Spiff Up Your House Foundation

6 fast fixes to take the foundation of your home from drab to fab.

Even when you're not buying or selling a house, there's something to be said for keeping up your home's curb appeal—and that includes your home's foundation. After all, your house doesn't become invisible where the paint or siding ends!

Of course, if you have house foundation problems that are structural in nature, seek the advice of a structural engineer or someone who specializes in those big repairs. For everyone else, though, here are some tips for getting your home foundation looking nifty in a jiffy.

1. Get Rid of Weeds and Grasses

Because it's difficult to mow close to a house foundation, there's a tendency to whack away at weeds. The unfortunate result is bare and ugly dirt, not to mention ideal growing conditions for even more weeds. What's more, weeds attract bugs—bugs that don't always stay outside, if you catch our meaning.

Now before you get out there and start tugging, keep in mind that lots of weeds have deep roots. Not only does that make them hard to pull, but unless you're lucky enough to get every piece of the root, the weeds will simply grow back. Here's what to do instead: Kill weeds and unwanted grass to the roots by targeting them with Roundup® Ready-To-Use Weed & Grass Killer III with Sure Shot® Wand. Not only does it kill more than 200 types of weeds and grasses, but the attached Sure Shot® Wand extends 2 whole feet, making it easy to target unwanted weeds and grasses that grow along your home's foundation. (Be sure to read and follow all label directions.)

2. Repair Cracks and Fill Gaps

Cosmetic cracks and minor gaps don't just look bad, but over time, moisture and dirt can get in, making it more likely that cracks will worsen and weeds will grow. Why, some weeds even sprout in the craziest of places, including underneath vinyl siding and into the actual concrete. Don't stand for such nonsense! Fight back by spot-treating weeds with Roundup® Ready-To-Use Weed & Grass Killer III with Sure Shot® Wand, then patch those cracks and gaps.

3. Cover Up the Ugliness

By its very nature, a house foundation isn't meant to be pretty. After all, it's simply the platform on which everything else is built. But that doesn't mean you have to settle for blah. Consider painting the foundation a neutral (or bold!) color, installing a stone veneer, refacing it with stucco, or covering it up with lattice.

4. Beautify with a Hardscape or Landscape

Another idea is to focus on the area right around the base of your home. Install a gravel or rock boundary all around the foundation or put in a combination gravel and stepping stone border. This not only creates a neat and tidy space, but it's also a good way to help move moisture away from the foundation.

Also think about softening the look of your house foundation by adding a landscape bed, either in addition to a hardscape or instead of it. The outline can be curved or straight—your choice. Include a mix of bushes, perennial flowers, and other landscape plants that grow well in your area. Just one word of caution: If you applied Roundup® Ready-To-Use Weed & Grass Killer III with Sure Shot® Wand to the area, be sure to wait at least a day before planting all these beautiful plants in treated areas.

5. Prevent Future Weeds

Once you're done planting, apply a weed preventive like Roundup® Weed Barrier Granules. It works by forming a weed barrier to stop weeds before they start. Plus, it makes your life a lot easier by preventing future weeds and grasses for up to 6 months. (Again, be sure to read and follow label directions.)

6. Add Mulch

To top off your home foundation fix-up, apply some high-quality mulch to any new landscape beds. Just be sure to keep mulch to a reasonable depth—about 2 to 3 inches—and don't pile it up against the foundation. (Mulch helps keep in moisture, and while that's good for plants, it's not good for foundations.) If you don't have a gravel border or other hardscape to act as the go-between, simply leave a good-sized gap between the house foundation and the start of your mulch.

See, going from weedy to wonderful doesn't have to be complicated. Whether your house foundation is currently weed-infested, bare and ugly, or simply in need of a little TLC, these simple tips make it surprisingly easy to give it a makeover sure to impress. What are you waiting for?