Front Entry Intro
Van Chaplin

Time for a Change

Reality TV makes it tough to face real life. There's no high-powered crew coming, you're not headed for Disney World, and before you can say "Ty Pennington," it's Sunday night. So can you really make a difference in a weekend? You bet.

Shopping List: window boxes, metal L brackets for mounting box, screws or bolts (made from wood or masonry, depending on house), drill bit (for wood or masonry), decorative brackets to cover metal supports

Tools: tape measure, pencil, drill with appropriate bit


Front Entry: Shutters
Van Chaplin

Shutters

Shutters add character. You may be tempted to buy those colored plastic versions and nail them to your home, but don't. Sure, it may take a little more effort to prime, paint, and install real wood shutters, but it's worth it.

Carefully measure your windows prior to ordering shutters. Measure from the top of the sill to the top of the window; subtract 1/2 inch to allow room for the shutter to close inside the window opening.

Two to Four Weeks Before:
Order shutters and hardware.

One Week Before:
Paint shutters with a primer coat and two top coats.


Front Entry: Shutters
Van Chaplin

Shutter Hardware

You can go simple or decorative when it comes to shutter hardware. We chose a classic steel hinge that mounts directly onto the window frame. Shutter dogs or metal holdbacks keep the shutters resting against the house, not flapping in the wind. These were installed directly into the brick.


Front Entry: Window Boxes
Van Chaplin

Window Boxes

When choosing window boxes, bigger is better! The box height should be at least a quarter of the window height, and it can be as large as a third of that measurement. Be sure that the box has plenty of drainage holes in the bottom for water to escape -- a must for healthy plants.

Two to Four Weeks Before:
Buy window boxes and hardware.

One Week Before:
Paint window boxes, if necessary, with primer coat and two top coats.
Purchase packing peanuts, potting soil, and fertilizer.
Purchase plants.


Front Entry: Window Boxes
Van Chaplin

Planting Window Boxes

Before planting anything in your window boxes, fill the bottom third of the container with packing peanuts. This step ensures good drainage and reduces weight.

Next, add potting soil to fill the box. Sprinkle all-purpose granular time-release fertilizer (such as 14-14-14) on top. Place tall plants in the back of the window box, medium-sized ones in the middle, and trailers to drape over the front edge. Finally, make sure to water the box thoroughly.


Front Entry: Containers
Van Chaplin

Containers

Placement is key: Low saucers on each side of the steps define this area as the entrance without being bulky and in the way. The large pot on the corner anchors the area between the front door and the front walk.

Two to Four Weeks Before:
Purchase plastic pots.

One Week Before:
Paint pots to match house shutter color (two coats).


Front Entry: Conclusion
Van Chaplin

Bringing It All Together

It's hard to believe that a window box, a few artfully placed containers, and new, painted shutters could make such a huge difference! These small improvements, however, are great for boosting a home's curb appeal. 


Printed From:
http://www.myhomeideas.com/outdoor-living/curb-appeal/fix-up-front-entry