|First impressions matter, and there’s no denying that the first impression of one’s home consists of its curb appeal. When my husband and I purchased our fixer-upper home last fall, we had so many internal updates to make that we focused our attention and our budget on our inside renovations first. Only after we completed the majority of the must-do items did we turn our attention to the nice-to-do things on our list.|
First up: The front porch.
Here’s a closer shot of the sad little light before the makeover:
The only thing this poor little guy had going for it was the energy-efficient CFL light bulb.
In terms of its replacement, not only were we able to find something to match the historic charm of Charleston, but we were also able to keep it under budget: We found this fantastic hanging lantern at The Home Depot for less than $50.And by installing it ourselves, we were able to keep our DIY porch renovation costs to a minimum. To help you with your own DIY installation, here are some tips to keep in mind:
• Always observe proper safety precautions when working with electrical components. If you have never installed a light fixture yourself, be sure to employ the skills of someone who has experience with electrical installations. Watch closely and you should be able to do it yourself the next time.
• Make sure all power to the fixture is turned off before beginning this project. Check it with a voltage tester to be certain.
• Most hanging lanterns (like ours) come equipped with extra lengths of chain and wire so that you can adjust the height to suit your space. Pre-position your fixture and check the height before removing any links.
• When hanging an outdoor light – although the height of your door may vary from someone else’s – hang the light low enough that you have sufficient light to see on your porch without blinding your guests, but high enough that you don’t run the risk of a swinging light hitting any heads on their way into your home. For us, that meant the base of the light was positioned just below the top of the door.
And while you’re updating your outdoor spaces, don’t forget about your other exterior lights.
Check out these miserable wall sconces positioned just outside of our garage:
Rheney Williams lives in Charleston, S.C., and has been writing about many of the DIY projects in her new home for Home Depot. Rheney’s outdoor lighting efforts have included touching up her landscape lighting around the yard, as well as her recent front porch lighting renovations. A large selection of outdoor lights, including the styles that Rheney used for her front porch, can be found on the Home Depot website.