Time to give your door a facelift and make it glow
Creators News Service
It's the first thing that many people see on your home, so why not make a statement? Create instant curb appeal and transform your door into a stunning focal point with a few quick fixes and a fresh coat of paint.
For about $100 and a weekend of work, do-it-yourselfers can create an entryway that's as fashionable as it is functional.
MAKE IT WORK
"The first task to transform that boring front door into a warm, welcoming focal point is to ensure it works properly," said Reggie Marston, president of Residential Equity Management Home Inspections in Springfield, Va., and a former guest on HGTV's "The House Detective." "It may look nice from the street, but when guests arrive and the owner has to fumble to get the door open or kick the door closed, all the pretty paint and new hardware is a waste of time and money."
First things first: Check the hinges.
"On many old doors, the hinges have come loose and the screws don't grab the wood any longer. The door is now hanging crooked in the jamb, it won't open or close properly and air is blowing through the gaps," Marston said.
Fix the gaps by installing new, longer screws that penetrate the framing and properly secure the hinges in place. When tightening the screws, ensure that the margin around the inside where it adjoins the jamb is equal at both sides and the top.
"Sometimes just installing these long screws and tightening them will pull the door back into alignment," Marston said.
Fix any squeaks with a shot of graphite or silicon lubricating spray to each hinge.
Once it opens and closes with ease, update worn weather-stripping, paying close attention to the door sweep at the bottom.
Perform the dollar test: Lay a dollar bill on the threshold and close the door. If you can remove the dollar bill easily, it's time to replace the weather stripping, Marston said.
ADD SOME COLOR
Dollar for dollar, a fresh coat of paint is one of the best investments for creating killer curb appeal -- but forget boring beige. For maximum impact, go bold with standout shades.
Not sure you're ready to commit to color? Consider this: It's just a door.
"People don't usually choose bold colors. They pick neutral colors like beige and gray because they don't want to pick a color that the next owner won't like," said Wayne Scherger, president of Protect Painters, a home painting and decorating service with franchises nationwide.
If your home has a neutral base, it can handle the extra splash of color -- and if the next owners don't like the hue, it's a quick fix, Scherger said. They don't have to repaint the entire house.
Opt for rich brown or brick red to add a touch of warmth or choose cool dusky blue, deep teal or charcoal for a more sophisticated look.
"Burgundy, navy and deep hunter green are very welcoming as well," he added.
Before you rush out to the hardware store, bear in mind that choosing the right finish is just as important as choosing the right color. Go for a gloss finish, which excels at highlighting details, giving a clean, polished look from the street. Gloss finishes are also more durable, more weather resistant and easier to clean than their matte counterparts, which have a tendency to look weathered and dull, Scherger said.
Likewise, stick with acrylic latex paint, which resists peeling and blistering better than oil-based paints -- and holds its color and shine longer.
MIND THE DETAILS
Want to really make a statement? Toss that lowly brass doorknob and amp up the lights.
Show off your freshly painted door with a more modern lever-style handle in a contemporary bronze or brushed nickel finish. Install a new doorknocker to match. You might even be able to find a new doorbell plate to compliment the look.
A bright entryway makes a stunning impact from a distance, so install high-watt bulbs in the fixtures flanking your front door when you're done with the handy work. Keep it green and energy efficient with compact fluorescent bulbs -- look for 100-watt replacements, which use only 23 watts per bulb.
All that's left to do is to roll out the welcome mat.