Improving Curb Appeal

By: Danny Lipford
Homeowners and Today's Homeowner crew with new entry door.

Homeowners and Today’s Homeowner crew with new entry door.

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As the winner of the Window World “What’s Your Front Door View” contest on TodaysHomeowner.com, Ali and Mark Thackeray of Sandy, Utah, won a new entry door for their home!

In the two years since the Thackerays moved in their house, they’ve done a lot of work on the inside but little to improve the exterior, so we’re helping them tackle some much needed projects to improve the curb appeal of the outside of their home.

Replacing Entry Door and Sidelights

New red entry door.

New entry door.

In addition to replacing the front door unit, the sidelights on each side of the door were also replaced.

The bright red door with leaded glass panes makes a bold statement and gives a sense of style to the front entrance.

When installing an entry door unit, it’s important to make sure the door is plumb, level, and square. Before installing the trim, any gaps around the frame are filled with expandable foam insulation.

Read How to Remove and Replace an Entry Door to find out more.

Mailbox Replacement

New security mailbox.

New security mailbox.

To further enhance the curb appeal of the home, a new locking security mailbox from Architectural Mailboxes (Geneva model# 6700Z in bronze, available from The Home Depot) was installed.

The post for the new mailbox was set in concrete. After the concrete had hardened, the decorative post collar and new mailbox were attached.

The new mailbox is not only secure, but adds to the curb appeal of the home.

Read Curbside Mailbox Requirements when installing a new mailbox in your yard, to find out the proper height and distance from the curb.

Porch Floor Finishing

After the paint splatters on the porch floor had been removed with paint stripper, the concrete was thoroughly cleaned and allowed to dry before staining with concrete stain.

Watch Cleaning and Staining a Concrete Patio or Porch to find out more.

Exterior Light Fixture Replacement

New wall mounted light fixture.

New wall mounted light fixture.

The old wall mounted light fixtures on the front of the house had definitely seen better days, so we replace them with new Hampton Bay Lumsden LED Motion Sensor Lantern fixtures (Model # NTSW30030LBL-MS) from The Home Depot.

Replacing light fixtures isn’t that difficult, but it’s important to turn the circuit breaker or fuse that supplies power off first, then use an electrical tester to make sure the electricity is off.

Watch How to Install an Outdoor Security Light to find out more.

Flag Mounting Bracket Repair

We also repaired the loose flag bracket next to the front door by:

  1. Drill holes in the brick with a carbide tipped masonry bit.
  2. Apply epoxy glue to the outside of lead wall anchors.
  3. Insert the lead anchors in the holes.
  4. Allow the epoxy glue to set.
  5. Attach the flag mounting bracket to the lead anchors with screws.
Flower bed in front of house after replanting.

Flower bed in front of house after replanting.

Landscaping Improvements

The final step in improving the curb appeal of the Thackerays’ home was landscaping the front yard.

We started by pruning the front hedge and some of the limbs on the trees to improve visibility to the front of the house.

Tree Limb Pruning Steps:

  1. Cut #1: Make a partial cut on the bottom of the branch 6”-8” from the trunk.
  2. Cut #2: Go out 12” from the trunk and make a top cut all the way through the branch.
  3. Cut #3: Cut straight down from the top all the way through the branch at the flair where the branch meets the tree.

Read How to Trim Tree Branches and Basic Shrub Pruning Techniques to find out more.

The front flower bed was also cleaned out and planted with colorful flowers to compliment the new front door.

Read Perennial Flower Garden Basics to find out more.

House as seen from curb with trimmed hedge and new front door.

House as seen from curb with new front door.

Other Tips from This Episode

Workshop Storage Shelves

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Workshop Storage Shelves

Open stud walls in a workshop make it easy to add storage shelves. Simply cut 1×4 or 2×4 self boards to length and screw them horizontally between the studs. Attach a piece of lath or lattice to the studs in front of the shelf to hold items in place. (Watch Video)

Werner Fiberglass Podium Ladder

Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Werner Fiberglass Podium Ladder

The Werner Fiberglass Podium Ladder (model# PDIA04) allows you to easily work in any direction. The guardrail provides security and to hold tools or hardware. The Werner Fiberglass Podium Ladder is available at The Home Depot. (Watch Video)

Applying spar varnish to an entry door with a paintbrush.

Ask Danny Lipford:
Refinishing an Entry Door

Start by taking the door off the hinges and removing all the hardware. Next, sand the door down to the bare wood, if it will be stained, or until the door is smooth if it will be painted. Stain the door and then apply several coats of spar varnish. (Watch Video)

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Improving Curb Appeal