The front entrance to a home is like the face of a stranger. If that face has a warm smile it will draw attention and start a conversation. So ask yourself, what is your front door saying to friends and potential buyers?
Walking through your neighborhood and looking at the front door and approach to houses, you get an understanding of the personality, style and decor to be found inside.
Building New, selling or staying….8 ways to design a smiling home that welcomes visitors!
What makes your house more appealing than your neighbors can be a big factor in resale, but it can also make a statement about you, your home and how inviting or comfortable your guests will be.
Much to do about the door!
Doors come in three different types of material, Steel, Wood or Fiber Glass. Steel boasts security however consider areas with extreme temperatures as steel doors have a potential to transfer heat and cold more than other materials. Fiberglass offers a moderate amount of everything, security and energy efficiency. Wood is elegant however often expensive and may require more upkeep.
The main functions of a front door is security and weather resistance, so remember, the door you purchase has to be to standards. Look for labeling indicating the door is tested to AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440-11, jointly developed by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, the Window & Door Manufacturers Association and the Canadian Standards Association.
Door color is such a personal choice, are you bold like your color choice or are you whimsical and change your door color on a seasonal basis, keeping everyone guessing. Does your conservative personality come out in your earth tone door color?
Glass in a door really depends on your house design, desire for security and privacy. Glass can often reduce security and thermal performance in a door, consider other ways to convey a feeling of welcome without glass?
Lock it up!
Hardware is important and buying quality provides the required security and peace of mind that the mechanism will work and finish will look good for years. Ensure that locks have a minimum 1” deadbolt and strike plates installed in the frame with at least 3” screws. Locks with double cylinders, keys required on both sides of door may prevent thieves from breaking window and reaching in to open door but are a safety risk when trying to leave in an emergency. Many municipalities ban this type of lock for residential application.
Make your door convertible!
Screen doors or storm doors can provide flexibility to your entrance. When guests are expected an open solid door behind a closed all glass storm door is elegant. Screen doors let the air flow through your house on warm summer days. Both convertible applications provide another level of security when you great unexpected guests.
For goodness sake, do some grooming!
There is nothing worse than over grown trees and shrubs leading to a front entrance. People want to feel like they are welcome not walking through the forest to grandma’s house!
Watch your step!
Front walkways need to be in good repair and with materials that are smooth, not uneven flag stone or wood bark. Pathways should start narrow minimum 3’-6” and widen as you approach the front entrance, telling guests “you have arrived”. Bends in the path should be kept to a minimum unless you are going for the “adventure theme”.
Take a seat!
Okay used or not front porch swings, benches and rod iron chairs just tell guests “come sit a while, relax, welcome”.
Give me some direction!
Path lights complete with timers lead visitors to your front door, telling them you are concerned for their safety or say “you’re not Welcome”, when they are off! Consider a front Lamp post to act like a welcome beacon. Signage adds interest, a simple “Welcome” or more curiously “You’re in for the time of your life” on a door mat, leaves little confusion.
Add personality with small potted plants, decorative pillows, water features (not a moat) can tell everyone what’s going on inside.
Paying attention to your front door and the approach to your house is the least expensive, easiest and most rewarding home improvement you can do. With spring approaching it is time to walk across the street, look back at your house and listen to what it is saying! While you’re over there look at what needs to be done to get ready for spring by using quinju’s spring checklist.
Also make sure you check our new article with a How-To guide to replacing your front door!