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Give Your Home an Easy Exterior Makeover

When most homeowners plan improvements to the outside of their home, they think big — repainting, residing, replacing all the windows or adding an in-ground pool. However, smaller changes like replacing your front entry or patio door or adding window shutters can have just as big an impact on your home's curb appeal and lifestyle. Here is a list of some new products and design ideas to give your home a smarter, more stylish look.

You can easily dress up your front entry by selecting a stylish front entry door with decorative transoms and sidelites. Shown is the Hazelton from Therma-Tru's® new Classic-Craft™ Canvas Collection.

Consider adding shutters to your windows. Many shutters are both decorative as well as functional (protecting your window glass) and they come in a wide assortment of colors or can be painted. You can get them in wood, vinyl, composite, aluminum and even fiberglass. Whether your home is brick or has vinyl siding, decorative window shutters can give it a whole new look. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to install yourself.

This home is made stunning by the shutters, stone facade, gorgeous open windows and front landscaping. Find inspiring exterior design ideas by viewing this home's picture slideshow.

You can perk up the outside of your house by simply giving it a good cleaning. A nice color and finish may be hiding underneath all that pollen and caked on dirt. Before you go rent a power washer (which may be too harsh on your home's exterior) simply try a good cleaning with a special hose attachment and see what's under your siding, shutters, porch, doors and windows.

Poor landscaping can easily distract for your home's appeal. Spend some time getting your yard in shape by pulling weeds, trimming hedges, buying new mulch, replacing cracked bricks and stones and grooming the lawn. Once you've cleaned up then head to your local gardening center to splurge on some items to dress up your yard.

Lights are another great way to give your house's exterior a makeover, especially if you are on a budget and don't want to spend too much. For example, you could replace your porch light with a new, attractive shade and soft bulb. You could also string up fairy lights or perhaps small lanterns around your porch or front door for a fantastic seasonal look. You can also make use of solar-powered or electric lights in your front yard to light the way up to your house.

Since painting your whole house can be expensive, you could simply paint the shutters, trim and porch to give your home a fresh look.

Another way to give increase your home's appeal is to redo your front steps. Replace old paving will not only look great but serve a practical purpose by providing a smooth, safe entry.