By Dustin Reynolds and Shannon Morrow
With your yard’s spring cleanup behind you, it’s a great time to focus on your home’s front entrance. After all, it’s the first thing people notice as they approach your home.
Whether it’s an expansive area for entertaining or just a simple piece of concrete, there are lots of ways to spruce it up without breaking the bank. Simple DIY touches (or touch ups) to your entryway will add warmth and character that are inviting and amp up curb appeal.
First things first: Do an all-over cleanup of the walkways leading up to the front door. Use a stiff bristle broom to sweep the front porch and recessed alcoves of leftover autumn leaves, wayward mulch, and other debris. Clear out the corners and areas around the porch light where cobwebs and dead bugs collect. Give the cement slab or paver stones a good power wash with eco-friendly cleaning agents. Scrub dirt and grime from your storm door, then remove screens and spray them out with a hose and soap. Clean both doors’ hardware with a mild, finish-friendly cleaner. Then wipe down inserts, transoms, and sidelights with a good glass cleaner that leaves them sparkling.
Update and Accessorize
If your front door has seen better days, a refresh is in order. Remove old paint with a paint stripping solvent, then fill in small scratches or gouges with a spackle made for your type of door. Apply a fresh coat of primer and several coats of door paint in a bold new color. If new paint isn’t enough, consider replacing your old door with a heavier core door with enhanced insulation. Inspect the seals around the door’s opening and replace ones that are dried out and cracked. Make sure the door jam will properly accommodate your new door’s locks and strike plates.
Outdated hardware on your door can age your home’s entry, so check out the newest finishes and styles. Then, carry this new look through to your porch lights, too. Today’s energy-efficient fixtures have many options, such as seasonal bulb colors, motion sensors, or smart technology for added security. Add a subtle glow nearby with a few solar landscape lights or a string of outdoor Edison-style bulbs.
Replace an old builder’s grade doorbell with a modern style, or install a Ring doorbell that lets you see and speak to visitors. Add pizzazz with a decorative door knocker, or install a permanent or moveable door hanger for wreaths and seasonal décor. Replace old house numbers or add a snazzy new letterbox. Finally, add a new doormat that welcomes guests inside, but leaves dirt and debris outside.
Block Eyes and the Elements
Consider installing an awning over your front door. They protect your door’s paint from direct sun and keep the entryway dry on rainy days. Freshen up an existing awning with an outdoor fabric cleaner or replace a tattered one with new fabric. Cleverly placed vertical planters or hanging baskets full of bright blooms add pops of color and a bit of privacy. If your porch has weight-bearing columns, try outdoor curtains or a lattice wall with plants or ivy for added privacy that helps block the wind.
Have a Seat
If space allows, add some weather-resistant seating to your front porch. Brightly colored Adirondack chairs are an eye-catching way to welcome guests. Or try more substantial rocking chairs or a porch swing for added comfort and relaxation. Small side tables keep beverages handy, and a few outdoor pillows complete the look. A resin wicker storage bench or deck box offers additional seating and a dry place for package deliveries. Now sit back and enjoy the summer nights from your newly updated and welcoming front porch.
DUSTIN REYNOLDS and SHANNON MORROW are part of the leadership team at Tweedy Lumber & Hardware in Rushville. They’re member-owners of Do it Best, a Fort Wayne-based cooperative of thousands of hardware stores, home centers and lumberyards throughout the U.S. and around the world.
This article is for informational purposes only. Indiana Connection and Do it Best Corp. assume no liability for the accuracy or completeness of the information contained herein, or for injuries, property damage, or the outcome of any project.