Have you been wanting to add charm and character to your home’s exterior, but holding off because you’re concerned about the cost? I’ve been there, and I totally get it! But I’m here to tell you that creating a charming home exterior is possible, no matter how small your budget is!
Like all low budget projects, patience and ingenuity goes a looong way. Today I’d like to show you how we added character to our home without spending a fortune. This is what our home looked like when we bought it in 2012:
Now I know what you might be thinking. “Your home ALREADY had character!” Yes! I know. The round door, the sloped roof line, the original shakes. We were definitely blessed with a charming, Tudor style home. That’s why I fell in love with this house! BUT there was so much more potential for character. Here’s a list of the features we’ve added since moving in 5 years ago:
- Window Boxes
- Flower Beds
- Stone Edging
- Stained Porch
- Fresh Paint (door and shutters)
- New Light Fixture
- Stacked Stone (along porch base)
And this is what our home looks like today:
Huge difference, right?! Now obviously it took us 5 years to get to this point. But I’m here to encourage you today, because all of these improvements were so affordable and so doable even on the smallest of budgets.
So here’s my first tip if you’re looking to save some money on your home’s exterior.
1. Before Hiring Someone, Ask Around!
Do you know someone who has a beautiful garden? Someone that might have extra building materials on hand? Someone who has a whole lot of “do-it-yourself” knowledge?? Talk to them!! One of the BEST things I did when we bought our home was to involve family and friends.
I knew I wanted a flower bed in our front yard, but I had no idea where to start. Since my mother-in-law has a green thumb and beautiful gardens in her own backyard, I went to her for help. Guys, not only was she so exited to give me a hand, but on top of that she got all of the stone we used to border my flower beds for FREE from a friend! She had connections! And did I mention that a lot of my flowers and herbs came from her garden as well?!
I know it can be scary at times to ask people for help. They might say no, they might let you down. But what’s the harm in asking? You’ll never know if you don’t ask!
2. Do As Much As You Can Yourself
I’m not gonna lie. I dislike the amount of time and work (and most of the time, tears) that DIY projects take vs. just buying new. But when you’re working with a low budget, you’ll save SO much if you just do it yourself. If you’re looking to add charm to your home exterior, one of the fastest ways you can add character is with window boxes and shutters. They can add color and depth to a home that feels flat or lacks interest.
Our shutters and window boxes were both DIY projects, and while they may have been time consuming, we saved a lot by building them ourselves! Plus we were able to make them look exactly how we envisioned rather then settling on something pre-made.
3. Be Patient
This might be difficult when you have a vision but no money. Ha! Believe me when I say that I KNOW the frustration! It’s always worth it, however, to wait. Just wait. Shop around. Hold off until the end of the season. Look for sales. Check the clearance section. Go to thrift stores and garage sales. Take advantage of birthdays and anniversaries!
Some of the hydrangea bushes in my garden were birthday gifts! So were the rockers on our front porch. The planter and watering can were thrift store finds.
Probably one of my best scores EVER was the stacked stone wrapped around the base of our porch.
I had always wanted stone somewhere on the outside of our home, but stone can be pricey. This past spring I went garage sale-ing with my sister, and we were having zero luck. Near the end of day we stopped at a sale and I happened to know the owners. I noticed 4 boxes of stone in their garage, and they wanted thirty bucks for all of it! But wait, it gets better! When I told them I was interested, they asked if they could just trade their stone for some plates they saw at my garage sale that same day.
Since the plates they wanted were hand-me-downs, I essentially scored all of that stone for FREE. Like I said before, it’s hard to wait. But having a little patience can totally pay off!
I hope that some of these tips helped you guys. Believe me when I say I am no expert when it comes to gardening or curb appeal. However, my home is proof that cottage charm and character can be achieved on even the smallest of budgets. Here’s one last before picture of our home when we purchased it 5 years ago.
And here it is today!
Thanks much for stopping by!