I don’t know about you, but I need ill-advised, self-imposed deadlines in order to accomplish home improvement goals. Have a month with no outside commitments and beautiful weather? Get nothing done. Two weeks until the in-laws show up for the holidays? Time to paint all the trim in the house, reorganize all our storage and make shelves for the nursery. Thanksgiving is my newest deadline, and my goal is simple: Check something (anything!) off of my exterior to do list. It may seem crazy to tackle curbside appeal in November, but there are many tasks that can be completed in cold weather.
Want to join me in a little last minute home improvement? Consider tackling one of these five exterior zones:
Your front door will be one of the first things to catch your guests’ eyes. Make sure it’s for the right reasons!
Improving your door’s appeal could be as simple as knocking down cobwebs, sweeping leaves off the stoop and giving the door and hardware a quick wipe down. If you have a screen door, consider taking it down for the winter — you’ll have one less obstacle to tackle when scurrying in out of the cold!
If your entry is already clean and clear, consider a few simple upgrades, like a new welcome mat or a seasonal DIY wreath.
Ready to make a big, bold change? Splurge on a brand new door in an eye-catching color.
Door knockers, mailboxes, locksets, kick plates, house numbers — replacing any of these items would take half an hour — if that — of your time. If you inherited a mix of hardware in clashing finishes and styles, take an afternoon and replace them all with a more intentional, cohesive look.
Want to get creative? House numbers are a great little way to add a splash of personality to your entry. Search online for unique styles or DIY your own house numbers. Make oversized numbers out of weathered wood, paint numbers on the risers of your front steps or dress up existing lights with spray paint or LED strip lights.
Sometimes a fixture is broken, banged up or just not your style. But before making a lighting swap, try switching the bulbs. Our post and door lights barely illuminated themselves when we first moved in, but fitting them with the proper bulbs was all it took to increase their performance by several hundred percent.
Improved lighting is a great curb appeal choice for holiday hosts. You want to make sure your guests can find your house and safely navigate your drive and sidewalk. If your main lights are in working order, consider adding path lighting to your sidewalk.
Yes, you can still make plenty of landscaping improvements in winter.
It’s often what you take away — not what you add — that makes the biggest difference in your curb appeal. Use these cold weather months to tackle neglected tasks. Trim trees and bushes. Cut back tall grasses and other plants for the winter. Refresh mulch. Rake leaves and pick up sticks.
Prefer addition to subtraction? Add simple window boxes or planters and fill them with beautiful evergreen plants that will keep their color all winter long.
Also examine your home’s exterior for necessary eyesores like HVAC units and trash cans. Consider adding screening, fencing or shrubbery to disguise such frumpy — yet functional — items.
Sometimes a simple repair can make all the difference in the wow-factor of your curb appeal.
Your repairs will be unique to you, but there are common items that most homeowners will tackle at some point. Perhaps you’ll replace broken glass in light fixtures, repair fences, attend to faulty gutters or tighten loose shutters.
Repairs aren’t the most glamorous task, but they help ensure your house is turning heads for its charms, not its blemishes.
With the Thanksgiving deadline fast approaching, there’s no time for waffling between items. Just pick a spot and improve it. And if your family member does manage to make a comment about your home, take a cue from Maya and keep on goin’.
What home improvements are you making before the holidays?