When you drive up to a house that has an unkempt front yard, a cluttered entryway, and tape over the glass in broken windows, how do you feel about the people inside? What about when you drive up to a house with a well-manicured lawn, a decorated entryway, and sparkling clean windows?
The front yard curb appeal of your home is an important factor in how the world views you. And two of the biggest factors that impact that first impression are your doors and windows. Read on to learn how to clean up your front entryway to increase that curb appeal.
Why Front Yard Curb Appeal Matters So Much
The front of your house is the first thing anyone who visits or drives by will know about you. It’s your handshake to the world, and you want it to represent you well. Your doors and windows can have a huge impact on that first impression.
Your door is the entryway to your home, and the windows provide the first look inside. A door that’s broken, dirty, and worn down and windows that are similarly tattered will leave guests with a bad feeling about your house and, by extension, you. But windows and doors that are beautiful and in great shape will make them feel happy and welcome.
Fix Things Up
One of the most important things you can do to improve your front yard curb appeal is fix any broken windows or doors. Having tape over a broken pane of glass or a door that you have to yank on six times to open it will not look very welcoming. The first step to improving your curb appeal is to fix any broken areas on your windows and doors.
If your door sticks or sags, take a look and determine whether your door or door frame needs to be replaced. Replace broken or damaged panes of glass in doors and windows. Make sure all windows that open and close run smoothly in their tracks and have functioning locks.
Keep it Clean
Even if everything is in good working order, it will look run-down and broken if it isn’t kept clean. So get out a broom or soft nylon brush and wipe any dust or cobwebs off your front door and out of the corners of your windows. Wipe down windows and glass panes in doors with window cleaner.
Take a wet rag and wipe down your door to get rid of any lingering dirt. Use another wet rag to wipe out any crevices and crannies where dirt and grime may still be lurking. Wash down the siding around your door with a mixture of vinegar and water, scrubbing to get off any stubborn grime.
Screen the Haters
Dirty, torn, or broken window screens scream that a house is worn-down or neglected. If your screens or torn or broken, replace them, or use a screen repair kit to fix small holes. For larger tears, consider getting solar-blocking screens that can help make your home more energy efficient.
Using a handheld vacuum, gently remove any dead bugs, plant matter, or other debris hanging onto the screen. Wipe them down with a microfiber cloth dunked in a mixture of water and all-purpose cleaner. Then rinse them out with a garden hose, let them dry, and replace them.
For more stubborn stains and garage doors, you’re going to want to bust out the power washer. These are great for cleaning siding and sidewalks, but remember, they are incredibly powerful. Don’t use them on painted siding because they’ll strip the paint off, and never get them near windows, plants, or pets.
Sidewalks and brick can get grimy over time, so start your work there. Wash down your front door (being aware that it may strip the paint off) and your garage door. If you don’t have a power washer on hand, you can rent one from your local home improvement store.
Now that the door is clean and in good order, it’s time to brighten up the color. The door is the first introduction visitors will have to your home, and it should be bright and welcoming. Dull gray or brown doors just will not get it done.
Different door colors convey different emotions to your visitors. A yellow door communicates happiness and warmth, a red door conveys excitement and youth, and a blue door will say that you’re dependable and strong. Pick a color that suits your home, and get painting.
Get Out the Stain
Like front doors, garage doors can also get worn-out and grimy over time. Power washing them is a great first step, but a coat of stain on an old garage door can make an enormous difference in the feel of your house.
Get a gel stain and work carefully over one section of the door at a time with a synthetic brush. Try to arrange to do this when the door isn’t in direct sunlight to avoid the gel stain drying more quickly than you want it to. You won’t need to wipe the stain off, so once you have the whole door coated in a thick, even coat, you’re done!
Change the Locks
Like the rest of your front door, broken or worn-out handles and knobs send the signal that you don’t take care of your home, even if that isn’t the case. Cheap doorknobs can also bring down the overall look of a home. Nice doorknobs are still relatively inexpensive, so while you’re making over the front of your home, change the locks, too.
Find a finish for the knob that goes well with your new front door color. Changing the knob is as simple as taking the screws out of the inside doorknob plate, taking the screws out of the latch plate, and pulling the whole operation out of your door. Put on the new ones, remembering to install new deadbolts as well if needed.
Change Your Number
Your house number is another area that can make the outside of your home look artificially cheap. Worn, missing, or damaged numbers look careless and make it harder to find your house. Replacing them can make everything seem a touch more elegant.
Find a set of numbers whose style you like and get them in a finish to match your house. It’s a nice detail if your door numbers also match your new doorknob. Install your new house numbers in an easy-to-read place, and step back and admire the difference such a simple change makes in your curb appeal.
Ring in Friends
The doors are painted, the siding is clean, the knobs are new, and a guest steps up to the front of your house, excited to see the rest. But when they go to ring your doorbell, they discover an old, broken, sad doorbell. That is not the energy you want the outside of your home to give off.
Replacing or fixing a doorbell costs a couple of hundred dollars, but it is worth it for the change in your curb appeal. If you don’t have a doorbell, you can get simple models that stick onto your door jamb and come with speakers that plug into outlets around your home. You could also consider getting a video doorbell to increase your home security.
Light It Up
Your beautiful new entryway isn’t going to do anyone any good if people can’t see it when they’re coming up the walk at night. A lack of outdoor lights also tends to make your house look abandoned or creepy. It’s worth the investment to get outdoor lights installed or replaced.
Look for some cute wall sconces to go on either side of your door and light up your entryway. If you have high ceilings on your porch, you could also look at pendant light options. If you already have porch lights but they’re broken or worn, look at replacing them.
A great way to show everyone your home is a fun and welcoming place to be is to decorate for the holidays. And we don’t just mean Christmas – decorations year-round will make a huge difference in your home’s curb appeal.
In fall, hang a wreath of fall leaves or a swag of autumn sticks and berries on your front door and put down a plaid cloth under your welcome mat. In spring and summer, hang signs and wreaths with flowers, lemons, and other seasonal items. And in wintertime, go all-out decorating your entryway for the winter holiday of your choice!
Even aside from seasonal decorations, plants, flowers, and other greenery do a lot to make an entryway feel more welcoming. If you’re trying to figure out what plants to add, think about what will go well with your new door color and your siding.
Find flowering plants that complement the color of your new door; gold with a purple door looks amazing, as does orange against blue. Hydrangeas and petunias offer gorgeous full-bodied blooms and work well in pots. And you can talk to your local garden center about which plants will do well in the weather and sun conditions on your front porch.
Having a good welcome mat on your front porch can offer a few benefits. For one thing, it makes your front porch seem more, well, welcoming. You can find all variety of different welcome mats to send the specific message you want to your guests.
A welcome mat can also help keep your entryway in your home clean. People can wipe dirt off their feet on the mat before they come inside, saving you from having to sweep up a lot of dirt. This will go a long way to keeping everything in your home looking neat and tidy.
Check the Mail
If you have a mailbox slot in your door that is in bad shape, it will undo all the hard work you’ve put into making the rest of your entryway beautiful. You want your mailbox slot to be beautiful and functional, and the same goes for any boxes attached to the front of your house. If they are worn or broken, make sure you replace them.
Look for a mailbox slot or hanging box in the same finish as your house numbers and door hardware to create a level of consistency across your entryway. Replacing these should be a matter of a few bucks and unscrewing a few screws. If you have a traditional mailbox, you may also want to look at painting or replacing that to match your front door.
Tell Your Story
The entryway to your house tells visitors a lot about you and your family. It tells them what style you like, how well you take care of your home, and how welcoming you are towards visitors. So you want to make sure your entryway tells the right story.
If you have room on your porch, set up some patio furniture to show how you like to spend your leisure time. Subtle details like two chairs instead of one, a low side table versus a small folding table, or a rocking chair or porch swing can speak volumes about the kind of life you lead.
Get a New View
Something as simple as cleaning and repainting the doors and windows on your house can go a long way to improving your front yard curb appeal. Take a weekend soon and spend it sprucing up your entryway. You’ll be surprised at how much better your house looks.
If you’d like to get a new view on your home, check out the rest of our site. At A New View Windows & Doors, we provide doors, windows, shutters, and shades to keep your house looking its best. Get a free estimate on new windows and doors for your home today.