First impressions – From curb appeal to security, your front door matters
Before owning a house, I didn’t think much about a home’s front door. But, during our home inspection, there were some slight concerns about the quality of the door. As renovations always seem to hurl you down a slippery slope and since we were planning on replacing our front tile, we decided we might as well simultaneously replace our front door.
The main reasons we chose to replace our front door:
- SECURITY. Due to it not being correctly installed, the latches were coming out from the frame, making it easier to be opened by a potential intruder.
- AESTHETICS. We didn’t like one significant non-changeable aspect of the door, specifically the oval glass with a decorative motif.
- EFFICIENCY. Because of the poor installation, it also meant it wasn’t efficient at keeping the cold air out (and who wants higher bills?). Not to mention it even let in rainwater!
Like any home decision that involves both function and style, this choice wasn’t so simple. The siding of our home is board and batten in a blue-grey shade (a colour we aren’t sure we’re keeping). With this in mind, we wanted to select a door that would work with the current colour, but also with our long term vision. Then there was the security and efficiency aspect. We both liked the look of a wood door, but during our research, we learned wood doors are not the most energy-efficient, are harder to maintain and tend to be quite expensive. The good news was a fibreglass door with a wood-grain effect would check off all our boxes in terms of efficiency and style.
To fully complete the transformation, we also decided to replace the door’s casing and needed to select a new handle. Thanks to Pinterest, we found a door we loved and a casing to match. Our pick? A craftsman-style door with a six-lite window pane and modern craftsman casing. This was a project we knew required a professional, so we asked for recommendations and went with Mario’s Windows & Doors.
Before we could get a quote, owner and installer Mario Lambert needed to come by to measure and assess. The bad news was the door wasn’t just poorly installed in the frame, it was set too far forward by a foot, causing the door to scrape along the side every time it opened and closed. Such a major change in positioning was another reason why the door needed to be installed before the tiles.
We shared our visual references from Pinterest, and he came back with pricing, wood-grain colours and handle options. In the end, we selected a fibreglass door from MasterGrain, with a Douglas Fir grain effect in the shade called Early American. For the handles, we went more transitional (traditional/contemporary) with Addison on the exterior and Pemberly on the interior, both in matte black and by Schlage. The casing also went from wood (that happened to be rotting) to durable PVC.
Overall we can’t believe what an impact the door makes on our home’s exterior. It not only looks much better, but it opens and closes smoothly. There are still a lot of things we want to do with our exterior (including take out the second-floor door and do a wrap-around balcony), but for now, we think we’ve boosted our home’s first impression in the neighbourhood.
A writer and editor for more than a decade, Stephanie Gray has covered everything from luxury travel to modern parenting challenges.
Her work has been featured in publications including Glamour, Elle Canada and Best Health.
She recently bought a century-old home north of Toronto, in need of updates, which she’s taking on with her husband (and toddler in tow).