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HIT - Nothing says "welcome to my home" quite like an impressive entryway. Attention to detail and some added extra touches of hospitality can transform any "ho-hum" entry into a warm and inviting approach to the home.
Professional contractor Mark Clement recommends homeowners start with the basics. Evaluate the look and condition of the front door. Determine if the current door needs to be replaced or just enhanced with some decorative pediments, crossheads and pilasters.
"A front door should have good energy efficiency features, a snug fit to the frame and an appealing color," says Clement, host of the home improvement radio show MyFixItUpLife. "If you're missing any of those elements, then I would invest in a new front entryway.
"My recommendation is a secure fiberglass door that resists denting and scratching, is easy to maintain, energy efficient and quiet. And, don't forget to select decorative or privacy glass for the doorlites and potentially your sidelites to really add appeal to the home's entryway."
For his own 100 plus year old home, Clement recently tackled the job of adding a new fiberglass Therma-Tru Classic-Craft Canvas Collection entry door with an Augustine glass doorlite. The insulated glass doorlite with granite glass features a high privacy level along with an elegant wrought iron design.
A Consumers Digest "Best Buy" recipient, the premium smooth-finish Classic-Craft door is paintable and features architecturally-correct facets like wide center panels and rich embossment details. Clement painted his door teal and showcases the "before and after" project on his YouTube video at
"We needed a 'door-lift' for the front of our house -much like a facelift for the home," says Clement, whose www.myfixituplife.com website offers home improvement insights to consumers. "We started with the new energy-efficient door, then finished with durable PVC millwork on the exterior of the door and urethane trim around the door's interior. These moisture-resistant materials from Fypon resist rot, mold, insects and decay so they're ideal to enhance the entryway.
"For most entryways I recommend a set of pilasters that stand up next to both sides of your door and attach to the surface siding. Then, add a crosshead and pediment that can 'sit' on the top of the entryway. With dozens of decorative pediment designs to choose from, such as a sunburst, rams head or peaked cap, you can add your own personality to the entryway. These low-maintenance synthetic products are all key focal features that make an entranceway more appealing."
Clement points out that urethane millwork products are long-lasting, since their surfaces are not subject to chipping and peeling as one would find with many wood trim pieces. The synthetic pieces also resist humidity, warping and rotting, making them ideal for all climate conditions.
"Even the simple and relatively inexpensive addition of a crosshead and keystone over an entry door can transform the look of a home," says Clement. "For the final steps, consider new exterior lighting fixtures to complement your new door, along with a colorful welcome mat and planters of colorful flowers. Together these all add up to creating a warm, welcoming entryway for you and your guests."