Boost Home Curb Appeal with Landscaping

Written by Rick Slavinski of Curb Appeal Landscaping
Updated December 14, 2021
Landscaped entry with flowers, trees, shrubs and brick edging.
Edging, outdoor lighting and mulching are just several landscaping options for making your home's exterior more attractive. (Photo courtesy of Green Meadows Landscaping)

Want to enhance home curb appeal? Look to landscaping updates, from installing outdoor lighting to edging beds.

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Landscaping is about more than making your lawn look lush and inviting. It’s also about increasing home curb appeal and adding to the value of your property. 

Here are six landscaping projects almost any homeowner can undertake.

1. Raise home curb appeal by creating privacy.

Evergreen trees along a property line.
Rather than installing a conventional fence along the property line, homeowners could consider a natural alternative with landscaping. (Photo courtesy of Curb Appeal Landscaping)

Neighbors are great, but during outdoor activities you may suddenly feel like you are on display. What you need is some personal space away from the view of the neighbors and passers-by.

Rather than installing a conventional fence along the property line, consider natural alternatives to create a living fence. Evergreens, plants and trees that stay green all year will provide a natural screen.

If space permits, trees would be the preferred material selection. In cramped spaces, raised planter boxes can help.

Like the best landscaping ideas, creating a living fence is all about assessing the situation and creating a functional yet aesthetic solution. Material selection will be the key to this project.

2. Consider a top-quality mailbox and post.

Post mailbox in landscaped flower bed.
Arone Exteriors of Pelham, New Hampshire designed and hand-built this portico. The job also included a new front door, fascia boards, gutters, soffit and roof ridge vents. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Catherine T.)

Home curb appeal refers to how attractive your property looks from the street. The first element that many guests see when arriving at your home is the mailbox and post. Quickly, one can arrive at an impression of your property based solely on this.

Is it purely a no frills, functioning item? Is it dilapidated? Most importantly, is your mailbox and post among the landscape ideas that add value to your property?

A straightforward project to consider is updating your current mailbox. Transform that utilitarian item into a structural element that will command respect.

During the material-selection process, keep in mind that the goal is to choose a product that is of a high-quality construction and will withstand harsh weather.

To create an even stronger first impression, transform your house number and street name by lettering them on each side of the mailbox. It will serve as a statement-making address marker for future guests.

3. Illuminate the entryway to heighten home curb appeal.

Post lamps along a wrought iron fence.
Outdoor lighting shows off your landscaping while adding value to your home. (Photo by Katelin Kinney)

Landscape design ideas should not be limited to plantings, trees and turf. By expanding your design process to include outdoor lighting, you can create visual and functional impact.

Highlighting the entrance to your house with a post light is a great place to start. All too often, the walkway leading to the house entrance is not illuminated, establishing a feeling of uncertainty when traversing the area.

The power of light has the ability to highlight the texture of the walkway and provide a welcoming feeling after dusk. A carefully placed light post adjacent to the walkway illuminates the immediate area and provides a structural element to your front-yard landscaping ideas.

As for selecting a post light, lean toward one that has character. Suggestions include an oversized cap, detailed moldings and overall dimensions that create the impression of a stout post light, rather than one that’s skinny and slender.

Although a licensed electrician should make the electrical connections for installing a post light, don’t let this be a deterrent. The light post will complement the house, add value and make the entrance a bit grander.

4. Make over your mulch.

Mulched flower bed and paved entry path.
This front-yard landscape design by Indianapolis-based Earth-Wood Arts includes mulched beds with flowers, shrubs and boulders. (Photo courtesy of Roger Tunis)

Fresh mulch livens up flowerbeds and areas around trees. Many landscapers and garden centers sell mulch in bulk or by the bag. The most standard bag size is 2 cubic feet. Bulk mulch sells by the cubic yard, which is equal to 13.5 standard-sized bags.

If your yard is like most American lawns, you have about one-third of an acre, most of it grass. Making your planting beds pop can cost as little as $2 a bag ($19 per cubic yard), or as much as $7 per bag ($47 per cubic yard) or higher depending on the quality and type of mulch.

If you have a large area to mulch, buying in bulk may be cheaper in the long run, even with delivery fees. If you’re going to spread it yourself, have the load dumped onto a tarp for easier cleanup.

Many landscapers will also install it. The national average cost for professionally mulching 300 square feet typically ranges between $200 and $400, but may be more or less depending on where you live.

5. Cut corners (and curves).

Front-yard landscape with edged flower beds, mulch and post lamp.
CC’s Landscaping of Mayfield Heights, Ohio, took on several projects for this member home. Landscape work included removing old shrubs, creating new flowerbeds, transplanting, edging, mulching, grading, laying topsoil and hydroseeding. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Sharon D.)

Edging a flower bed, tree or other landscaping element can boost aesthetic appeal.

Following the shape of the bed, cut into the surrounding lawn about 6 inches with a shovel or other sharp tool. The edge can stand alone, or you can fill it with brick, stone or other material, at a cost ranging from $4 to $15 per square foot.

For a clean look, create some separation between the soil or mulch and the edging material. Or, keep a standalone edge sharp by going over it with a shovel or other tool every few months.

6. Green up your grass.

Push reel mower cutting lawn with dandelions.
A traditional manually pushed reel lawn mower. (Photo courtesy of Brian Boucheron)

A good rule of thumb: For every inch of grass above the ground, there’s an inch of roots below. If you cut too close to the ground, roots may die. Set your mower height so your lawn is trimmed to a minimum of 3 inches. That will encourage thicker turf that resists crabgrass, among other benefits.

Here’s to enjoying the outdoors.

Editor’s note: This is an updated version of an article originally posted on April 23, 2014.

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About this Experts Contributor: Rick Slavinski is the owner of Curb Appeal Landscaping, providing landscaping services in Boston. Since 2004, Curb Appeal has specialized in landscape construction and design, masonry repairs, stonework, tree and shrub pruning and much more.

As of April 27, 2017, this service provider was highly rated on Angi. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angi for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angi.

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