The front of your home serves as a first impression to guests, passersby, and potential home buyers. Since first impressions leave a lasting mark, you want the front of your home to be inviting and memorable.
The best way to do that is to keep up with projects that will add to your home’s appeal. There are dozens of projects that you can choose from, but a few specific projects will really make your home stand out and will up your home’s curb appeal in the process.
Refinish or Add Walkways
Walkways serve not just as an unhindered path to your front door, they also guide the eye to your home’s entry. No matter how much you dress up the front of your home, it will never look fully polished if your driveway and walkways are cracking, covered in stains, or hidden below a layer of weeds. If you are lucky, your walkway may just need a deep clean rather than complete overhaul. You should powerwash your walkway to remove ground in dirt and stains.
If your walkway is beyond repair you can hire a professional to remove it and install a new one. There are a plethora of walkway designs and materials to choose from. The most popular are stamped concrete, natural stone, and brick walkways.
All of these provide a versatile and natural look. Concrete walkways are available in a variety of warm colors and stamped patterns so your options are really limitless. The same is true of brick, which can be placed in a standard straight arrangement or a unique pattern.
Finally, natural stone walkways are very popular among homeowners. Stone can be oversized or moderate, placed in a straight formation of sporadic arrangements, and enclosed with pebbles, mulch, or even low lying ground cover plants. All walkways regardless of material and design are especially beautiful when they are surrounded by ample greenery and colorful flowers.
Update Light Fixtures
Ample light around your home is not just about security, it is also a way to illuminate the most beautiful parts of your home. Generally, light fixtures are placed above or around the garage doors, above or around the front door, and around the back porch. If your light fixtures are dated you should swap them out for new ones.
There are a few common lighting guidelines that will help in your quest to update your light fixtures. The location of your lights will determine the size of the fixture and the height at which the fixture should be installed. If your light will be installed next to the door it should be no more than ⅓ the size of the door. It should be installed about 66 inches from the floor.
However, if the light will be placed above your door, it should be approximately ⅕ the height of the door and centered approximately six inches above the door. The same size and height levels should be followed for garage lights.
Driveway and lamp posts are also popular lighting options. These lights should not be larger than ¼ the height of the lamp post pole and should be about six foot tall. Exterior light fixtures come in a variety of styles so it can be overwhelming to choose just one.
Colonial homes benefit from a rustic lantern style fixture while more contemporary homes pair well with sleek chrome fixtures. If you are in doubt about what light to choose, go with a simple classic style rather than overly ornate. Finally, the finish of your new light fixture is just as important as the design and placement.
Polished nickel finishes work well with coastal or contemporary homes while aged and polished brass complement any traditional home. Oil-rubbed bronze finish fixtures work with almost any style of home.
In addition to updated main light fixtures, you can add warmth to the front of your home with solar powered lights. These are easily installed in the ground around walkways or hanging around the front porch and stairways for a bit of extra light.
Update Your Front Door
Your front door is the heart of your home and the area of your front porch that will get the most attention. If your front door is dented or out of date you’ll want to purchase a new door.
Front doors range from stock wood doors that start at around $200 or solid-wood doors that start at $600 but can cost upwards of $2,000. Solid wood doors are the most common and come in oak, cherry, walnut, mahogany, maple, fir, and pine. Aluminum doors cost nearly as much as solid wood doors with prices starting at $600.
These doors have an enamel finish and never need painting and are impenetrable to rust. You could also opt for a steel door if you are more concerned about security, durability, and a more budget friendly option. The final type of door is a fiberglass-composite door. These are tough maintenance-free doors that are a great option for hard weather or humid climates.
Along with their durability, fiberglass-composite doors also mimic the look of wood and can be stained to match many varieties of wood. Most types of front doors come in a wide variety of styles so you can choose one that best matches the style of your home.
If your door has just a few spots of chipping paint you can always give you front door a fresh coat of paint. If you are going to apply new paint to your door, take the time to choose a color that will work well with your home’s exterior color. If your home is a light neutral color you could paint your front door a bright yellow or beautiful teal.
Or, you can keep your door understated and just as neutral as the rest of your home and opt for a white, gray, or beige door. When your door is painted you should also purchase and install new door hardware. These again should match the style of your home and serve as a simple accent to your front porch.
Additional projects that add beauty to the front of your home are basic landscaping, a well-manicured lawn, and new garage doors. These projects, along with the ones mentioned above require a bit of extra work, but in the end create a warm, inviting and overall appealing home.