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How can I perk up my porch?

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Whether your porch is a place to have a cup of coffee, watch your kids play, or dine alfresco on a nice summer evening, it's probably not the first place you think of when considering home repairs and upgrades. But there are several budget-friendly improvements that can make your porch a place to enjoy throughout the year.

Update small details.

Do you notice wobbly railings or faded paint on columns and trim? For a cleaner, more stylish space, consider tightening screws, replacing old wood or giving the area a fresh coat of paint. You can also order outdoor decor, like throw rugs and placemats, to cozy up the space. If your front door's seen better days, you might consider replacing it or painting it a vibrant, happy color like red, yellow or blue.

Replace old lighting and electrical fixtures.

If your porch fan is buzzing, squeaking or moving slowly, it's likely time for a replacement. The same goes for lighting if you see flickering and dimming, or hear humming, it's a good idea to call an electrician to evaluate and handle the issue. If your fixtures are dated, replacing them is a simple project with instant results. Hanging string or fairy lights can also add a special, inviting touch to any outdoor space.

Bring plants into the picture.

Potted plants are the gold standard when it comes to sprucing up your porch for spring and summer whether you're keen to keep things monochromatic or go all-out with a vibrant mix. For a fail-safe design, consider hanging plants on the interior and placing potted plants at either side of the door and along the edge of the porch itself. You can also use potted plants and flowers to line your walkway and add a few path lights to highlight them at night.

Clean and maintain hardscaping.

Porches, pathways, driveways and other hardscaping elements require regular maintenance to keep them looking their best. Springtime is a good time to have a professional pressure-wash concrete around your home's exterior as well as siding and other exterior surfaces. It's also a good time to inspect for and take note of any cracks or damage. If you notice an issue, call a pro to take a look and get ahead of costly repairs.

Opt for comfortable furniture.

Soaking up the sun or settling in for a cup of evening tea is that much better when you can lean back and relax. Even the smallest porches can usually accommodate a chair or two. When it comes to seating, the sky's the limit: choose a classic bench swing, a bistro set, rocking chairs, colorful Adirondacks or even trendy hanging basket chairs. When it comes to perking up your porch, it all comes down to what best fits your space, budget and taste.

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Patio and Outdoor

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