Before and After: Our New Front Door!

March 29, 2016

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We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

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Our new front door is in and we have some photos to share with you today! First I should say that ordering a door online was a bit of a risk. Especially since we wanted a wood-toned one and tones are somewhat hard to read online. But as soon as it got here, we inspected it before signing (as we were instructed to do) and it was just what we wanted.

Here was our front door when we first moved in, a super glossy maroon. The glossiest!

Before and After: Our New Front Door!

We painted it Onyx by Benjamin Moore but I’m still not sure that was a huge improvement. And when the handleset broke off  (aye yi yi!) and we temporarily replaced it with a mismatched knob–it wasn’t pretty.

Before and After: Our New Front Door!

But after 2 years of living here, we realized nixing the one sidelight in favor for a single door and beefier trim would serve us best. And here’s how it looks today!

Before and After: Our New Front Door!

You can see all the details about the door we ordered in this post. When it arrived, we ended up having our favorite contractor come and install it since we were working on the downstairs, but I did manage to snap a couple pictures with my phone of the progress.

Before and After: Our New Front Door!

He started out be filling in the gaps on either side with 2x4s. Between the sidelight we did away with and the previous door’s trim, that left us with about 8″ on either side to fill.

Then, he cut out the siding equivalent on top and we started layering trim.

Before and After: Our New Front Door!

We used 1x3s for the first trim layers and then wedged a 2×6 board next to those to fill in the gap. Then we layered a 1×6  on top for the widest trim piece on the side so it was barely out farther. We repeated the same process for the top, except added a jamb on top for extra height and balance. All the trim pieces were exterior grade pre-primed for exterior use. We siliconed the cracks and painted it Simply White in an Exterior Satin finish.

Before and After: Our New Front Door!

You may have noticed we also swapped out our old gold numbers, too! They were barely visible so you maybe have missed them in the before photos. We actually did that a few months ago, but it’s only worth showing now. I ordered this steel planter box and brass magnetic numbers from Schoolhouse. It is definitely more brown than the slate color it appears to be online, but I think it will patina over time and I love the warmth the brownish tone adds.

Before and After: Our New Front Door!

Other things on the list? Replace an old brass light (see below) on the left wall. Maybe bring it closer to the door or make it hanging above the door would be nice.

Before and After: Our New Front Door!

We also still need to trim the inside of the door.

Before and After: Our New Front Door!

But, all in all, we’ve come a long way from where we started:

Before and After: Our New Front Door!

Before and After: Our New Front Door!



Before and After: Our New Front Door!


Before and After: Our New Front Door!

We have a driveway full of carpet right now (eeee!) but as soon as it clears out, I owe you an updated front-of-house shot! It’s looking so great all together with the upgraded lights flanking the garage and DIY house numbers we added last year. It’s been busy and exciting over here–New carpet update before the week is over!

Ps. Tomorrow’s the last day to enter our Schlage entryset giveaway! 


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What do you think?

  1. Karen Walsh-Ritter says:

    Where did you order the door? What is the color of the finish? Its beautiful.

  2. Amanda M says:

    Thank you for sharing this! I’ve been wanting to remove our sidelights, and this method appears solid. The obstacle I’m facing is an over door fan-shaped window.

  3. Davis Kempton says:

    Thank you so much for posting! I just used this as a template for my front door and it turned out awesome!

  4. Sissy Wieczorek says:

    I love your door and the way you encased it with the molding. I noticed you mentioned that you ordered it online. Would you mind sharing where you purchased the door?

  5. Christina says:

    Can you tell me what brand and/or model number this door is….love the 6 windows…also is this fiberglass? Thank you so much for your help.

  6. Traci says:

    Hi! I would love to know how the door was finished on the inside. Just wondering exactly what went into filling the inside space left by the side lite. Thanks! Looks great!

  7. Tammy says:

    Love the door. Looks really nice. Just one question though. I’m wondering what kind of header you used to “add height and width” to the door and what store you purchased all the trim pieces from. Was it some kind specialty store, or just a big box store like Menards?

    It looks like just one piece, but I can’t seem to find anything like it.

  8. Renee says:

    This is exactly the style door I am looking at for our house. Like you I am hesitant to order online. Do you mind me asking where you purchased it?

  9. Kaylyn Blum says:

    Did you guys paint the inside of this door too, like you did to the previous door you had a post about?

  10. Staci says:

    The door looks great! along with the numbers! Can you please tell me where you got the door hardware? Love the handle!!!! Thanks!

  11. I love it. We just got a new door that we plan to install soon that has one big window like that, but not separated panes. How do you feel about people being able to see right in? That is a concern of mine…not sure if we might frost it or something. Will you keep yours like that? I’m so excited for more natural light to be let it on that side of our home – the entry is dark right now.

  12. kait bomb says:

    First of all, I am a long time follower of CLJ and just wanted to say that I am so pumped to see the reveal of the media room. Also, I found a dupe of the entry-address planter thingy at for anyone that is interested. Looks so similar, just more of a copper finish….but only a whopping 23 bucks if anyone else needs a more wallet friendly version. Comes in two sizes too! ;)

  13. Sarah says:

    It looks amazing! I was wondering if/ when you will update the siding/ brick? I would guess you want to update it, but do you guys have an HOA? And if you do update it, what would you go with material-wise? Just curious! :)

    • Julia says:

      We don’t have an HOA and while the brick probably isn’t my favorite, it’s SO far down on our list and doesn’t bother me that much. We’d probably vault the ceilings in our great room before doing that.

  14. Kelly S says:

    This looks amazing! Just such a beautiful job.

    I was wondering what the source is for your entryway rug? Thank you!

  15. Kristen says:

    The new door is beautiful!! I like the white trim you added to allow for the side window removal too.

  16. Peggy says:

    What a beautiful improvement! In a previous house, we replaced the solid (no windows) double doors with doors very similar to yours. What a huge difference in the light it let into the house! I can’t remember exactly what I did for privacy, but I did have some kind of translucent shades for evening. Also, the glass is so thick in these doors, someone would have to really make a racket to try a break it.

  17. Katie says:

    Love your blog! Love the door! Your style is similar to ours. That being said, we are looking to move and I have told my hubby we have to build because I know what I like and will want to spend a small fortune changing everything to fit my taste. So I am wondering if you consider it cheaper to change a whole house (that was inexpensive) with a mixture of diy and contractors, or just build what you want from scratch? I realize your blog necessitates remodeling a house, but if the blog didn’t exist, which would be more cost effective in your opinion – buy cheap and remodel, or build?

    • Chris says:

      Jules can give her thoughts, but I wanted to add mine as well. For us, one major factor in our home purchase is the location. We didn’t want a house that was in a new neighborhood, because there are too many unknowns as to what may show up. Even if you’re in a subdivision, you could end up with a Dominos Pizza just over your fence. Jules also loves mature landscaping – something you don’t get for a long time with new builds. So for us, finding an affordable house in the perfect location made the most sense, because the location is literally the only thing about a house you can’t change.

      • Katie says:

        Got it. That makes sense! That is an important consideration. I look forward to seeing more of your beautiful renovations.

  18. Kelli says:

    Would you be willing to say how much it cost to have your contractor frame out the new door and install the molding? Love what you did and am interested in doing something like this!

  19. Bernadette says:

    The new door is such a huge improvement! Have you thought about further modifying your front door area by building out a front porch? It would bring the entry way forward more and eliminate that front patio. I’m thinking it would be really cute on your home!

  20. Carmen says:

    Love how it turned out! Do you happen to know your exterior paint color of your home? The trim color also? We are looking to paint our exterior and love the neutral tone of your home. Thank you!

  21. Lindsey says:

    I love the idea of having a bunch of light coming through a front door- and it sure is a beauty….but what about at night?! Do you cover the glass/window?!

  22. allison says:

    Hi Julia! we are looking at upgrading our front door to something VERY similar in style, and I have a couple of crazy questions: 1) Do you feel too exposed with all the front door glass? I remember you installed a shade in your front stairs just last year because you didn’t love all your neighbors looking in: do you feel like it will be the same with this, or do you have a privacy solution for nights? 2) (this comes from my security worried husband:)) Would you ever be worried that someone would just knock in the glass in your front door? Our front hall is DARK because of two old solid wood doors, and I am craving a double version of what you have, but I am concerned about #1 and my husband is concerned about #2:) Any insight would be super helpful!

    • Julia says:

      We’ll have to let you know how that evolves over time. We haven’t closed the blind in our stairwell in a few months, but we aren’t opposed to putting a bamboo shade on the inside of these doors if we do crave more privacy in the future. I think people would naturally knock on the wood part of the door and not the glass, at least that has been our experience in the last week. We also have plans to update the doorbell, so I think people would use that instead of knocking too.

      • allison says:

        Thanks:) I would love to hear your thoughts about privacy and security as it evolves! I love the door and the casing is amazing!!!

    • Chris says:

      Concerning security, honestly our biggest security “feature” is Charly. She literally barks at every person who comes within 10 feet of our property. Even if they’re just walking on the sidewalk. She lets us know about everything, and she’s very protective of our family. And when you think about it, if your home has windows at ground level, you’re every bit as exposed to break-ins as you are having a front door with large windows. Putting yourself in the mindset of a criminal, it’s probably more likely they’d break in a window as opposed to the most visible and prominent entrance to the home anyway. So if security is that big of a concern, then the real thing to do would be invest in other security protection, because a solid door likely won’t make a difference. We had someone come into our house one night a few years ago, and we’ve had a security system ever since. We have motion sensors in all the main areas, glass break sensors in every room, and open/close sensors on every door/window.

      • allison says:

        Chris, Thanks for the response! I can totally understand that. I guess I hadn’t’ even thought about the large bay window next to our front door (Isn’t it funny how we can tunnel vision concerned with issue at hand and not even see the same issue that is right next door!) You just alleviated my concern and now I can answer any questions my husband had on the same issue! I look forward to hearing how y’all love it!

  23. Elizabeth says:

    Oh please share how you finished the exterior! I have wood doors and used waterlox for the exterior and its all cracked up, within a few weeks!

  24. Kate S. says:

    I love the door you chose and eliminating the single sidelight was exactly the right decision–it looks absolutely beautiful now!

  25. Jen says:

    Gorgeous! Can you add a street view? I would love to see how it all looks from the curb.

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We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

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