3 Easy Ways to Create Curb Appeal

Luxury single family house exterior, front view
(DepositPhotos)

Curb appeal improvements are a great investment, whether you want a more inviting forever home or need to impress potential buyers.

You don’t need a big budget, a ton of time or much skill, either. Just a few simple changes and a weekend’s work can make a big impact.

1. Patch All Cracks

Concrete patio, before and after
Resurfacing concrete is an affordable way to make it look new.

Caption: Resurfacing concrete is an affordable way to make it look new.

Cracks in your concrete driveway, walkway and porch don’t just look bad; they can cause big problems. Water can seep in, rust and expand rebar, leading to wider cracks.

You can fix hairline cracks and renew the surface with Quikrete Re-Cap Concrete Resurfacer, an easy-to-use mix that’s more affordable than replacing the slab. Just clean the surface with a 3,500-psi pressure washer, use duct tape to protect the slab’s joints and apply with a squeegee, trowel or brush. Add a textured finish to prevent slips.

Use a concrete crack sealant for larger gaps. With a chisel and hammer, widen the crack by 1/4inch and break away deteriorating concrete. Clear loose material with a brush, insert backer rod into cracks more than ½-inch deep, and apply Quikrete Advanced Polymer Concrete Crack Sealant with a caulking gun. Let cure and then resurface the top.

New concrete on your driveway, walkway and porch gives your home a uniform look, impresses guests and can even increase your property’s value.

2. Steady the Mailbox

First impressions begin with your home’s mailbox.

A loose mailbox that leans one way becomes a focal point — and embarrassment — no matter how nice the front of the home.

The mailbox moves because the post has a weak foundation, so it’s important to do the job right this time.
You can steady that mailbox with Quikrete Fast-Setting Concrete.

Just:
• Dig a hole three times the post’s width, in diameter, and about half the post’s height .
• Add 6 inches of gravel into the hole, and then compact and level it.
• Set the post, attach 2-by-4 braces on each side, and level it.
• Fill the hole with Fast-Setting Concrete up to 3 inches below the ground.
• Pour a gallon of water into the hole and let set.

Fast-Setting Concrete dries hard in 20 to 40 minutes, and you can use the mailbox just four hours later!

3. Paint Everything

Curb appeal home
This home’s freshly painted bricks, shutters and front door help it stand out.

It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do, so paint whatever can be painted — the siding, the shutters, the door and even the light fixtures!

If you’re painting the home’s exterior, first pressure-wash it and remove any mold or mildew. An airless paint sprayer makes quick work of painting wood or masonry siding, and you can rent one for $50 to $75 per day.

Prep wooden shutters and prime them with a small paintbrush to ensure paint sticks to the surface. Let dry and then paint the shutters. Use acrylic paint if that was on the shutters before. Otherwise, use oil-based paint.

For plastic or vinyl shutters, prep the surface and use a high-quality, exterior acrylic latex paint made specifically for plastic. Applying a latex primer beforehand can increase paint adhesion, but it’s not required.

Remove the front door’s hardware, take it off the hinges and lay it on sawhorses to work horizontally. Next, sand the entire door with 100-grit sandpaper, clean the door and apply an oil-based primer. Then add two top coats and let dry.

For light fixtures (removed from their power source), clean with denatured alcohol, sand with 00 steel wool and give another cleaning of denatured alcohol. Then cover the fixture with painter’s tape and spray light coats of exterior paint for metal.

Try this weekend refresh, and your home will be the best-looking one on the block!

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