The top home improvement project in terms of delivering an increase in value for your investment? A new front door. Believe it or not, exterior entry doors are at the top of the list in most profitable home improvements. It provides a real boost in your home's curb appeal, which might not matter now, but it will when you decide to sell. Not only does a new door give your home's outside a facelift, if you choose an energy efficient model, you could qualify for a federal tax credit of 10% of the cost, up to $500. Does a new front door really matter? If your old one sticks, or it leaks air (and if it's an older wooden door most likely it does both), it's not only an ann0yance but it's probably wasting energy. Your choices for front doors are wide - ranging from wood to fiberglass to steel to composite - some virtually maintenance-free. But don't just stop with replacing your front door. Entryways really come alive when you also choose the right "accessories" for your front door. What do we mean by door accessories? Here's a list of things to choose one or more from:
- Contrasting Paint: Paint can be thought of as makeup for a door. Here's your chance to add one spot of color to your exterior. Brights such as yellows and reds are currently very popular.
- Sconces and Overhead Lights: Choose from coach lamps, pendants, sconces, or even chandeliers if you have covered porch or gabled entry. Consider flanking your door with lights on either side - it looks more balanced.
- Door Knockers: A knocker which coordinates with your lockset adds a distinctive touch.
- Doorbells: While their main purpose is to announce your guests, doorbells can range from sleek to ornate, and many designs are available to express your personal interests and hobbies.
- Wall Mount Mailboxes: Many homes now have curbside or off-premise pedestal mail delivery, so you may not need a mailbox beside your door for the post office, but it adds an elegant touch. Vintage-look mailboxes have become very popular.
- Unique House Numbers: There are many styles to choose one; pick a design that goes with your other entry accents.
- Welcome Mats: The old rubber and coir standbys have taken on a whole new look. There are even rubber mats which resemble intricate wrought iron work. Make a statement from the ground up with a distinctive mat.
- Sidelights and Transoms: When you replace your door, consider installing a glass panel (called a "sidelight" on one or both sides of the door, or overhead (called a "transom.") Not only will it add more character to your entry area, it will bring light into the interior of your home around the front door.