There’s an old saying that “You never get another chance to make a first impression” and that’s true about many things. One place where I noticed it in my life recently was my front porch. The paint was peeling, the gutters were rusting, and the downspout was all wonky. Although the yard was trim and all the leaves and branches from the surrounding trees were raked up, something had to change!
Make that First Impression Count
Landscaping doesn’t stop with mowing the grass and planting some new flowers every spring. How your sidewalk, driveway, and front porch look go a long way towards making a first impression both on people who drive past your house as well as those who stop in to say hello for whatever reason. Making a good first impression is important because no matter how many times people visit your home, they will always remember that first time.
Using a power washer is the best way to keep your sidewalk and driveway free of stains and debris. Nobody wants to walk across the result of leaks from your car’s engine, discarded chewing gum, or other pollutants. Keep your grass trimmed to a reasonably short height and properly dispose of the cuttings. This not only looks neat, but it also helps discourage fleas and ticks which is especially important if you have pets. Here are some other tips for dressing up the outside of your home.
Update the hardware on the front door. Outdated fixtures aren’t appealing at all. One friend of our family bought a 1970s bungalow. She loved the fixtures and custom front door on her home so instead of replacing the rusting pieces she just gave them a coat of paint in a trendy, modern color.
Add a wreath and change it out for each season. You don’t have to be a master floral designer to accomplish this task. One fellow blogger shared instructions for making a wreath out of a pool noodle, a pair of jeans, and items you probably have lying around the house.
Maintain your gutters and downspouts. Replace rusting metal gutters. Make sure plastic ones are straight. And regardless of which type you have, keep them free of leaves and twigs. Add a decorative downspout statue for the bottom. For instance, one in my yard looks like two children with a topped bucket. Each time it rains it looks as though water is pouring from the bucket onto the ground.
Install solar lights along walkways. You can’t always count on street lamps to light the way from the street to your front door. Solar lights are a major safety feature and because they’re powered by sun soaked up throughout the day, you don’t have to worry about precarious electrical installation.
Use container gardening not only to dress up your front porch, but also to add color to the outside of your windows. Try planting flowers that are a contrasting shade of color than what’s on the shutters, front door, or other external features. It’s a welcoming look that’s easy and inexpensive.
Add shutters if you don’t already have them. If the ones at the hardware store are too pricey and you live in the United States, check out your local Habitat for Humanity Restore. They always have a plethora of items for every part of your home at some time or another. Be patient! Just because they don’t have them now doesn’t mean they won’t get them, and the price you’ll save makes it well worth the wait.
A Whole New Look in Under a Weekend
Even if you’re planning to tackle a larger project like adding an arbor, planting a new flower bed edged with pavers along the sidewalk, or installing a goldfish pond and fountain by the front porch, there is a lot that can be done in a single weekend. Your local home improvement store or landscaping center will be able to give you some great ideas, too.
When the whole family tackles a project together, then everyone will be more likely to respect the hard work that went into it. And the more your family respects how the outside of your house looks, the more likely they are to start taking steps to do more around the inside, too. First impressions are important, and although they aren’t everything, they are a big thing, especially when someone visits your home for the first time. All the ideas came from articles she has researched on raincontrolaluminuminc.com. If you aren’t happy with the impression your house’s curbside manner gives off then what are you waiting for? Next weekend is right around the corner and a great time to start a new project!
Freelance writer Sophie Evans and her family dedicate one weekend a month to maintaining the outside of their home. They take great pride in their front porch and yard, and try to keep everything neat and tidy, from their aluminum rain gutters to the butterfly houses hanging in the back yard. On other weekends they enjoy family activities that are local to their Balboa Beach, California home. However, one activity they all look forward to is their next trip to Disneyland, where Sophie’s children plan to have breakfast with everyone’s favorite rodent, Mickey Mouse!