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Selling a House – Best Renovations for The Money

In my first article “Selling a House – Best Renovations for the Money (Part 1)”, I described how to maximize your house value with “best bang for the buck” interior renovations. The second article is going to provide details about another very important element in the house selling business – the exterior. A curb appeal or lack thereof can be a real deal killer. Would you like to enter a house with a dirty front door, paint chipping off the window frames or junk lying all around the front yard? No, didn’t think so. I’ll show you how you can bring your house’s curb appeal up to a whole new level at a very reasonable cost.

Part 2 – Exterior

1. Front door
Start by buying a new door mat from your local home improvement store. This should not cost more than $15 but makes a great first impression. Once the new door mat is taken care of, analyze carefully how you can improve the looks of the door itself. Your first option should always be to wash, clean and scrub to give it a beautiful new look. If this is not enough, have the door repainted. Go with simple colors that make a statement. Sometimes best renovation a red front door is the last touch your house needs to make it stand out. Another option is to choose a color that blends in well, i.e. matches your rain gutters and window frames. Assess your own situation based on what’s needed, but remember to stick to basic colors.

2. House numbers
Replace the old house numbers with brand new ones from Lowes or Home Depot. Consider also painting the numbers on the sidewalk if your city has them. Many local companies do this for as little as $20.

3. Driveway
Your local home improvement store sells several driveway paint and wash products that can make a lasting impact on your house. Do your very best in cleaning the driveway from old brake dust, oil and other tough stains before applying the new paint/coat on it.

4. Stucco/Siding
Your fist step should be to pressure wash the exterior of the house. Get rid of all cob webs, stains, dirt and rust that a pressure washer can take care of before assessing what else the exterior needs. If you don’t have your own pressure washer, ask your neighbors or go borrow one from the closest hardware store that rents construction equipment/tools.

Once everything is clean, it’s easy to determine what parts of the exterior need extra treatment. If you decide to paint the exterior, make sure you also paint rain gutters, trim, stucco and everything else on the exterior. Avoid painting only parts of the exterior as color matching might become an issue if you don’t have the old color codes anymore. Painting is a larger project and it needs to be done well. If you don’t feel comfortable with this, hire a professional who can help you with color matching and gives recommendations.

5. Roof
Older roofs can sometimes look worse than their actual condition is due to dirt, mold or even a few missing shingles. Don’t think this automatically means you need to replace the roof. A lot can be done by replacing the missing shingles or fixing the flashing around chimneys. You can get rid of the mold by spraying a specific solution that takes care of the problem. However, make sure you understand the environmental aspects of all chemicals before using any of them. Many environmentally safe solutions can still be harmful to your plants.

6. Landscaping
If your budget does not allow new plants or new grass, make sure you mow the existing lawn and kill all the weeds. A front lawn that hasn’t been watered for weeks or months is still OK as long it has been mowed and it does not look neglected. Another option is to cover spots of the old lawn with gravel or mulch that gives your front yard a little bit of variation and makes it feel updated.


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