Maximise the front of your home and make the best ﬁrst impression
Stylish and well-maintained windows are a must. Sash windows on a period property keep the heritage of the home, while modern swathes of glass on contemporary homes can look particularly striking.
For sash windows, Richard Dollar, managing director at The Sash Window Workshop, recommends accoya which is an extremely durable and stable timber coming with a 50 year anti-rot guarantee. Going for the period look doesn’t mean returning to an uninsulated home either, with modern sash windows draught proof and double glazed.
The Front Door
The front door is the entrance to your home and where first impressions are made. A fresh lick of paint can make a big difference. Advises Sonia Pash, MD of interior design firm, Temza Design & Build Studio: “A front door reflects personality, choose the colour which reflects yours. A bold colour is just charming; we highly encourage you to go for it. Don’t feel like it needs to relate to the inside, you can absolutely have a mint front door, and nothing else mint inside the house.”
Upgrade your door furniture too: “Everything needs to coordinate. You can’t buy new flat front door numbers in brass and keep your old chrome handle. It just looks bad. Do everything or nothing.” And don’t forget the fanlight. It’s a great place to have a sticker with your house number, and much easier to spot than the small numbers on the front door. And no need to double, it’s enough to have the house number once.
Look at how you light the front of your house. A porch light is useful and provides security in a dark entrance. But you can also get creative with uplighters along fences and walls or highlighting key features of a border.
Think about how you want your lights to activate – a simple on/off switch, or a more sophisticated system that relies on motion detectors or a ‘dusk till dawn’ setting where light automatically switches on when daylight falls. Be sure to look at the size of your space to get the right brightness. IP rating is something to look out for. This refers to how well a bulb is protected from intrusion of water and dirt.
Attractive planting can really make the front of your house stand out. Hanging baskets and window boxes add a splash of colour or drama – just keep them well maintained. Climbing plants like ivy can also add to the feel of a house, and wisteria in particular flourishes in spring time and makes for a gentle pop of lilac, beautifully framing the front of any door. Landscaped beds with colourful planting and box hedges are formal fronts to any house. Or go for quirky pots with fruit trees.
A stylish driveway can really enhance your property and add to its value, and leading the way in creating a clean, functional, hardwearing and attractive driveway are resin bound aggregate surfaces. “They are available in a myriad of colours and bring a contemporary look that is easily maintained, SUDS (sustainable urban drainage) compliant so no drainage planning issues, and can be overlaid on an existing appropriate surface,” point out the experts from driveway specialists Block and Stone.
They are also less likely to be attacked by unsightly weeds and moss as they are nonporous. Other traditional surfaces for your driveway include block, granite, sandstone paving and gravel, products that require an on-site drainage system. Resin bound aggregate costs typically range from £120-£140 per square metre and £65-£80 if laid over an existing appropriate surface.