Boost your curb appeal: 6 small front porch ideas on a budget.


By Nicki Escudero

When looking for ways to add curb appeal to your home, it's easy to focus on your front yard's lawn, trees, and flowers. You may even skip to window upgrades, pressure washing your driveway, or repainting your home's siding. But have you thought about improving your front porch?

Your front porch, the first thing guests notice, should be welcoming and stylish. Even if it's small in size, its appearance may impact your curb appeal. 

This guide provides various cost-friendly ideas to transform your small front porch into a charming space. We've got plenty of tips, including front door makeovers and imaginative lighting ideas. Let's explore how to maximize your small front porch and boost curb appeal on a budget.

1. Budget-friendly front door upgrades.

curb appeal ideas on a budget: front porch with black doorThe front door is one of the main focal points of your home's exterior. Here are some ways to give it an upgrade and add instant curb appeal:

  • Paint the front door. A unique pop of color can also make your home more attention-grabbing and valuable — and there's data to back it up. A Zillow survey found that a black front door had the highest offer price: buyers would be willing to pay $6,449 more for a home with this door. Meanwhile, people said they'd pay $6,516 less than expected for a pale pink door.
  • Add decorative hardware. A new door handle, pull, or keyhole could add an interesting touch. Unique models for less than $15 could modernize your door's look.
  • Replace the entire door. You may be interested in replacing the whole door altogether. You can even DIY the project by hanging a prehung door, which includes a door and frame that supports it.

Should you DIY or hire a pro? You can add decorative hardware and hang a prehung door by yourself. However, if you want a new slab door, hire a door installation professional

Also, if you're not confident with your painting skills, hire an exterior painter. You should consult an exterior painter to decide which color to paint your door.

Related: How to paint a concrete porch.

2. Use lighting to create a welcoming entrance.

front porch lighting

Your outdoor lighting is key to increasing curb appeal when the sun goes down. Some lighting manufacturers recommend the following tips when you're upgrading your lighting to boost curb appeal:

  • Layer the lighting. Position various lighting types (sconces, flush mounts, pendants, etc.) at different heights to add functionality and visual interest. Choose fixtures from the same collection to unify the look. Cheap string lights or decorative lanterns can also give your small front porch a cozy glow.
  • Replace lights where they already exist. Save money on an outdoor lighting upgrade by replacing the lighting fixtures where they already exist. 
  • Create an outdoor-indoor flow. If the lights outside contrast starkly to the light fixtures inside, potential buyers may be discouraged. Consider tying indoor and outdoor lighting together in complementary styles.

Should you DIY or hire a pro? If you decide to install new lighting, you may want to hire an electrician or light installation professional to ensure a safe and successful job.

3. Simple potted plants and light landscaping can boost curb appeal.

flowers on front porchLandscaping projects were the most recommended projects by REALTORS® to boost curb appeal. A few simple, even inexpensive, touches can dramatically improve the look of the front of your small front porch. Consider the following:

  • Add low-maintenance plants and flowers to your porch. Research xeriscaping methods for your location, choosing plants that work best for your physical environment. This conserves water, which saves you more money.
  • Create a mini-garden with container plants near your small porch. Plants like succulents are low-maintenance and add beautiful greenery and geometric shapes to your space. Some affordable potted plants and flowers can add color to your porch.
  • Add mulch and edging for a polished look near your small porch. Mulch and landscape edging can help protect your plants and add eye-catching details to the design. Edging can also help prevent grass from spreading where you don't want it to, while mulch can help conserve water. Recycled materials, grass clippings, or shredded leaves for low-cost mulch and edging.

Should you DIY or hire a pro? You can easily buy and add potted plants to your front porch. Starting a garden is also a simple DIY task, but you can hire a gardener if you want it done right.

If you're going to add mulch in other parts of your front yard, be careful. Piling on too much could damage trees and plants. If you're unsure how much to add, hire a landscaper near you.

4. Explore stylish and affordable outdoor furniture ideas.

front porch furniture to boost curb appealOutdoor furniture is both functional and makes your small porch feel cozy. If you want to add seating or furniture to your front porch, consider the following:

  • Measure your front porch. Avoid wasting money on new furniture that doesn't fit on your front porch. 
  • Buy second-hand furniture. Browse through second-hand stores and look on neighborhood social networking sites for free or affordable furniture.
  • Repurpose old furniture for the front porch. Add outdoor sealant to wood and apply waterproofing spray to washable fabric. You can also reupholster old furniture with waterproof fabric and add tape to rugs to make them outdoor-friendly.
  • Build your own furniture. You may already have items on hand that could be cobbled together into a piece of furniture. For example, tying some rope around an old tire could make it a DIY ottoman. You could also create a coffee table from wooden boards, pallets, concrete blocks, or other materials. 

Should you DIY or hire a pro? Assembling outdoor furniture is pretty straightforward, but you can find pros for the job. There are also pros who build custom furniture, which will cost more than the options above.

5. Add DIY decorative accents for a personalized touch.

spring wreath on front porch doorSome affordable, thoughtful decorative accents can also enhance curb appeal. Create the following items to make your front porch appealing and unique:

  • Homemade wreaths. Wrap a wire wreath in ribbon, moss, or faux flowers. You can also add pinecones, ornamental grass, leaves, acorns, and other items found in your yard.
  • Other unique door decorations. Hang a flower-filled basket, watering can, rain boots, or umbrella on the front door. Decorate a unique object, like a wagon wheel, with florals.
  • Old planters. If you have leftover planters, you can give them a makeover with a fresh coat of paint. Or glue decorations like greenery or faux flowers to add a special touch.
  • Hang wind chimes and macrame art for added interest on your front porch.

Should you DIY or hire a pro? To save on costs, stick to DIY-ing this project. Make it a fun activity by including your family, children, or friends. 

6. How to maximize space on your small front porch. 

hanging planters with flowers on front porchIf you have a small front porch, you'll want to use every inch of space wisely. Follow these tips to make the most of what you're working with:

  • Use vertical space. If you want to add extra plants or items to your porch, you can hang baskets and use vertical shelving.
  • Optimize storage. Look for ways to expand the storage space. Your coffee table could store a couple of throw pillows, for example.
  • Get creative with placement. If you're limited on floor space for flower pots, consider hanging flowers on the door or over a railing instead.
  • Choose flexible furniture. Choose chairs and tables you can fold up and store when they're not in use.

Should you DIY or hire a pro? Again, this is a DIY-friendly project. Enlist a friend or family member to help hang items and install shelves.

Find pros who can improve your front porch.

Your front porch is essential to your home's look and feel. There are many ways to add personal touches on a budget and increase your home's value.

If you need help upgrading your front porch, download the Thumbtack app. You can find various pros who can transform your porch:

Remember: Make sure you get several price estimates to stay within your budget.

Related: 13 cheap, simple front yard landscaping ideas.

Find local pros for your project

Tell us what you’re looking for and we’ll show you pros right for the job, with prices.