Nothing kills curb appeal like a drab and dreary winter. Since good landscaping can add up to 28% to the value of your home, try these ways to resuscitate your yard during the deadest part of the year.
Why: Moving water is an attention-getter when everything else is hushed and motionless.
How: Above freezing: Cut back water plants; clear debris; run the pond pump all winter. Below freezing: Keep fish alive by installing an aerator ($150) and floating de-icer ($21-$40); keep fountains running with a heater ($66).
Cost: A 6-foot-by-8-foot liner pond: $2,500-$3,500.
Image: Larry Bourgeois
Tips for Brightening Winter Curb AppealFabulous Flowering Plants
What: Shrubs that bloom when all other plants are asleep.
Why: Winter-bloomers add color and provide living privacy borders.
How: Plant these winter color contenders:
• Camellia (Camellia japonica): Some varieties bloom through early winter and make great shrub borders (zones 8-10).
• Winter hazel (Corylopsis): Delicate, yellow flowers hang from bare branches (zones 6-8).
• Blue holly (Ilex x meserveae): Bright red berries look stunning against snow (zones 3-9).
Cost: $40-$55 (2 gal).
Image: Tongshan / iStockphoto
Tips for Brightening Winter Curb AppealColorful Entry Door
What: Splash your entry door with bold color to brighten the facade.
Why: Entry door upgrades are good investments — switching a vinyl door for a steel one recoups 85.6% of its value at selling time.
How: Pick a semi-gloss, exterior paint; don’t apply below 40 degrees (oil-based paint) or 50 degrees (acrylic-based paint). Cold temps prolong drying times and produce a brittle finish.
Tips for Brightening Winter Curb AppealColorful Mailboxes
What: A mailbox of many colors adds a distinctive flair to your front yard.
Why: Attractive mailboxes signal that these homeowners care about their property.
How: Make sure you don’t paint over house numbers, which impedes mail delivery and emergency responders. The U.S. Postal Service requires mailbox coatings to be free from “flaking, peeling, cracking, crazing, blushing, and powdery surfaces.”
Cost: Spray paint: $7.
Image: Ocean / Corbis
Tips for Brightening Winter Curb AppealLooking for more ways to jazz up your yard?