

Step 7 - Some colors require two coats to achieve a richer shade. Be sure to let each coat dry before you start on the next coat.

Solar Landscaping Lights

Solar landscape lights are a cheaper, greener and easier alternative than having a complicated lighting system installed in your yard. Simply place the lights around your yard, let them drink in the sunshine for power and enjoy your newly lit yard at night.

Things you'll need:

  • Solar landscape lights of your choice
  • Trowel

Step 1 - Choose where you want to place your solar lights and determine how many you'll need. Select the style of solar light you desire.

Step 2 - Dig small holes with your trowel at an even distance. If assembly is needed for your chosen lights, follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Step 3 - Place your solar lights in the holes you've dug, and fill the empty spaces with dirt for stability. Solar lights need direct sunlight for at least a day before they will work.

Step 4 - Keep the solar panels free of debris and dirt. Change alkaline batteries annually. Rechargeable batteries should be replaced every two to three years.

Plants and Flowers

Although you may not think of a new mailbox as much of an upgrade, replacing one

Perhaps the easiest way to increase your curb appeal in a weekend is to head to your local nursery and pick up any flowers and plants that may catch your eye. A little bit of color and texture can really brighten up your yard and bring it to life. You do not necessarily need to create a complicated flower bed, either. Buy a some pots and containers to to hold your plants and flowers and you won't even have to touch the yard with a shovel.

Things you'll need:

  • Planters and pots
  • Potting soil
  • Trowel
  • Plants and flowers of your choice
  • Plant food
  • Watering can

Choose the places you want to display your plants. Flank your front door with a set of matching plants. Stagger flower pots on your porch steps, or line up a group of plants underneath windows. Any vegetation you can add in a weekend will increase your curb appeal and make your house seem alive and thriving.

Fill the planters with soil using your trowel. Start by covering the bottom of the pot with potting soil, adding your plant and filling in the surrounding area with soil to about an inch of the container's top. Finish off with some water to make the soil moist. Research the plants and flowers you've chosen so you can feed and water your plants according to their needs.