Remodeling a front porch can be an easy DIY project for a homeowner wanting to give his house a fresh new look. Whether your house has a small front porch or one large enough for seating a crowd, some of these DIY protects can turn a drab porch into something spectacular.
Change out the porch lights
If you still have a glass orb lighting up the front porch, it’s probably time to change it up with a sleek new fixture instead. Old house people should avoid local lighting centers and order a vintage reproduction light from a antique lighting company. For a more contemporary look, visit one of the contractor’s lighting centers in your community. Many of these places will also sell direct to the public. If you can’t find exactly what you are looking for in the showroom, ask to view the catalogues for an incredible selection of lighting fixtures.
A new porch light ranges anywhere from $25 to $400 and more.
Freshen up the paint
In historic older homes, front porches were often painted in a different scheme than the rest of the house. When we remodeled our front porch several years ago, we painted it using only two of our five exterior trim colors but finished up the ceiling with a bright robin egg blue and the wooden floor with marine gray.
Introducing one or two different colors to your porch can spruce up the look at a very low cost. To make it work, remember to also include at least one other predominant color from elsewhere on the home’s exterior.
If the steps leading up to your porch are concrete, this is a good time to repaint those steps as well. In olden days, front steps were often painted a brick red using a product called , appropriately, “concrete paint.” Concrete paint is available at all hardware and DIY home centers.
Change out the balusters or rails
If you are handy with a hammer and saw, changing out the rails or the balusters can also update the look of an old porch. Stay away from the Big Box stores and search for a custom rail from a local lumberyard or millworks. These products are sturdier and better constructed, and will make your porch standout from every other home. Price per foot ranges between $3 to $7 depending on the product used.
Change out the front door
Do you have a four panel front door just like everyone else on the block? One way to make your porch stand out from your neighbor’s is by replacing your door. Again, avoid the Big Box stores where everyone else shops and buy a quality door from a local door dealer instead where you’ll find hundreds of styles to choose from. Front doors range in price from $400 on up, with the nicer doors ranging between $1200-$1600. Here’s a great link explaining how to choose an exterior door.
Install a trellis
To add a little privacy to our front porch, we installed a couple of antique trellises along one side. To grow up the trellis, we planted a flowering trumpet vine, after unsuccessfully trying things like wisteria and clematis. Flowering vines are a delightful way to cool down the porch while giving you some measure of privacy. Wooden trellises can be purchased at garden centers between $25-100 and look best when painted to match the colors of your home.
Add some planters
Big Box garden centers stock huge square planters that are priced between $60-100. These planters are a wonderful way to accent your front porch and look particularly nice when flanking the steps.
These are just a few ideas of ways in which you can update your old porch without having to tear it down and start new. You’ll discover that with a little paint, some updated fixtures, and some garden greenery, your porch can look like something special.