If you long to give your home that sought-after "curb appeal," consider starting with your front entrance. Your front entrance is so important when making that "first impression," because it's really the 'face' of your home. So try following these 10 easy improvements to help give your home a facelift:
1. Repair the Walkway: Patch cracks and replace loose bricks and pavers. Rent a power washer or purchase a chemical treatment to clean up embedded stains in concrete, stone or asphalt.
2. Illuminate the Path: Lighting helps ensure guests arrive safely and also acts as a theft deterrent. Clean light fixtures and replace burnt-out bulbs with energy-saving CFL bulbs, replace outdated fixtures and add landscape lighting to brighten walkways and shrubbery.
3. Use Foliage and Shrubbery: Strategically-placed plants can conceal any unattractive aspects of your house or surroundings. Place large pots or hanging baskets around the stoop or porch. Bushes or hedges hide air conditioning units or propane tanks, and flower beds and window boxes will stylize a stark facade.
4. Prune and Mulch: Prune dead branches, trim back overgrown shrubbery or remove obstructive plantings. Spread mulch or bark around trees, shrubs and flowers for a weed-free, well-kept look.
5. Decorate Your Door: Restore the luster of your door by polishing the hinges and knobs. Paint or stain the door with a color that stands out, yet complements, the trim and siding. Hang a pretty wreath to finish the look. If your front door is weak or unattractive, invest in a replacement door or storm door for security and energy efficiency.
6. Focus on Windows: Fix broken windows and torn screens and paint sashes, trim and shutters in a neutral color. Add window treatments and keep the glass crystal clear.
7. Accessorize: Choose a few lawn and garden ornaments. Match a decorative handle, door knocker or kickplate with shiny new house numbers and a mailbox.
8. Feature Furniture: Spray a fresh coat of paint on furniture and replace the cushions. Fill an empty spot on the porch or stoop with a quaint bench or porch swing.
9. Keep it Clean: Sweep the sidewalk and stoop, clear away cobwebs, tighten wobbly railings and repaint posts and supports.
10. The Finishing Touch: Put out a clean, new welcome mat and make sure the doorbell works because you're sure to attract more visitors now!
By following these 10 simple steps, your front entrance will be beautiful, well-maintained, and most of all, welcoming.