Halloween is just around the corner and that (potentially) means armies of kids in spooky costumes descending upon your front porch in search of treats.

Now while many will arrive in groups of their peers, the younger ones are more likely to be accompanied by mum or dad. That means your front entrance is going to be have plenty of eyeballs (Halloween pun intended) on it this month, but is it ready for all that attention?

The bottom line is regardless of what time of year it is, your home’s front entrance should be something you’re proud of. It’s the first thing people see when they arrive and ultimately determines the initial opinion they form. In fact, the old adage, “You only get one chance to make a good first impression,” applies to your home too.

Here are 5 ways to enhance your front entrance:

1. Fix your front gate

How’s your front gate looking these days? Rusty, hanging on by a thread and generally rather sorry for itself? Maybe you haven’t even got a front gate anymore!?

While it’s a simple addition, a front gate actually plays an important role. It’s the initial barrier between your property and the world at large. It lets people subconsciously know they are leaving a public space and entering your domain.

Either get your existing front gate fixed and painted, or invest in a shiny new one.

2. Give your garden path some TLC

Your garden path is the next aspect of your home that visitors need to negotiate before they arrive at your door. On Halloween, when groups of little monsters will be walking it, your garden path needs to be especially safe.

It needs to be well-maintained and free of holes, slime and other hazards. Furthermore, ideally, it wants to be wide enough for two people to walk side by side.

Pressure washers can be hired for not much money nowadays and they’re fantastic at removing built up grime and slime. Appropriately fill any holes and consider adding some edge lighting to guide visitors in the dark – solar lights are excellent for this.

3. Add a security light

A security light by your front door serves two main purposes: it spooks strangers and provides beneficial lighting to welcome visitors. If you haven’t got one already, you should really consider it.

Most modern security lights have built-in motion sensors and can be set to not come on during the day. There are even solar varieties that don’t add anything to your energy bills. The wide range of sizes and styles available also means you’ll almost certainly find one that suits your tastes and budget.

4. Rejuvenate your front door

A dirty old front door that’s covered in cobwebs and has most of its paint peeling off might be just the ticket for Halloween, but what about the rest of the year?

The good news is that rejuvenating your front door doesn’t need to cost a small fortune and you can DIY usually.

A lot of the time, a good sanding and a fresh coat of paint or varnish is all that’s needed to make it look good as new again.

[Recommended reading: Top Tips for Sanding a Wooden Floor]

5. Consider adding a small roof

A small roof or awning above your front door will be a welcome addition for visitors who arrive when it’s raining. Likewise, when it’s blazing hot outside, anyone waiting by your front door will be glad of the shade – and this includes you while you fumble for your front door keys in your bag.

While adding a small roof or awning might seem like an unnecessary investment right now, it’s something that will ultimately add a little value to your home and serve a specific purpose – making it a win-win addition.