Give Your Entryway a Quick Makeover

Monday, November 3, 2014

First impressions mean everything. The façade of a building, a person's eyes and smile, the sleek body of a sports car-whether we'd like to admit it or not, a gorgeous exterior draws our eye. The entryway to a home is no different. Your front door sets the tone for the entire experience of the house.

Homeowners looking to improve their curb appeal should consider these simple upgrades to their entryway.

Styles of the Front Door: Why Materials Matter

Budget is probably your first consideration when you are thinking about buying a new front door. Steel is the most expensive, followed by solid hardwoods. Bronze, copper, aluminum, and fiberglass represent some excellent, mid-grade alternatives for front door materials.

Money aside, the most commonly asked questions are about insulation and weather damage. Your door needs to be beautiful, but i t also needs to be functional.

1.) I live in a warm climate. What is the best for insulation?

Steel and fiberglass have a thermal break, preventing cold from getting in and heat from getting out. Steel doors have a polyurethane core; fiberglass doors use a foam core. Both cores keep your home insulated and your door light.

You should also consider the weather conditions where you live. Do you live in a region that experiences hurricanes or tornadoes? You may want to check with the American Architectural Manufacturer's Association for a list of impact-resistant doors. What other weather damage might your new door experience? This should be a critical, determining factor in your choice of materials.

2.) My front door sees a lot of wear and tear. What can I buy that won't get dinged and scratched?

Because copper oxidizes, it slowly changes color and hides imperfections. Fiberglass is also a formidable material because it is resistant to moisture.

You could get a solid wood front door, but consider adding a storm door to prevent wear and tear from the elements. Moisture causes wood to rot, requiring the door to be touched up every two or three years.

3.) What else should I consider before choosing a material?

Keep it in the family: buy within the same manufacturer. Double check to make sure that weather stripping seals tightly. Also, window inserts should be energy efficient. Look for thick panels.

Other Easy Ways to Spruce Up Your Entryway

Painting your existing front door is fast, inexpensive, and very effective. Before you buy a bucket of paint, take a moment to think a bout the color scheme. Pick out a hue in your roof or shutters and try to match it with the new front door color. Avoid repeating the same color scheme as any neighbors on your block. If you are looking to sell, you want your home to stand out.

Always do a test run with a paint color in order to see how it looks in the sun.

Lighter colors on a front door provide a stark contrast for dark homes. Staining an old wood door makes it look more elegant. Though red is a great match for many homes, try something different.  

Lighting is a popular trend for boosting curb appeal. Mount wall and side lights at eye level to highlight your new front door. They w ill appear about half their actual size from 50 feet away; therefore, it is very important to buy the appropriate size fixture. Install post or fence fixtures if the wall-mounted light doesn't reach the street. Remember you are trying to attract prospective buyers who are looking from their cars!

After you've started with the front door, keep the size and brightness of the fixtures consistent throughout exterior of the house. Your bulbs should have between 60 and 75 watts of incandescent light. Too little light looks sleepy; too much creates glare.

Whether you want to attract a potential buyer or impress your guests, a few changes to your entryway can mean all the difference.

11/3/2014

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I asked FAS along with three other window manufacturers for a quote. FAS had a good quote and good reputation so I decided to go with them. I got their Simonton windows and customized the order. Their sales rep was very knowledgeable, went step-by-step, had a sample window that he brought in, and he was pretty detailed. They had somebody come out and do an in-depth measurement to make sure everything would be perfect. The installation was done by two guys and they did a good job. They were very clean, picked up after themselves and made sure that we were happy before they left. The overall quality of the windows is good and I like them.
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