Budget-Minded Lawn and Garden Hacks

by Wayne Corley 07/07/2019

Creating the curb appeal that you want does not have to be as complex as a full-scale remodel. If your home’s exterior is in decent condition, spend your time and budget on things that pack a big punch. Upgrade how your home looks from the street with these simple exterior, lawn, and garden hacks.

Fill planter or window boxes that hang off porch railings, or under the front windows with colorful annuals such as impatiens, begonias, or petunias. Add smaller pots of greenery into the boxes such as maidenhair fern or ivy so that you have an abundance of flora draping over the side. Adding cheery blooms to your exterior catches the eye and enhances your street-side appeal.

If installing window boxes is out of your comfort zone or might damage stucco or another exterior finish, add drama with a collection of larger and smaller pots. Fill some with plants that grow up and others with flowers that bloom in a bushy shape. Still, others can flow over the sides. Try easy-to-maintain succulents in container gardens or colorful native grasses or cacti if your climate permits. Choose pots with colors that complement the exterior of your home. Place some pots on wider steps leading up to the porch and others filled with shade-friendly plantings to either side of the front door.

Plant a fruit or flowering tree. Depending on how large the front yard is and the area available away from the foundation, an ornamental tree can boost your home’s charm. Determine the potential size the tree might grow by conferring with a nursery or arborist so that the location you choose allows the roots to take hold and not encroach on sidewalks, foundations, and drainage areas. If your home is symmetrical, consider flanking your entry or driveway with a pair of trees or bushes.

Upgrade your lighting. The porch light and carriage lamps on homes take much beating from the sun and weather. Replacing them with new fixtures that have LED bulbs might be just the thing to set your home apart from the rest. Choose a design that complements the architectural features of your home. If you cannot afford new fixtures, take down the existing ones, clean and repair them, and even spray-paint the metal before putting them back up. Replace the incandescent bulb with a soft-white LED bulb rated for outdoor use. If possible, install a lamp post in your yard that turns on at dusk and off at dawn. Select a design that enhances your home and casts a soft glow. Alternatively, add solar path lights along the walkway or to highlight a flowerbed.

Replace your mailbox. Unless it is a bricked-in version that matches the home, most curbside mailboxes end up battered and bent out of shape over time. Even bricked in boxes might have missing mortar or chipped bricks that you should repair. Replacing your dented, rusted, or old mailbox with a new one gives you an instant upgrade. Make sure to check with your local carrier, city, and neighborhood association for regulations and requirements before buying your new mailbox.

When considering whether or not to place your home on the market, talk to your real estate agent for ideas and information on making your home the most attractive in the neighborhood.

About the Author
Author

Wayne Corley

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Wayne Corley was raised in Central City, Kentucky then attended high school in Ogden, Utah. After a year at Columbia University he graduated with a B.A. in Business Psychology from Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA. 

After two years of serving in the Peace Corps in Sabah, Malaysia, Wayne returned to the USA and work in a variety of positions in the hospitality industry in Southern California, Rhode Island and Virginia in the 70's.

In the 80's Wayne developed Lake Vista in Forest, a 750-acre planned development in Forest, Virginia. He was also President of the Greater Lynchburg Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of Greater Lynchburg's Vision 2001,and on the Board of Directors of The Community Bank of Forest.

In 1995, Wayne and his wife, Kathy, moved to Salem, Massachusetts where Wayne became the founding Executive Director of the Salem State College Assistance Corporation, transforming a former industrial site adjacent to the college into a business incubator, The Enterprise Center at Salem State University. 

In 1999, Dr. Kathy Corley was hired by the Beaufort County Board of Education to open the new Bluffton Elementary School, and the couple moved to the Low country. Kathy is now the principal of Red Cedar Elementary School in Bluffton. 

In 2000, Wayne joined Harden Tuten Custom Homes and became the Director of Sales and Marketing until 2012. He has been a licensed real estate broker since 2005. As an Associate Broker with Charter One Realty, he specializes in the listing, marketing, and sales of luxury properties in the Bluffton-Hilton Head area private golf communities. 

Wayne is a 2006 graduate of the Hilton Head-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program and has served as Chairman of the Board of the Palmetto Chapter of the American Red Cross and as a member of the Beaufort County Tax Equalization Board. Wayne's experience in real estate and the sales and marketing of custom homes in communities throughout the Low country brings an added benefit to clients seeking to purchase, sell, or build residential properties.