Home makeovers on a budget

Book Review: 'Quick & Easy Curb Appeal'

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

I recently did some work to my house. I spent a full week -- from sunup to sunset -- deep cleaning, organizing, and working with my contractor to get some windows and doors replaced. And at the end of the week, you know what? My house looked really clean, but not so different to someone who doesn't live there or hadn't seen the full-to-the-gills interior of my crawl space before I took it on.

Strangely enough, if you're considering selling your home or just want to see a dramatic difference in how it looks from the curb, there are lots of things you can do -- on your own, and fairly quickly -- to make a big difference.

(This, by the way, is exactly why home sellers should always consult a real estate agent before spending thousands replacing furnaces, windows and other largely noncosmetic items in preparation for selling -- you can spend thousands improving the condition of the place without moving the needle on the impression it makes to buye...