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    Easy DIY: 5 Outdoor Home Improvement Projects

    August 9th, 2016 , Last Modified: August 9th, 2016

    We get it. You have a busy schedule and you simply haven't been able to find the to pull up those weeds or fix that broken fence post.

    But it could be a good time to roll up your sleeves and start sprucing up the outside of your home-especially if you're thinking about putting your place on the market in the near future. "Curb appeal is all about first impressions," says Jeff Wilson, author of "The Greened House Effect," who has appeared on HGTV and the DIY Network.

    But this doesn't mean you have to spend thousands on contractors or supplies to give your abode a spruce up. Instead, try tackling tasks that will give you the biggest bang for your curb-appeal buck, the greatest resource being yourself.

    1. Make Your Front Door More Inviting

      Depending on the type of door you have, repainting or staining and refinishing it is a simple upgrade that can really make a huge difference-and you'll only spend $20 to $50 in the process.

      If you really want to go all out, you can install a brass kick plate (about $30) and new latch hardware (from about $50)-and still stay within a reasonable budget.

      Estimated Time to Finish: Up to 3.5 hours, with 1 hour of prep, 1 hour for priming and painting, hour to install the kick plate, and 1 hour to install the latch hardware.

      Cost: $30 to $200, depending on whether you add hardware.

    2. Wash Your Home's Exterior

      If your house weathered a lot of storms this winter, a simple scrub-down can provide an instant refresh.

      Use a oxygenated cleaning product to clean dingy siding, brick, and concrete-pretty much any outdoor surface. Spray on the solution using a plastic pump-up sprayer and scrub gently using a basic, plastic-bristled cleaning brush. And if you're trying to reach high places and don't have a ladder, attach your brush to a telescopic pole. Wait a minute or two for the solution to do its work and then rinse off.

      Estimated Time to Finish: 3 to 5 hours per side, depending on the size of your house.

      Cost: $50 to $100 for the cleaner, pump-up sprayer, and brush.

    3. Install Solar-Powered Lamps

      An upgrade that will give you more light without adding to your electric bill? That's a win-win.

      Reliable solar lamp posts are now readily available-no wiring required. Solar lamps give off a supple amount of light, and last through several cloudy days. The best place for solar lamps is in locations where they'll get six hours of sun each day, and where they'll illuminate the walk between the car and the front door."

      And if you have a gate or piers at the foot of your driveway, solar-powered lamps can add a nice touch to those areas-warmly welcoming visitors to your home.

      Estimated Time to Finish: 2 to 3 hours.

      Cost: $100 to $150.

    4. Replace Your Mailbox

      Upgrading a box that is one of the simplest ways to improve your home's first impression. If your mailbox is dented or missing a door and flag, you might be in the market for a new one."

      Even if you have to reset the post, a new mailbox generally will cost less than $75 and DIY friendly. Shoot for something classic and classy, like a black or bronze model with some metallic trim.

      Estimated Time to Finish: 1 to 3 hours, depending on whether you need a new post.

      Cost: $50 to $75.

    5. Do Some Quick Landscaping

      Brighten up your front yard by simply planting a few colorful annuals, and then laying down a three-inch layer of mulch to keep weeds at bay and water in the soil. For added flair, you can also add decorative edging using bricks, stones, metal, or plastic. An edging option like this will only set you back about $20.

      Don't have much of a yard to landscape? Place flowerpots next to your front door or hang plants from a lamppost.

      Estimated Time to Finish: 1 day.

      Cost: $100 to $170 for plants, mulch, and edging.

    Tags: Home, Improvement, Projects, DIY, Front Door, Home Exterior, Solar Powered Lamps, Mailbox, Landscaping