How To Improve Your Home’s Curb Appeal

And how AAA can help make it happen.

Real estate agents have emphasized curb appeal for decades. After all, who doesn’t want to increase the value of their home? But improving your home’s exterior isn’t limited to when you’re planning to sell. Try these tips for maximum curb appeal, plus see how to use your AAA Membership to help make it happen.

Create a grand entry


Make your home’s front door area an inviting focal point. Creating symmetry is a pleasing, simple way to add visual balance and boost curb appeal.

Light it up. Brighten the front of your home with new outdoor light fixtures, such as matching sconces on each side of your porch or string lights along the top of the porch.

Purchase an instant garden. Container gardens on a front porch add color and a welcoming feel. Buy ready-made containers from garden centers or create your own. Bonus points if the pots match the color and style of your new matching sconces!

Make an entrance. Guide your guests to your door with a clear, inviting path featuring neatly trimmed shrubs or other plants that match on each side.

How AAA can help with curb appeal: Earn 8% in AAA Dollars at Gardener’s Supply Company when you buy planters, decorative yard pieces and more online through the AAA Dollars Online Mall. The AAA Dollars you earn can be used on select AAA purchases or applied to your annual membership renewal.

Keep it clean


A little soap and water combined with a lot of pressure can go a long way toward improving the curb appeal of your home.

Use a pressure washer. Every home exterior gets dirty over time, and using a pressure or power washer is a quick way to remove the dirt and grime from your driveway; walkway; and brick, siding or stucco exterior. Rent or buy one from your local home improvement store—just be sure to read the instructions and safety tips before you use it.

Wash those windows. Remove cobwebs and other debris; then wash windows inside and outside. A mixture of mild dish soap and water will work. Rinse thoroughly and wipe with a soft, absorbent cloth.

Revitalize your roof. A thorough cleaning can make your roof look new. But, given the dangers, it’s a job best left to a professional. Ask friends and neighbors for a referral or find somebody through the Better Business Bureau.

How AAA can help with curb appeal: Earn 3% in AAA Dollars at Ace Hardware when you buy cleaning supplies online through the AAA Dollars Online Mall.

Tame the land


A well-tended yard is a sign that the rest of your home is in great condition. Though other home improvements wear out over time, plants mature as the years pass, often increasing your return on investment.

Ponder your pathways. Match your front pathway to your style. Concrete or paver walkways offer a defined, formal look. Crushed gravel is a softer alternative, while stepping stones give a natural feel to the yard.

Consider the seasons. If you’re landscaping in spring or summer, consider what those plants will look like come fall and winter. Evergreens are great as foundation plants, instead of deciduous shrubs, because your landscape won’t look bare when the leaves drop.

Make sure your home insurance is as appealing as the property it protects. AAA Triple Check can help you understand your coverage—from any company.

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Mind the little things. If time’s not on your side, plant a few flowers for a pop of color, trim hedges, mow the lawn regularly, and keep mulch fresh and garden beds well defined. Choose low-maintenance flowers and plants.

How AAA can help with curb appeal: Earn up to 8% in AAA Dollars at The Home Depot and up to 2% at Lowe’s when you buy landscaping supplies online through the AAA Dollars Online Mall.

Make a bigger investment


These ideas come at a price, but they also offer the most opportunity to raise the value of your home while upping curb appeal.

Redo your roof. When the National Association of Realtors ranked exterior home projects by expected value at resale, a new roof topped the list with an estimated 107% cost recovery. To find a reputable roofing expert, get a referral from neighbors, friends and family; look for reports on contractor review sites; and check the National Roofing Contractors Association and Better Business Bureau.

Wake up your windows. In the same realtors study, new vinyl windows added the second-most value to homes. Vinyl windows are made from PVC, with hollow chambers to help resist heat transfer and condensation. They don’t require painting or finishing and shouldn’t fade or rot.

Glam your garage. Pick a new garage door that’s secure and stylish. Even classic styles are customizable with added windows and hardware to match your home. A contemporary style may be the way to go if you prefer a midcentury modern feel, while a carriage style adds a distinguished, rustic look.

How AAA can help with curb appeal: Every dollar counts—and a high-yield savings account is one way to make your money go further. The higher interest rate generates more income, which you can use on things such as home improvement projects. Discuss savings options with the experts at AAA Banking.

Add more personal touches


Improving curb appeal can be as simple as adding small personal touches, because what’s meaningful to you might just capture the attention of others.

Provide a buffet for the birds. Not only are bird feeders cute, but they also add a pop of color along with entertainment and education (especially if you have young kids). Just be sure that the feeder is made of a durable material that can keep the seed clean and dry, and that it is easy for you to fill.

Give your mailbox some TLC. Your mailbox may be one of the first things that people see when they pass your home. Replace the box itself, the pole or both. You can buy one or DIY; just be sure you follow U.S. Postal Service guidelines and any neighborhood association rules. Pay attention to what’s around your mailbox, too—a small, simple flower bed can impress.

Update your hardware. New hardware gives everything around it a fresh look. Replace faded or rusted house numbers with ones that are fresh and modern—it won’t take long or cost much. The same goes for door knockers, handles, locks and kick plates.

How AAA can help with curb appeal: From bird feeders to brass doorknobs, shop online through AAA at Target and Walmart, and earn AAA Dollars (up to 4% at Walmart and up to 5% at Target).

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