This front porch has a freshly stained door, Adirondack chairs, planters and a nice, clean mailbox to greet visitors.

When it comes to your home’s curb appeal, first impressions are crucial. Your house may be gorgeous inside, but a sloppy exterior can be a huge turn-off for potential buyers.

But making your house look great from the first look doesn’t have to be a costly investment. With these simple DIY fixes, you can update your home while bolstering its appeal with buyers.

1. Paint Your Front Door

Here’s how to make painting doors more efficient and effective.

Don’t underestimate the power of a fresh coat of paint. The average gallon of paint costs between $15 and $30 — a reasonable investment that packs a punch when it comes to improving the look of a home.

Get the most mileage out of your paint job with these tips:

1. Remove any hardware. Hardware includes knockers, kick plates, and door handles. By taking these off, you avoid getting paint on your hardware, and you can ensure that you cover the whole door with paint.
2. Lay it flat. Taking the door off its hinges is an extra step that most likely means a two-person job, but removing the door makes it easier to apply the paint in even coats.
3. Sand it. By sanding your door before you paint, you can remove dust, debris, and old paint layers. Sanding can also help your paint stick better, giving you a cleaner, crisper fresh coat.
4. Change the locks. Now is a great time to invest in some new home security. Replace your old deadbolt and handle with a brand new set and consider installing smart locks for keyless entry.

Playful pops of colors are very on trend when it comes to door updates. But classic colors and stains never go out of style. A simple coat of faux mahogany finish can give instant curb appeal and won’t cost you a boatload.

2. Add Potted Plants

Completed DIY wood patio planter.
When you’re choosing planters for your front porch, remember, the planter is part of the design.

Preventative Medicine Reports, a journal, has shown that gardening is beneficial to health.

So why not boost your immune system and improve your home’s overall charm at the same time?

All you need are one or two planters — most hardware stores or gardening shops sell inexpensive faux terracotta ones — to arrange near your front entrance.

Now, those who can’t claim a green thumb may be wary of delving into the plant world, but with pots, gardening is easier than it looks.

Here’s our suggestion for a starter plant: hardy and beautiful hibiscus. These slow growers provide abundant greenery with massive (up to 10-inch) blooms.

When the weather turns colder, move the pots indoors to enjoy them through the winter months.

When you’re picking out your plants, one simple phrase should be the key to your planter or window box: “fillers, spillers and thrillers.”
● Fillers: Leafy greens will fill the space and complete the look
● Spillers: Flowers like Creeping Jenny flow over the sides of the container
● Thrillers: These plants offer the “wow” factor. Pops of color will draw the visitor’s eye

To fully capture the senses, add some aromatics to emit a gentle fragrance as guests enter your home. Keep in mind that your climate will also play a role in what you should plant.

It may seem old-school, but check out the online version of the Farmer’s Almanac to learn what will and won’t grow well in your area.

3. Replace your mailbox

mailbox post
Your mailbox says a lot about your home, and you. To maintain curb appeal, keep it painted well or purchase a new one that meets United States Postal Service guidelines.

Sometimes we forget that mailboxes serve a dual purpose: they collect your mail, but they also send a message about the homeowner’s attentiveness to their dwelling.

A tattered old mailbox suggests a lack of care. Don’t risk sending the wrong message: install a sparkling new mailbox.

From the traditional to polished nickel options, choose from dozens of styles and sizes. Don’t forget to think about whether you’ll need to enlist help for installation: a wall-mounted mailbox will only require some screws and a screwdriver, but roadside mailboxes that sit on posts might require an expert’s help.

If you have to dig a post hole for your new mailbox, “call before you dig” to ensure that you stay clear of any utility lines.

Don’t forget to review the US Postal Service’s mailbox requirements as well.
Yes, the USPS has requirements, and it enforces those requirements. For instance, roadside mailboxes must be at least six inches back from the curb.
If you’re installing a door slot, USPS requires that the opening must be at least 1.5 x 7 inches.

Find all the specifics at

Whether you’re putting your home on the market or just looking for a way to freshen up your exterior, these three tips can help your home make a perfect first impression.

Serena Miller is an Atlanta real estate agent for

Editorial Contributors
Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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