Often times exterior remodeling is done out of necessity. Fixing a leaky roof or rotting siding is understandably of greater priority than improvements done purely for aesthetics and pleasure. However, it is the latter category of projects which prove to be more fun and can provide joy for years to come.
When I think about exterior projects which fall into this category, a new front entryway immediately springs to mind. There are times when front doors are replaced out of necessity. However, even when that’s the case, I encourage you to use the opportunity to add some personality, warmth and color to your home’s exterior.
Designing a great front entryway starts with answering 4 basic questions:
What is the entryway configuration I find most appealing?
Pay attention to the front doors you are most attracted to and note if they tend to be a single door, a double door, or a single or double door with sidelights or transoms. This will help you narrow down your choices.
Sometimes a home’s existing structure can limit the available options. But in most cases, the structure can be modified to accommodate a larger or differently shaped opening if given a sufficient budget. The answer to this question can also have some practical implications. Namely, if the front door is the only way to move large furniture into the house, you may want to consider having a double door in lieu of sidelights. For the ProVia door shown above, the owners opted for an extra-wide single door with sidelights. See more photos of this front entryway project.
From what material should my door be made?
If you instinctively answer wood, it’s with good reason – for centuries it’s been the standard door material. While wood doors are certainly still available, it is much more common today to find entry doors constructed from either steel or fiberglass, and they can be made to mimic wood grain. Each door material has its own advantages. For instance, steel doors are heavier and more secure while fiberglass doors (my personal favorite) have a wider range of styles, more believable wood grains and are less likely to show dings and dents.
The new front door shown above may look like wood, but it’s actually fiberglass. They come from the factory with the grain texture of your choice, and the finish can be applied at the factory or by your remodeler.
What style of door and glass will look best with my home?
The easy answer to this question is to take a cue from the defined style of your home and choose a new front entryway that complements the style. One could go with a contemporary door for their Victorian-era home, but something would always look a little off because of the competing aesthetics.
For instance, my own home is an Arts and Crafts style built in the 1920s. When I replaced my front entry door out of necessity, I chose a door with a beveled chevron-shaped glass pattern and dentil shelf which fit my home’s art and craft heritage. I adhered to the overall design aesthetic of the house to find the best front door.
For the new front porch project shown above, the owners wanted a door that reflected a more modern aesthetic. This door was custom-designed and built for them to match woods used on the interior. See more photos of this project.
What color should my door be?
Let’s start with what your favorite color is, and figure out which shade of that color will work best. When choosing a color for a new front entry door, it is ideal if we can pick one which fits the overall color scheme of the house while still catching the eye. This not only provides an opportunity to give a splash of color the home’s exterior, but also serves the purpose of clearly indicating to guests where they should enter.
For the home shown above, the new siding and roofing is in shades of brown and tan. The owners’ favorite color is orange, so we went with a soft, earthy shade of terracotta to provide a pop of color while still coordinating with the home’s new color scheme.
The selection of a new entryway is far less daunting when answering the questions above. And working with an experienced exterior consultant can make this process fun and rewarding. If you’re ready for a new front entryway, give me a call at 314.909.8383 or contact me here.