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September 2, 2014

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Keeping up with those darned Joneses

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Sam Morris

Youth clean up the yard of a home Thursday, July 28, 2011.

Has your home’s appearance gotten a bit bland? Do other houses in your neighborhood “pop”?

Ever wonder how to make your home stand out without spending a lavish amount on landscaping or repainting?

It doesn’t take a lot of money or effort to enhance your home’s curb appeal. Before you begin, however, be sure to check with your homeowners association to see what your community rules allow, and seek approval if you must.

Here are some suggestions for inexpensive curb appeal boosts:

Decorative Door

A new coat of paint on your front door can make a world of difference.

You’ll need a can of paint, tools to remove the door and a free afternoon.

Your local hardware store is a good resource for making sure you use the right paint. Depending on the current paint and your desired hue, you might need to sand the door or apply primer.

Popular eye-catching color choices include red, indigo, turquoise, emerald and yellow. Best part? This project can be done for $25 to $40, or a bit more if you need a brush and drop cloth.

Street Numbers

If your HOA allows it, decorative street numbers are an easy way to customize your house and show off your personality.

Etsy.com offers numbers that range in style and price, from elegant to quirky. If you’re feeling crafty, homemade street numbers might be the way to go. Step-by-step instructions about how to make a mosaic, how to jazz up hardware store numbers or how to make numbers using nails and other ordinary items are just a click away, thanks to sites such as pinterest.com.

Modern Mailbox

If you live in a rural area or outside an HOA, you may have a mailbox out front. It doesn’t need to be drab. A simple mailbox can be dressed up in short order to fit any style.

Stencils can be used to dot on lighthouses, birds, your family’s last name, sunflowers or countless other designs. When picking paint, make sure to keep in mind what your mailbox is made of, as wood, plastic and aluminum all have different needs when it comes to paint. Consult a hardware store about the proper paints and sealants to use for the longest-lasting design.

Clean It Up

The only cost for this project is time. Put on some old gloves and clothing, and clean up your front yard.

Remove dead foliage from trees and shrubs; pull weeds; round up and discard debris that gets blown around in the wind; sweep desert landscape rocks back into place; have the kids put their toys back in the garage.

A slightly more expensive option is renting a power washer and clearing your driveway of tire marks and other stains.

Lighten Up

Outdoor light fixtures range in price from less than $20 to more than $100 and can be practical or decorative. Styles run the gamut, from antique to modern, and can give a house a quick face-lift.

Homeowners can go a step further by lining a walkway with lights, creating a stately, layered look.

Take advantage of Las Vegas’ sunshine and check for solar options. Walkway lighting can get expensive quickly, but savvy shoppers can find sets of lights for under $100.

Turning Over a New Leaf

Las Vegas isn’t known for its greenery, but desert-friendly plants are a fun way to increase your abode’s curb appeal.

The Springs Preserve can help homeowners identify desert-dwelling plants and flowers that will complement your yard — and survive. Using the Springs Preserve’s plant search, gardeners can browse hundreds of plants and search by size, color, type, water needs, sun requirements and general maintenance level. Experienced Springs Preserve desert gardeners are available to answer questions through email. Or take a stroll through the preserve’s collection for inspiration.

Another option for adding a pop of color to the front of your home is buying a seasonal wreath or a welcome sign to hang on your front door.

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