The front porch is typically the first impression of your house. It sets the tone for your humble abode. Winter, with her nasty weather, can leave your welcome mat covered in mildew and the entire entryway looking drab. To wash away the winter gray, spend an afternoon touching things up and bring the front of your home back to life. Here’s how to refresh the front porch just in time for spring and summer barbecues.
1. Pressure Wash
The quickest and easiest way to cut through the cobwebs and grime that Mother Nature left behind in her winter wake is to run a pressure washer over the area. If you don’t own one, you can borrow or rent a pressure washer. Hook it up to your hose and make sure you have a place to plug it in. This may require an extension cord. Spray down the rafters of your porch, rinse the windows, and make sure to take a layer of dirt off the siding. Remember to freshen up the wood decking or concrete flooring, too! Note: Use caution with a pressure washer so that you don’t strip the paint. Also wear protective shoes and clothing so you don't harm your skin.
2. Touch up Paint
With the initial layer of crud removed, you may discover areas where the paint has thinned, is peeling, or has flaked off completely. Drag out the extra paint from your garage and touch it up. This is a quick task that makes a huge difference. Not only does it restore a consistent look, but it also protects the siding and trim for another season of beating sun, rain, and cold temperatures.
3. Check Structures
Wind, rain, and snow can damage surfaces from wood to metal. Before you plan an afternoon of reading on the porch swing, make sure the hardware is all in good working condition. Check mounting brackets, chains, and hooks for winter wear. If you have a fountain, clean it up and check for cracks before filling it up. Also look for damage to your patio set.
4. Clean Windows
Windows let the light in. After a long winter, you’re probably craving the sunshine. Even though the pressure washer can do an adequate job of cleaning the windows, double-check to make sure the oily grime is gone. Furthermore, you’ll need to clean the inside of your windows to complete the task. Also check the status of your screens. If they are bent, broken, or torn, consider replacing them.
5. Check Lighting
Spring is a great time to check all of the lighting around your porch. It’s a much more pleasant task in the bright sun than when the rain is coming in sideways and your fingers are freezing. Remove all cobwebs from recessed lighting. Take apart enclosed light fixtures on the porch and beside the garage to clean the insides. Make sure all fixtures are functional and replace any burned out bulbs. Remember to recycle bulbs responsibly.
6. Tidy Flower Beds
For a huge impact, clean up your raised or in-ground flower beds. Pull the weeds, deadhead your shrubs, and lay down a fresh layer of bark. Resituate pavers that shifted out of alignment and spray off retaining walls for a fresh, clean look.
7. Plant Flowers
Flowers are the very essence of spring. They create calm and are a welcoming addition to elicit a smile when you arrive home. Planning ahead with bulbs for each season is a great way to keep color near your front porch nearly year-round. But if you didn’t get those bulbs in the ground last fall, head to the home improvement store for some annuals. Fill in the spaces between your existing plants or put together some hanging baskets for the front porch. For ease of care, consider installing a drip system to water your hanging baskets on a timed system.
Curb appeal begins with your front porch. Investing the time to freshen it up each spring pays you dividends in creating a space where you can relax and entertain. After all, home ownership brings with it the responsibility of home maintenance, but it also provides you with a warm and inviting space to let your hair down and unwind.