I think we can all agree houses are better than they were 100 years ago. But, something pretty big has been lost – the front porch. Who uses a front porch anymore? People drive home, pull into their garages, then hit a button to shut the garage door behind them. Then if they go outside at all, they sit out on their decks, patios, and screened porches, where they don’t meet their neighbors, or even think about how they look.
Let’s face it. During the day, we’ve turned over our front porches to strangers who drop-off packages then run away. And at night – if NEXT DOOR is to be believed – they’re visited by hoodie-wearing hoodlums, whose blurry images are captured by RING doorbells, and who do creepy and suspicious things that none of the commenters are ever able to explain.
It’s unlikely we’ll ever return to the days when people dressed-up and sat on a porch rocking chair, from which they spoke to their neighbors more often than once a year on Halloween night, with the details of their lives becoming integrated into the local gossip. But isn’t there a happy medium? Must our subdivisions look like uninhabited ghost towns, except for the manicured lawns?
It’s healthy for neighborhoods to have a mild “street scene.” People walking and jogging through. Dogs on leashes being taken for walks. Kids with bicycles. Teens walking to each other’s houses. People-watching is not only amusing, it reminds you and gives you a warm sense that you live in a vital and desirable community that supports, nurtures, and enriches the lives of your family members.
Homeowners can encourage this street scene by improving the curb appeal of their homes, helping to make a walk through their neighborhood a more attractive recreational activity. Many already do this by maintaining attractive garden beds, mostly up against their houses. But there’s a whole lot more you can do with a little help from Fix St Louis.
Porch Columns and Trim
Have you taken a good look lately at your porch columns and all the white trim around your front doors and windows? If you’re like most homeowners, some of it is beginning to rot and make your house look neglected. Fix St Louis can make the necessary patches and replacements, and even substitute plastic and fiberglass-based materials so you won’t have to think about doing this again in the future.
You might also want to take a good look at your shutters. If they’re vinyl they may be fading or the fasteners may be popping-out. If they’re wood, there’s a good chance they are rotting or need to be painted. Shutters are surprisingly inexpensive, so it usually makes sense to have Fix St Louis replace them. It’s also a good opportunity to change the accent color of your house, especially if you combine new shutters with painting your front door.
What can make the front of a house come more alive than a flag? It’s colorful and waves in the wind. Some folks are hesitant to mount them because they think a flag would create additional chores, like bringing it in and out of the house and untangling it. Nope. You can buy weatherproof flags that you can fly 24/7/365 and flagpoles that automatically rotate to untangle the flags themselves. Fix St Louis can mount a flag pole bracket on your home, no matter what the walls or porch columns are made of, and at any height. And we defend everyone’s right to fly any of the 1,457 new flags that have been invented in the last 60 days. My personal preference is the American flag, which tells you something about what an out-of-touch cultural fossil your humble correspondent is.
There are so many beautiful homes with old, ugly, rusty, rotted, leaning mailboxes in front of them. It just doesn’t leave passersby with a good first impression. Fix St Louis can not only install new mailboxes and posts, we can also educate you about all the choices that you have. Hint: You don’t need one of those brick “Tomb of the Unknown Mail Carrier” or “Bread Brick Oven” mailboxes to have one that looks good and is resistant to “teenage mailbox hockey.”
Here’s a cool idea that few homeowners ever think about. Imagine how many more people would appreciate the flowers in your garden if you planted some of them in flower boxes on the front of your house. Fix St Louis can obtain those fancy decorative brackets called “corbels” that hold up flower boxes so they can be attached to walls. We can also obtain or build flower boxes that hang over railings. And, all of these materials can be plastic-based so you don’t have to worry about rot or re-painting.
Your house may not be on the “mean streets,” but showing a little bit of street-smarts on maintaining the front of your home can make life in your community a little bit better, both for you and your neighbors. Just bring in the “street people” of Fix St Louis, then watch the parade go by.
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