By Cammie Jones
Spring is a great time to give the outside of your home and yard a mini makeover. Think a fresh coat of paint, a new potted plant or even some fun and funky house numbers.
1. Start with Your Yard.
The first thing people see as they are driving by your home is your front yard. Now is the time to take note and create a cleanup plan. Add wood chips or fresh, long-cut pine straw to your flower and plant beds. Trim the bushes or trees to look neat. Cut the grass and fertilize if needed. Set up a watering plan as the days become warmer and longer. If bricks need to be replaced on the walkway, do this now. Remove weeds from your flower or plant beds. Start with the big picture first. You can do this yourself over a weekend or hire a yardman to get the job finished.
2. Pressure Wash.
There is nothing like a clean house – both inside and out. Over time, your home can begin to look a little tired from fading paint, dirty siding or unwashed trim. Hiring a professional pressure washer can take care of this issue for you or you can also DIY by borrowing a pressure washer from a friend or by renting one from your local home improvement store. The rental cost varies depending on the type of pressure washer but it will usually run you approximately $50 to $150 per day.
3. Paint your Front Door.
Sick of your front door matching your shutters and want to add a little pizazz to your home’s facade? Why not paint your front door? You can go to www.visualizecolor.com and upload a photo of the front of your home and choose a few paint colors to try. You can actually see what the door will look like painted with the rest of your home. Although not a foolproof way to avoid a mistake, it will help guide you to the perfect color.
4. Add Fresh Potted Plants.
I am the queen of keeping a potted plant around past its prime. Remove old plants and replace with new seasonal flowers or greenery. Buy some new colorful pots and fill them with low maintenance flowers that will last for the season. If your plan to showcase them on the front porch, buy matching pots and fill them with the same flowers to put on either side of your freshly painted front door. If you have steps leading up to your front door, use various size pots to line one side or both sides depending on the width of the steps. Try to stick to the same color scheme throughout to add uniformity to the look.
5. Add House Numbers.
Does the outside of your home need a little kick? Both useful and fun, you can find some funky ways to display your house number for your visitors and the pizza delivery man to enjoy. There are many house numbers to choose from that are freestanding or can be secured directly on your house’s exterior. Traditional and non-traditional options can be found at your local home and garden store or online.
6. Paint or Replace Your Mailbox.
Along my street, there are a multitude of mailbox styles ranging from huge to old to leaning to rusty. You can purchase a new mailbox or repaint your existing one. Having an old mailbox with a newly painted house is similar to wearing a new dress with an old, tired pair of shoes. You can match your mailbox to your bright pressure washed home and newly-painted front door. Prices vary so check out your options.
7. Change Your Flag or Add a Flag.
Another idea to add a little to your front door entrance is to add a flag. You can be “Team USA” all year around with an American flag, put up a flag to reflect the season, put up your favorite football team flag in the fall or a St. Patrick’s Day flag in March.
8. Simplify & Clean Up.
Less is more is a great rule of thumb. Stick to one dramatic look (newly painted front door in a fun color or non-traditional house numbers visibly displayed) and keep the rest at a minimum. Too much stuff will distract the eye. KISS* is the mantra that you want to use when sprucing up your home and yard. *Keep it simple, stupid.
Before you begin any of these tasks, make a plan and set a budget that works for you. You can do it all yourself or hire someone if time is short and you have the budget. You can also mix it up – you do some of the work and hire a professional to do a portion of it. Make sure to take a before and after picture so you can see the fruit of your labors.
This article appears in the March 2018 issue of Augusta Family Magazine.
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