Curb appeal is a key element in the home sales process because an ugly yard can cause prospective buyers to drive by and look elsewhere regardless of the great interior benefits your property has to offer. Whether you have just a tiny bit of green space in your Denver, Colorado apartment, or a massive front yard in your Chicago house, following are three critical DIY tips that will allow you to efficiently improve your home’s outside appearance.

Take Care of the Lawn

A healthy lawn chokes out weeds and can be self-sustaining. The problem many homeowners find is that they just don’t know where to start to repair their lawn.

First, assess the problems and build from there. Research your climate and find the best perennial grass for your area. Annual grasses are not the answer, as they completely die in the winter months. When you have found the grass you need, combat the other problems. A good weed and feed will eliminate problem plants while feeding the lawn you have. Important: Don’t reseed until the weed killer has had time to do its work and not hamper the growth of your seed. There will be a waiting period before you can seed after you have applied an herbicide.

After a week or so, you will see the weeds dying but the grass you want to flourish will be untouched. There may be brown patches and thin areas, but don’t worry. Top-dress your lawn with a good soil, and then seed according to directions. Keep watering religiously even after the grass has sprouted and don’t let it dry out.  The new grass will fill in, and if you water, fertilize, and occasionally over-seed, you will have a nice lawn.

Cut Those Foundation Plantings

Giant Christmas-tree-like junipers make your home look dated and old. Buy a hedge trimmer and cut those shrubs to a reasonable shape. If they are too big, you may have to get rid of them and start over, but there is no need to use your Subaru and a chain to pull them out. Rent a reciprocating saw, start from the top, and cut the main branches. When you finally get to ground level, merely cut the shrubs a little below the base of the bed and cover with top soil. If you occasionally see suckers emerging, just cut them off until the plant dies. Then, you can plant smaller replacement shrubs; new plantings make a home look fresher and younger.

Edge, Edge, Edge and Keep It Short, Short, Short

If you have a problem lawn, but you don’t have time to apply weed and feed, reseed, water and wait, get an edger and edge the sidewalk lines. You’ll be amazed at the difference these clean lines can make, and how they will transform your sloppy lawn into a neat looking area. Next, if you have a mixture of grass, weeds and groundcover, cut it short. A short and edged lawn will look decent from a distance no matter what you have growing.

If you have time to reinvigorate your landscape, by all means, do it correctly. Since curb appeal is so important, however, if you must do a quick sale and have an ugly lawn, use the landscaping tips above so that no one dismisses your property solely because of landscape challenges. Trust us, first time buyers will love the curb appeal and surely become more likely to stop in for a showing.


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