By Gene and Katie Hamilton
A great way to give your home curb appeal and create an attractive entrance is to add a new porch lantern at the front entry. A porch lantern also helps ensure safe footing at night and to deter intruders who prefer a dimly lit entrance. Take a drive by your house at night and see if you can easily read the house numbers. If you can't, a new porch light will also make it easy for visitors to find your house.
When it comes to choosing a style and finish, select a lantern that complements the style of your house and matches the finish of your door hardware. To minimize light pollution choose outdoor lights with the International Dark Sky Association (IDA) Fixture Seal of Approval (FSA). Building codes may require them.
You'll find a wide selection of fixtures at home centers, lighting stores and online at www.outdoorlighting.com. These sellers sometimes offer installation service by a qualified electrician.
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If you have experience with electrical projects, you can replace an old fixture with a stylish new one for $110, the cost of the fixture. The installed price would be $254, which includes the labor and material, so you'd pocket an 56 percent saving by doing it yourself. When you’re working on any electrical project, make sure to turn off the power at the circuit panel or fuse box.
Don't stop there - lay down a new doormat, add a container full of colorful seasonal flowers and hang a wreath on the door.
The average price to install a porch lantern noted above is cost data to compare a contractor’s estimate with doing it yourself. Tweak the data by adding your ZIP Code to find a local cost.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2019
The cost and time data is generated by averaging labor and material data from annually updated cost books used by contractors and refined by the authors'
experience remodeling 13 houses. They are authors of 20 home improvement books and Do It Yourself or Not, a weekly column syndicated by Tribune Content
Agency. The national cost can be adjusted by ZIP Code.