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DIY Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

Because they’ll put money in your pocket.

Colorful front yard flowers
Image: Jude Parkinson-Morgan

Professional landscaping can add 15% to 20% to a home's price tag at the time of resale, says Bankrate, quoting the American Society of Landscape Architects. Of course, that depends on the project. One person's prized water garden could be another person's waste of space. But some front yard landscaping ideas have universal appeal.

Here are a few to get you going.

DIY Front Yard Landscaping Projects

#1 Mix Rocks With Bark Mulch

Front yard landscaping using rocks and mulch

Surrounding bark mulch with a rock moat makes for a tidy, everything-in-its-place yard. It also makes maintenance easier because mulch smothers weeds and keeps plant roots cool and moist. And the rock mulch next to your home's foundation is smart, because it keeps water away.

Best of all, this is a simple landscaping idea to DIY: Put rubber garden edging along your beds. Put down weed guard. Pour bags of mulch and gravel in the beds. Done.

#2 DIY Window Flower Boxes

Front yard window boxes

Window boxes are like jewelry for house, adding bling to the blah. If you're handy with tools, make your own, but you can also buy prefab ones and mount them yourself. Fill with plants, and your curb appeal improves at point five past light-speed.

TIP: Leave an inch of space between the window flower box and the house to prevent moisture from destroying your siding.

#3 Build a Dry Stream

Dry stream landscaping in a front yard
Image: Doughty Residence - Rancho Murrieta, Ca.

Here's why we love dry rock streams: They add a touch of mountain-y ruggedness to your yard. They drain water away from the foundation of your house. They don't need to be mowed, watered, or fertilized. Oh, and it's a simple two-step install: 1. Dig a trench. (It'll replace your cardio and strength workouts for the week, so prepare accordingly.) 2. Place the rocks.

#4 Build a Paver Path

Front yard paver pathway
Image: Custom Walkway by Stone Arch Landscapes, Minneapolis, MN

Creating a path from the curb to your door adds a civilized touch and makes your front yard feel designed. It also means less lawn to mow and weed. You can do this one yourself with pavers or bricks.

TIP: Choose a brick pattern with staggered edges to handle curves without the drag of cutting bricks.

#5 Light Your Walkways

Front yard walkway lights
Image: Rosann Kelley, photo/Outdoor Artisan, Inc., design and install

The only thing better for your curb appeal than making a walkway is making a walkway and lighting it. LED lighting adds the most value, but you can DIY it with a solar lighting kit. Lighted walkways look very "Architectural Digest," and they'll keep you from taking a header when you're bringing in the groceries.

#6 Plant Flowers and Trees

Flowers and trees in a front yard

"I want a yard devoid of trees, shrubs, and flowers." Said no one, ever. Adding plants (a.k.a. softscape) to your yard adds to your home value.

You'll get back every penny you spend on plantings when you sell your house. So apparently money does grow on trees. Plants get more valuable as they get older, so take care of the tree saplings and azaleas you planted. You're getting ROI as well as flowers and shade.

#7 Look for Grass Replacements

Front yard with lovely curb appeal
Image: A Dogs Life Photo/Getty

Weather doesn't always help nurture a lush lawn. But even with too little or too much rain, you still have choices to keep your yard green and healthy. You can replace turf grasses with native grasses, which have deeper roots and hold onto moisture. Or consider ground cover. It tolerates drought and renourishes the soil so you can ease up on fertilizing.

Add More Curb Appeal to Your Front Yard Landscaping

Whether you prefer hardscaping, with paver paths or rock streams, or softscaping, with native grasses or plantings, there's a landscaping project that will amp up your front yard's curb appeal. And that translates into space you enjoy more and a higher return at resale time.

Related: Simple DIY Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

A headshot of Leanne Potts

Leanne Potts

Leanne Potts is an Atlanta-based journalist and serial home remodeler. She's tackled five fixer-uppers and is working on a sixth. She's written about everything from forest fires to dog-friendly decor and spent a decade leading the digital staff of HGTV.