Improving Curb Appeal

With the hecticness of a home renovation project, it was easy for us to completely neglect the outside of our home for a few months.  We live on a fairly busy road, so I can only imagine that hundreds of people a day were judging us as they drove by.  So a few weekends ago, I reached the peak of my patience with how out of hand it had gotten.  Here is a list of quick and easy projects that drastically improve curb appeal, for almost no money and just a bit of sweat!


Top Tips:

Clear debris:  This may seem like a no brainer, but every time I walk around my property I find some rubbish.  Whether it be from an animal trash thief or just some lazy passer-by.  Once every couple of weeks I just simply do a walk through and make sure there is no trash laying around.

Trim Hedges:  I am embarrassed to even show some of these before pictures, but I can laugh at how ridiculous my yard looked for about a month or so.  With all the work going on inside, we didn’t have a moment to spare for outside work.  Thankfully, trimming hedges with a battery powered hedge trimmer takes no time at all!  I did roughly 5 hedges in less than 10 minutes.

Plant A Garden:  Flowers and potting soil are relatively cheap, and add a nice pop of color. If you are like me, and struggle to keep up with this kind of work, I highly recommend something low maintenance!  I am really bad at watering and pruning, so the slower growing the better.  I went with a few new shrubs.  I was able to get 5 Azaleas for $100 at my local garden store, and with a $6 bottle of root spray they extended their warranty from 6 months to a year.  I am relatively new at gardening, so this was exciting for me!  I also found enough rocks in my woods to line it for free!

I also grabbed a few Woodland Phlox to fill in this empty bed.

Install Window Boxes:  Here is a look at my shed.  I gave these boxes a quick spray down with the hose, and 20 minutes later we had some nice bright flowers.  They could use some paint, but it is a start!  If you don’t have any window boxes, you can find them for $10 at your local home improvement store.  To save money, only put them on the front of the house!

Mulch & Stone:  At a couple of dollars a bag, mulch and bright new stones are a great way to help your garden look well cared for.  Both are easy to spread, and most mulches guarantee to hold their color for a year.  Stones are great to use in spaces like we have around our shed.  Spots where you want to add some visual interest but don’t want the hassle of plants.  For example, around a shed!

Weed:  These seem to grow like wildfire in my yard.  And I often pray for the day that I have kids and can pay them to weed, after all, they are a lot closer to the ground!  For now, I have to continue this painstaking process.  I typically grab the weedwacker (link) and anything I can’t get with that I go and pull-up.  Recently my mother shared a secret with me.  Vinegar and dish soap.  Spray it anywhere you don’t want anything to grow. I still have a lot of clean-up to do here, but the weeds are definitely dying 🙂

Cut the grass:  This may seem like another one of those no-brainers, but I can’t tell you how many weekends we have just said….”lets just do it next week”.  Out entire lot is only a half acre, so it really is a quick project with a strong effect on our overall curb appeal.

Add a fire pit: I did quite a bit of research on this one a few years back.  There are three viable options.  We went with the third, solely because it was one of the only ways I could find to get the metal insert.  Otherwise, I definitely would have picked out stones and made my own design.

  • You can buy a free standing metal fire pit.
    • Bonus: No installation and you can take it on the go


  • You can buy stones at your local landscaping store
    • This allows for a lot of variety of size and color (get creative!)


  • You can buy a kit
    • These typically include the stones, as well as, a metal insert.
    • You would think it might also come with some directions on how to assemble it, but alas, it did not.  We couldn’t even find anything online.  So we used the picture to come up with a plan.
    • I bought my kit online, and went to pick it up at Home Depot.  There was only one, and they could not find it anywhere.  After waiting an hour, and helping them look, I left.  They called me the next day and said they located it.  I went back, still no fire pit kit!  It was a very comical mess.  I left one more time, and sure enough, the next day I got a call from the store manager who assured me that they really did find it this time.  I made my third trip back, almost had a heart attack when they said that they needed to go find it, and had to wait another 20 minutes because they never took it down off the shelf.  If there was ever a time I thought I deserved some form of compensation for the pure annoyance that this caused, this was it.  I got nothing.  Except for the firepit kit I paid full price for.

Have you completed any yard projects recently?  I always love new tips and tricks, especially for keeping weeds at bay! 
Keep an eye out for the upcoming posts, and as always, if you want to stay up-to-date please follow Damsel With A Drill and subscribe to our email list.
  1. amindfultravellerblog

    September 5, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    Little things can make such a difference. Good on you Laura. X

    1. Laura Cameron

      September 6, 2017 at 4:40 pm

      Thank you! All of these things took me less than a day, and my yard looks so much better. Not perfect, but significantly better than it did before 🙂

  2. HappyHauteHome

    September 6, 2017 at 8:59 am

    I love window boxes, yours look great.

    1. Laura Cameron

      September 6, 2017 at 4:39 pm

      Thanks! I still have to get a few on the main house, and I am experimenting with finding some good low maintenance flowers that I only have to change with the season 🙂

  3. bexoxo

    September 6, 2017 at 9:04 am

    Those window boxes are adorable! I like the scuffed up look, so I think they’re good the way they are.

    I’m getting ready to paint my front door and shutters to up my curb appeal. I’m excited to see how it turns out. 🙂

    1. Laura Cameron

      September 6, 2017 at 4:38 pm

      Thanks so much! I also have to put up some new shutters and find a fun color for my front door! Good luck 🙂 I would love to see how they look when you are done!

  4. freedomlaughs

    September 18, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    Hi there! Great tips. The best way to get rid of weeds is pull them up and then plant something else 🙂 Creeping thyme would look amazing in between your pave stones. Great inexpensive fertilizer to liven everything up: Epsom salt. Enjoy

    1. Laura Cameron

      September 19, 2017 at 2:19 pm

      Great tips!! Thank you so much, I will look into the creepy thyme. I have read good things about it other places too 🙂

  5. quinoayoga

    September 19, 2017 at 10:10 am

    Your home is beautiful! Love all the space and you’re doing an awesome job with the renovation works:)
    I miss having a yard – here in Frankfurt a balcony is as close as you can get to one!

    1. Laura Cameron

      September 19, 2017 at 2:15 pm

      Thank you so much 🙂 I can’t imagine not having any green space! I have seen some cool pinterest projects for making balcony’s look amazing and cozy!

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