The front of a house sets the tone for the entire property. Real estate agents call this "curb appeal." Whether selling your home or planning on staying put, consider boosting its presence in a positive way with these ideas for the front door, yard, and mailbox.

Choosing the Right New Door

Glass-Front-Door
Installing a new front door can create a focal point where one did not exist before, drawing the eyes of passersby and welcoming friends and family.

When shopping for a new door, start by considering the architectural style of your home. If you have a California Mission-style house, for example, a wood door with ironwork would suit it well. Less traditional materials, such as steel, suit modern architecture. Look for a door that complements your home.

Whether to include glass is another consideration. The door itself can include glass panels, with glass an option as sidelights and the transom (the area above the door) as well. If your home does not currently have sidelights and a transom, they can often be added by a professional handyman if room exists. These glass elements come in a variety of designs and decorative colors, and coatings are available that muffle sound, block UV rays, and resist break-ins.

Adding Front Yard and Street Side Landscaping

Just as you factor in the architectural style of your home when choosing a new front door, so should you factor in the size and shape of your house and property when designing its landscaping. Keep shrubs and other plants at a scale that does not overwhelm. Also pick shapes from the house and repeat them in the landscaping, such as the curves of a Tudor or the boxy style of modern architecture.

When it comes to color, again choose what complements the hues already on your home. Make trim pop by picking it up in a perennial bed. Or give a home painted in neutral colors a splash of color with landscaping that changes with the seasons. Work in garden accessories if you have room such as benches, water features, and other items.

Above all, match your landscaping to the amount of time you have to maintain it-or the budget you have to hire a service to keep up with the planting and pruning. Some homeowners get in over their heads and find that the burst of energy and ambition that created a gorgeous front yard did not turn into a gardening hobby to be enjoyed year-round.

Upgrade Your Mailbox

Homeowners who still receive mail at home, as opposed to at centrally located boxes in the neighborhood, have the opportunity to make a first impression literally at the curb.

Today's mailboxes come in a variety of materials. Wood is a durable choice, but keep in mind that it will require a fresh coat of paint or stain to stay looking like new. PVC can mimic the look of wood and needs less maintenance. There are metal options, too. Again, choose the style and color that best complements your home. Just be sure it meets United States Postal Service guidelines so you actually get mailed delivered to it.

If you are a particularly handy homeowner, mailbox installation can be DIY. Check out our post Installing a Mailbox and Post: Should I Do It Myself? to learn more.

And to get more ideas for boosting the curb appeal of your home, check out our post Curb Appeal and Exterior Home Improvements. It also includes maintenance and repair checklists so you can stay on top of the many chores that come with being a homeowner.