Every homeowner knows that their front porch is the focal point of their home. After all, we dress it up for the holidays with bright shining lights and cover them with spooky jack-o-lanterns for Halloween. But, we also overlook our front porches as a coveted space for friends and family to gather. That trend is changing and homeowners and homebuyers are realizing the value of a well-maintained front porch with the value increasing nationally by 61%. Just like the rest of your home’s exterior, the front porch needs a bit of TLC so it can be enjoyed in the warmer months. Before you hang your baskets of flowers or add that new set of outdoor throw pillows to your porch swing, take a few hours to get your front porch prepped for warm weather.
Check for Structural Repairs
No matter how much you clean your porch or add accents, nothing will cover a sagging or sloped front porch. Uneven settling and porch deterioration can make the front porch slope forward or to one side. Structural issues are often caused by drainage and/or foundation issues. Sometimes a front porch simply needs to be reinforced and other times it will need to be completely redone. A contractor will be able to assess and advise you on the correct method to fix your front porch.
Declutter the Porch
You love porch decorations. In fact, you love them so much that you have garnered quite the collection of signs, flags, and chair cushions. Now, all of these extras are becoming a bit of an eyesore. Just like the rest of your home, the front porch needs the occasional decluttering. Remove anything that is not necessary for the front porch space. In addition to excess decorations you may find shoes, unused flowerpots, toys, pet accessories, gardening tools, etc. All of these should be either thrown away if no longer usable, donated, or stored for later use.
Deep Clean Your Porch
Different porch materials require different cleaning techniques. If your porch is made of wood, it may be susceptible to rot, fungus, and splintering. Use a pressure-washer to remove any fungus that might have made its home between pieces of wood. When this is done, look for splintered wood. If there are any you should sand down the splintered area and then apply a fresh layer of stain. Concrete porches are easier to clean and require only a pressure washer to remove ground in debris. While you are cleaning the front porch flooring you should also clean the siding. You can use a power washer for heavily soiled areas however you should keep the pressure low so as to avoid damaging your siding material. You can use a soft-bristled brush with a long handle, a bucket of general purpose cleaner and warm water, and a garden hose for rinsing.
Give the Front Door a Face Lift
Your front door gets a lot of use but very little cleaning. The quickest and cheapest way to make your front door shine is to give it a good scrub. While this may be enough for some doors, others may need a bit more work. Chipping, fading, or outdated paint colors should be fixed with a new coat of paint. Paint colors can add character and a focal point to your front porch. Red, yellows, and blues are classic front door colors as are teals and dark greens. The choice of front door paint color should match the style of your home. If your front door is dented or very aged you can replace it instead of repainting. Other front door options consist of wood doors and glass doors. These are very popular among homebuyers and come in a variety of styles to match every type of home.
Upgrade Hardware and House Numbers
Door hardware is easy to replace and should be done after your front door has been painted. Switch out the doorknob, hinges, and lock with new updated versions that match the style of your house. You can also upgrade to a smart door lock if you are interested in adding smart technology to your home. While you are at the hardware store searching for new front door hardware you should also find new house numbers. Updated house numbers are an easy and inexpensive way to refresh the look of your front porch. House numbers should fit your home’s style but can be a bold addition to your front porch. Large home numbers are popular choices as are address plaques.
Choose a Theme
Your front porch is structurally sound, it is clean, decluttered, and fully prepared for months of warm weather use. Now it’s time to decorate. Before you begin adding furniture and decor, choose an overall front porch theme. Do you want your front porch to be understated and minimalist or are you looking for a more vibrant traditional front porch look? Choose outdoor furniture that allows for ample seating but also leaves enough walking space for guests. Choose between adirondack chairs, rocking chairs, or a porch swing. When that is done you can begin adding accents. Flags, small tables, potted plants, and solar lights will all create a warm inviting front porch design. When your decorations are placed you can kick your feet up, grab a cold drink, and watch the world go by from the comfort of your beautiful and cozy front porch.