Oh, the splendor of driving up to a beautifully landscaped, warm and welcoming home with outstanding curb appeal. The house I live in now?  Not so much, but it’s a work in progress. Nevertheless, whether you plan to live in your home for years to come, or put it on the market, a home’s first impression is vital to its overall “homeyness” or likability.

Today’s tip is quite concise when considering improving your curb appeal:  organize or you’ll end up agonizing over more than just the bill.  These jobs can range from minor landscaping with shovels and trowels to major bulldozing and back-hoeing. After watching a recent episode of…what else?…”Curb Appeal”, the message I received from designer Chad Folstad is to be sure to organize exactly what your priorities are and consider the big picture of what you want to accomplish.  Here were some major areas of improvement to consider:

• color choice of your home-be sure to create large swatches on an exterior wall and check out the colors throughout the day as the light changes.

• doors & windows-choices abound depending on climate considerations, keeping with the era/style of the home’s overall architecture, size and framing, etc.

• landscaping-flower & plant choice, grouping, shading, textures, and light exposure

• hardscape-walls, planters, walkway/path

• fences-refinish or replace

• ornamental details-lighting, benches, chairs, stones/boulders, fountains, statues

and let’s not forget…

• the garage door-refinish or replace

oops…one most important thing…

• budget

As most DIYers know, budget determines everything.  So, the importance of organizing and prioritizing is even greater. Here’s what I found snooping around the internet that might be of help to get you started:

1. Consider your budget and prioritize what you would want to change from the list above (and, yes, eliminate the stuff ya can’t afford…oh, well).  This’ll get ya started in the right direction and keep you “grounded” (eh, hem!) to your plans.

2. Landscape Design – DIY Landscaping Ideas – Garden Design:  This site had lots of FREE landscaping and plant selection ideas and plans you could use to apply to your own home.

3. Call or email your local nursery or landscaper and ask them to help with suggestions and/or planning your design. Most designers today can help from paint color, lighting, hardscape, to landscape.  This normally runs $100-$125 per hour, but, could save a lot of money in the long run.  Check out: – The Free Construction Classifieds for Materials, Tools, and Job Leads for local listings.

With just a little preparation, you’ll save a whole lot of money and time.  Why agonize when you can organize and have yourself a home sweet home?

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