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12 Upkeep Ideas to Add Curb Appeal

Turn your home into the belle of the block with these dozen exterior fixes—best done while the temperatures are warm

Seize the Season

Photo by John Gruen

Remember all those outdoor fixup projects you put off last winter, waiting for the warm summer months? Well, summer's here and it's time to think about getting some repairs in while the temperatures are still agreeable. Keeping your home in tip-top shape not only adds to its curb appeal but it saves you money as you ward off more expensive fixes down the road. Read on for 12 ideas to add curb appeal.

But look at it this way: Spend a couple of weekends outside, basking in the beautiful weather, and make sure your home looks fantastic while you can still enjoy its charms. Soon enough, it will be time to pack it up and head inside.

Let the Sunshine In

Photo by Courtesy of iStockphoto.com

One of the simplest but most satisfying fixups you can do is to make your windows sparkle and shine, letting in clear summer light. Make the job easier by learning from a professional in How to Clean Windows Like a Pro.

Fix Up the Front Door

Photo by Wendell T. Webber

Your front entry is your home's ambassador, signaling to guests if you are friend or foe. If yours is more "War is hell" than "Good to see you, ally," perhaps you need to spruce things up a bit to make it more welcoming. Use these step-by-steps and videos, complete with tools and shopping lists, to turn your shabby door into a palace portal:

• How to Refinish a Door

• How to Replace a Threshold (and watch this companion video)

• How to Tune Up a Sliding Door

• How to Repair Sagging Screens

• How to Repair a Damaged Doorjamb

• How to Repair Door Glass

• How to Unstick a Door

Get Rid of Rotted Wood

Photo by Brain Wilder

Sometimes a simple spruce up isn't enough, when damage to the wood on your house's exterior is too far gone and rot has set in. Don't worry—using the right tools and materials, you can make rot disappear, and fend off more damage. Use these detailed step-by-steps to learn how to make crumbling surfaces look like new again:

• How to Repair Rot Damage

• How to Repair Rotted Trim

• How to Repair a Rotted Soffit

Repair the Roof

Photo by Smith-Baer

Get the roof in shape and the gutters functioning before both have to battle rain and snow.

• How to Repair Damaged Gutters

• How to Extend a Downspout

• How to Reshingle a Roof

Polish Up Paths and Patios

Photo by Courtesy of rytree1/iStockphoto.com

Don't let another winter wreak havok on your hardscaping. Bring your walkways and entertaining areas into tip-top shape while you can still enjoy them:

• How to Powerwash a Walkway

• How to Repair a Brick Patio

• How to Renew Concrete Surfaces

• How to Resurface Worn Concrete

Spruce Up Your Exterior

Photo by Sarah Wilson

Make your home stand out by brightening up its drab exterior. No matter what your home is sided in, we have the step-by-step instructions on how to bring it back to life:

• How to Remove Ivy From a House

• How to Repair Clapboard Siding

• How to Repair Shingle Siding

• How to Repair Vinyl Siding

• How to Repair Stucco (and watch this related video)

• How to Repoint Brick

• How to Paint Your Exterior

• How to Paint Aluminum Siding

Renew Porches and Decks

Photo by Sikkens

Fix the decking on your outdoor spaces so they're safer and more inviting for summer and fall entertaining.

• Front Porch Fixup

• How to Clean and Restain a Deck

Get Fencing in Order

Photo by Webb Chappell

A sagging fence gate or a leaning mailbox can make your house look unloved and unlived-in. Fix both by following these helpful videos:

• How to Repair a Fence Gate (and watch this related video)

• How to Replace a Mailbox

Clean Up the Landscape

Photo by Garden Groom

Even if you get the house all fixed up, a scraggly yard can ruin the whole effect. Get out the garden gloves and the wheelbarrow, and tidy up that unkempt landscape. TOH landscape contractor Roger Cook shows you how to makeover your yard like a pro in these how-to videos:

• How to Clear Poison Ivy

• How to Mulch Plant Beds

• How to Prune and Train Roses

• How to Trim Overgrown Hedges

• How to Remove a Tree Stump

• How to Remove a Boulder

Manicure Your Lawn

Photo by Brad Wrobleski/ Masterfile

It's never too late to go for the greenest turf in the neighborhood. Follow these tips from Roger Cook on how to make your grass the greenest it can be:

• How to Mow a Lawn

• How to Fertilize a Lawn

• How to Revitalize a Lawn

• How to Maintain a Lawn Organically

Get the Sprinklers Working Properly

Photo by Courtesy of iStockphoto.com

Summer droughts can get the best of your landscape, no matter how diligent you are with planting and pruning. Make sure your prize-worthy lawn and garden get the water they need in the most efficient way, by feeding them through sprinklers and irrigation.

• How to Repair a Leaking Sprinkler

• How to Repair Drip Irrigation

Take Measures Before it Gets Cold

Photo by NuWool Insulation

As much as we love that summer heat, it won't last forever. If you live in a cold-weather climate, now is the time to prep for below-freezing winter days.

• How to Install a Freezeproof Faucet (watch the related video here)

• How to Retrofit Cellulose Insulation

Struggling with home maintenance? Check out our home warranty company reviews.