DIY Series: Increasing Your Home’s Curb Appeal

When you own a home built in 1942, there’s never a dull moment. A month ago, I tackled the gutters on my Dayton home, covering them with guards right before the leaves began to fall.  The next project on the list is a new walkway, in an effort to make the front of my home look more attractive, increasing its curb appeal. The project involved the walkway leading up to my front door, which, as of last week, was just a line of raised dirt.

More to it than Curb Appeal

Sure, a line of bricks leading up to your house looks nicer than dirt. However, with a long task list, anything strictly for beautification is at the very bottom. The walkway project jumped to the top because there’s a great deal of utility behind having a functional walkway leading to your front door. I park on the curb out front–my wife gets the driveway–so I prefer not to walk over dirt, especially after a long rain!

Like any outdoor home project, certainly one where you’re headed into uncharted waters, it’s best to start early in case you encounter an unexpected surprise. I had all my preliminary work done right. I measured the walkway and found reasonably-priced brick squares in the outdoor section at a local store. They bricks I chose were not the best quality, but well-suited for a tight budget. Fortunately there were some variety in the available designs.

Materials Needed:

  1. Shovel
  2. Brick Squares
  3. Sand
  4. Wheelbarrow
  5. Gloves
  6. Pickaxe

The Work

Once I had lined up the bricks and fetched my shovel, it was time to get to work. About 2 minutes into shoveling, I made an unexpected discovery: there was an old, beaten up, brick walkway underneath the dirt pile. That surprise turned a 5-hour project into an 8-hour one.

It took about an hour to finish transferring the dirt into my backyard with my wheelbarrow. After that task was done, I borrowed a pickaxe from a friend to break up the brick layer. This was such backbreaking work – after shoveling that out, too, I had a much bigger pile in my backyard than I originally planned for.

The effort was well spent: with the old brick gone, I filled the hole with a layer of sand and the new brick squares. I hadn’t spent much money, but I saw immediate payoff. My Dayton home was much more welcoming.

The old bricks?  They’re being used for the perimeter of my garden.