Landscaping and Garden | The Saturday Weekly Review

Curb Appeal Landscaping For First Time Homeowners – The Saturday Weekend Review #324

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Curb appeal landscaping is more than just mowing the lawn once a week.

Owning a home comes with many responsibilities, especially if it’s your first, even if it is a new build.

Keeping your home clean and updated inside is just as important as the outside.

Today, I want to talk about how to get the outside of your home look aesthetically pleasing with low maintenance.

First Time Buyer’s: Frugal Curb Appeal Landscaping Tips

We’ve lived in our home since 2009, and curb appeal landscaping was high on our to-do list.

Buying our home during the winter meant we didn’t know what surprises lurked underneath.

That’s the pitfall of home buying and not having the nice weather to inspect a property on the outside before you buy.

Whether you plan to sell your house or if you want to keep the neighbours motivated, do what we did and give your property a facelift.

Where do you begin with sprucing up the property of your first home?

Today’s discussion is about reviewing curb appeal landscaping for first-time buyers.

Owning a home can be overwhelming, so take my advice and work from the outside into the home.

  1. Garden Planters
  2. Rock Garden
  3. Weed Free Property
  4. Green Grass
  5. Sealed Driveway
  6. Light Fixtures
  7. Shrubs and Plants
  8. Clean Windows
  9. Updated Roof
  10. Clean Siding
  11. Paint or Update Garage Door
  12. New Mailbox
  13. Patio Furniture
  14. Welcome Sign or Mat
  15. Flowers
  16. Hanging Planters
  17. Guttering and downspouts
  18. Vent Covers
  19. Door Hardware Update
  20. Ditch The Junk

Front Yard Curb Appeal: Landscaping Is Everything

I can’t tell you how many times people have stopped in front of our home when they are out for a walk.

Over the years, we’ve slowly improved our home outside looks drastically.

What we didn’t do was fork out loads of cash to turn our dirt pit into a simple landscaped garden oasis.

Okay, that may be a bit dramatic, but for us, an oasis is somewhere peaceful, and that’s how we planned our curb appeal landscaping to get the most out of it.

Curb Appeal Landscaping On A Budget

Forget about hiring companies to come and spray your lawn for weeds; it’s useless.

Each year we budget for at least a $5000 outdoor project for our home.

Our first focus was the front of the house, and when that was completed, we started planning the backyard.

Planning your landscaping with your budget is a crucial factor in savings.

Plus, you can take advantage of sales if you plan your landscaping projects.

For example, if you work out what you want to do in December for Spring or Fall, make a project list of items to purchase.

As they go on sale, start buying what you need to keep your curb appeal landscaping minimum.

We put so much emphasis on planning and having a projected expenses budget.

Related: How We Designed Our Budget Step 10- Projected Expenses.

Imagine What The Inside Of That House Looks Like

If we let the outside of our home fall apart, the inside will crumble.

Any time someone drives by your home, your curb appeal landscaping will be the first thing they notice.

After that, they will look at your house from the front and start picking out what they like and don’t like.

I bet every one of you has gone for walks around your neigbourhood and done this.

We get great landscaping ideas by talking to neighbours about who they contracted or where items were purchased.

Adding curb appeal landscaping reflects the homeowner’s sense of style.

If the neighbours work on curb appeal landscaping, it keeps the value of homes higher.

Do you remember when we blogged about hiring a goat in Ontario to help eat the weeds from a neighbour’s front lawn?

I do, but thankfully they have moved on, and the new homeowners take pride in their home.

20 Ways We Improved Our Curb Appeal Landscaping

In 2019 I wrote about curb appeal for your home, especially if you plan to sell.

Even if you don’t plan to sell because you’ve just moved in, there are some quick tips to motivate your curb appeal landscaping look.

Garden Planters

Garden Planter with Fresh Dill

You can buy garden planters just about anywhere; however, they can get pricey.

Look on Facebook Market Place or Kijiji for deals; however, you may score a deal if it’s garage sale season.

Garage sales are some of the best places where new homeowners can save money.

Rock Garden Curb Appeal Landscaping

Landscape Rock Garden
How To Create A Rock Garden

As soon as spring comes around, the rock garden is one of the most popular ways to landscape your property.

We have many rock gardens around our house that I created years ago.

The rock garden with weed protection was to keep it simple and virtually free of maintenance.

Green Grass

Weed-free green grass landscape appeal
Take care of your lawn by keeping it green and weed-free

Green grass takes some work but you can achieve it by fertilizing twice a year and getting rid of any weeds.

Our grass was mud and weeds after the snow melted during our first year, so I took matters into my own hands.

I dug down and pulled out all weeds and grubs in the soil before ordering fresh new sod.

I fertilize the lawn and look after any weeds that do sneak in during the spring, fall and summer.

If you neglect your grass, it will let you down and turn into an unsightly nightmare.

Sealed Asphalt Driveway

Sealing your asphalt driveway is an easy fix by purchasing the products at any big box store and doing it yourself.

I’ve never paid anyone to seal my driveway, and the cost is time and product but a fraction of what you’d pay someone else.

If your driveway is interlocking brick and there are weeds, get rid of them one by one so they don’t return.

Related: How to build a rock garden with weed prevention

I tend to shy away from interlocking brick for that reason, although I do have a path I designed and have yet any weed problems.

Light Fixtures

Outdoor lights are a simple upgrade and if you watch the flyer sales or find end-of-season lights you can grab a deal.

Sometimes you’ll even find them at garage sales or for sale online from other upgrading homeowners.

You might love what they don’t like, so it’s worth searching before buying them brand new.

I was fortunate to find outside lights for each end of the double garage and one for our sunroom from Home Depot.

The only glitch was that I had to drive to a different Home Depot to pick them up.

As for our back garden, I installed solar lights on each wood fence post that gives off a romantic feel.

Eventually, I will need to install a light fixture on the back of the house but it’s not a need at the moment.

Shrubs and Plants

Incorporate flowers into your landscape design
Add Flowers to brighten your landscape garden

Clean Windows

Cleaning the windows on the inside and outside of your home is simple and should be done often.

Enjoy looking out of your windows without all of the muck on your windows with a cleaning.

Once a year I will hop onto the roof with a paper towel roll, Windex and a bucket of hot water and soap.

Cleaning our windows takes about an hour and I also install the screens after removing them for the winter.

Updated New Roof

Putting a new roof on your house will be an expensive property update unless you do it yourself.

You can expect to pay thousands of dollars for roofing materials.

Our home cost us nearly $7000 for a new roof a few months after moving into our first home together.

If we need a new roof again while living in this home I’ll be doing it with friends, pizza and beer.

After how easy it was to install a roof, I learned that I’d take that project on myself.

No, pizza and beer are not my friends but will help entice my buddies.

Clean Siding

Keep Siding on your house free from dirt to increase landscape appeal.
Dirty White Siding on A house

There are companies that will come to your house and clean the siding and windows but at a steep cost.

After a long winter and other weather elements, the siding can get a dirty look.

Instead of hiring someone, I went to Canadian Tire and bought myself a pressure washer.

It cost me less to buy the pressure washer and do the task myself than it would have to hire someone.

Paint or Update Garage Door

Another pricey project to improve curb appeal is the garage door which I consider essential.

The garage door should insulate the garage, but it helps to keep utility costs down.

The garage door on our home is the original and I plan to replace it with an insulated door.

In the meantime, I’ve added new white trim and a bottom seal and painted it a darker grey.

Now, it looks brand new.

New Mailbox

We get our mail from the Canada Post Box up the street, but we get flyers delivered to our mailbox.

If you have a black mailbox as we do take a can of spray paint and refresh it to look new.

I’ve done this with our outdoor lights and any planters that we own that can be spray painted.

Keep your decor looking fresh and new with a few dollars and elbow grease.

Patio Furniture

Search online for second-hand patio furniture especially at the end of season when homeowners downsize.

We purchased our small table and chairs, which are wrought iron, for $10.

A couple of black spray paint cans and seat covers and the table look brand new.

Welcome Sign or Mat

Friendly garden welcome sign planter box
Welcome Sign Planter

A welcome sign is always a nice touch and shows the neighbours that you are friendly.

Whenever I see a welcome sign or mat at the front door, for some reason, I find it inviting.

You can purchase welcome mats at most garden centres in your local area.

Our front matt was custom made by a lady in a small village outside of London, Ontario.

Support local when you can to help other families who work from home.

Flowers Add Personal Flair

Low maintenance flowers for curb appeal landscaping on a budget
Low maintenance flowers for curb appeal landscaping on a budget

We used to be big flower fans and still are but don’t have the time to care for them.

Adding colour to your curb appeal landscaping is ideal if you can find low-maintenance flowers, such as sunflowers.

Try to look for free plants for your front gardens to keep costs low.

Hanging Planters

Use hanging baskets to grow fruits, herbs or vegetables.
Hanging planters with strawberries

Planters add a nice touch to the outside of your property, mainly to keep the neighbours guessing.

You don’t need to go overboard either, so keep what you grow simple and easy to maintain.

We often opt for hanging ferns as there’s not much to do but water them.

Guttering and Downspouts

Maintain guttering and downspouts by painting or replacing them. Landscape curb appeal is not just the lawn.
Home downspout in need of repair – curb appeal landscaping

I’m not going to recommend replacing your guttering unless it needs to be however if it’s full of leaves and other materials clean it out.

Purchase a ladder that is necessary for all homeowners and clean out the guttering.

You could be like me and hop out the bedroom window and clean them.

Just be careful you don’t fall off the roof or secure yourself for safety precautions.

The downspouts are relatively cheap to buy, so if yours are smushed or require repair, spend the money and refresh them.

Outdoor Vent Covers

Sun-damaged outdoor house vent that needs to be replaced
Sun-damaged outdoor house vent that needs replacing

Take a walk around your home and look at all of the ventings on the outside.

For example, the dryer vent may be full of lint and falling apart due to sun damage.

That’s a quick, easy fix to remove lint and replace the old vent with a new one for a small cost.

Another checklist item to consider is all of the openings to the inside that will allow rodents inside.

Every two months, I put mouse traps in our attic, and they are always full.

This month I put 21 mouse traps, and I bet I’ll have them filled with dead mice.

Don’t fool yourself; every home has mice, and your pet population will grow if you don’t control it.

If the mice get into your walls, be prepared for another problem that could be a costly home repair.

We’ve experienced mice in the basement insulation which we knew about when we bought our house.

There was a $5000 decrease in the real estate offer to fix the problem and deal with indoor smoking.

I plan on sharing with you the process of cleaning the insulation and the costs to fix it.

Door Hardware Update

Besides installing a new front door or screen door, there’s a reasonably inexpensive way to upgrade the hardware.

Once I had installed our new front door with an insert that I bought separately there was only one thing left to do besides hanging it.

Finding the right door handles means keeping the inside door handles with the outside.

You can find door handles and lock systems at any big box store such as Canadian Tire, Home Depot and even online at Amazon.

We purchased matte black new door hardware from Amazon Canada and it’s still in great condition years later.

Ditch The Junk

Steer clear of junk laying around your property, especially garden gnomes that can overwhelm the look.

I’m not saying don’t have them unless it’s part of the landscape art you want to convey.

If you like to add decor to your landscaping, keep it to a minimum so it doesn’t look junky.

Also, if you have garbage lying around, pick it up because litter ruins the look of a property.

Always keep your garbage bins hidden away on the side of the house or in the garage, if possible.

Planning Curb Appeal Landscaping Is Worth The Effort

If you’re still not convinced that you can add curb appeal, landscaping starts slowly.

Don’t try and rush the process because you may not like the end result.

Only do what you can afford and implement any free or inexpensive ways I’ve listed above.

P.S Check out my post on how to get free landscaping tools in your area.

Discussion: What did you do to boost curb appeal landscaping for your home?

Please share your comments below.

Thanks for reading,

Mr. CBB

Recent CBB Blog Posts You May Have Missed

Below is a recap of the blog posts I’ve published in the past week.

If you have a blog post idea for me or want to share a story, by all means, contact me.

www.canadianbudgetbinder.com Subject: Blog Post Idea

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I’ve done this because it’s now in my bi-weekly newsletter only for subscribers.

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THOUGHTS CORNER BY MR.CBB

Quote to not let life get in the way of making yourself happy.
Don’t let life get in the way of your happiness – Quote Mr.CBB

Recipe That Caught My Attention

Frugal recipe of the week is hot cross buns.
Traditional Easter Hot Cross Buns without Added Sugar

These traditional hot cross buns are an easy recipe for a delicious Easter tradition with sweet bites of raisin, lemon, and honey.

Topped with a cross and easy optional glaze recipe to make these a must serve. Hot cross buns-these are among my earliest memories of Easter.

SATURDAY SEARCH TERM GIGGLES

Google keywords
Google Keywords – Canadian Budget Binder

These are keywords that readers typed into their search engine and landed on this blog.

I get quite a few of these every day and pick some of the best to feature right here.

  • Can you return meat if it makes you sick? – I’d let the store know, and I’m sure they will allow the return.
  • Signs Of A Financially Intelligent Lady– This is probably one of the best searches I’ve had in a long time.
  • How to get Rogers cheaper? – Disconnect it.

That’s all for this week’s CBB Crew. Join me next Friday for my bi-weekly newsletter.

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Have a great week; Spring is finally upon us, so let the cleaning begin.

Mr. CBB

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