We Spent $3k on a New Front Door, Was it Worth It?

We built our house about 6 years ago, and, like most developer homes,  it came with a lot of standard issue details. The light fixtures look dated. The doors are plain. They’re adequate but not especially high quality or interesting. At the time all our reserve cash was spent on the upgrades and surprise expenses that came at closing. So we didn’t have the extra cash to spend on the front door and we got a plain door that we got painted brown.

The door we wanted had a considerable mark up so we passed. However, we always planned to upgrade our front door…eventually.

Our philosophy is to buy a smaller home that’s more affordable and put money into the details. We’re always working to make our home as comfortable and automated as possible. We designed a lot of the details, and after 6 years, we love our home and usually prefer it to staying at most luxury hotels!

From Builder Grade to Custom Front Door

Builder lights and doors that come with the basic home packages are so boring and dated. Although it took us longer to get than planned, we finally did get that new front door.

It took longer to install and it cost more than we expected. But do we regret it???


Here’s what our front door looked like before (on the right – the photo isn’t super clear but it’s the only one I had). 

new wood front door

It’s surprising that such a small detail can make you happy. Even months later we comment on how much we love our new front door. Why?

7 Things We Love about our New Front Door

  1. The windows let in light which brightens our living room and kitchen area, which we especially love during the winter when we could use some extra light. Even when the lights are off it’s brighter inside.
  2. It makes our home look larger, even though it’s the same size as the front door that came with our home.
  3. There’s less draft because there’s a tighter seal.
  4. It’s so much more stylish and brings me a lot of joy!
  5. Improves the curb appeal of our home.
  6. It has a lot more style and completes the arts and crafts look we were going for.
  7. The new hardware is more modern and we added some security features.

    front door open
    Welcome to our house!

The Wind Blows But We Can’t Hear it

Our city gets some high winds and when the wind blows it can whistle and let air inside. Now our door has a tighter seal and the temperature stays more even in our home. We can’t hear the wind.

The process of getting the door was a little stressful. For some reason we had a lot of stress about the glass pattern. You can choose from wavy, patterned, etc. Stephen and I just couldn’t agree on which one to get. There were almost tears! But in the end we are pleased with our compromise because both of us are satisfied with our choice. It’s got a sort of wave pattern.

arts and crafts front door wood

What Else We Upgraded with the Front Door

Here are the other things we changed about our front door. We purchased most of the products from from Home Depot. If you purchase through our links we may earn a commission at no cost to you.

  • Classic Craft American Style Collections 8′ Craftsman lite 2 panel flush glazed fiberglass exterior door.  We got it from Home Depot. See Arts & crafts front doors at Home Depot.
  • Ring Doorbell for security. You can answer the door wherever you are. I’ve answered it from Las Vegas on vacation. There’s also a video of people who come to the door and a community of neighbors who keep each other up on crime and happenings in the neighborhood.
  • Smartcode 913 contemporary Satin Nickel Electronic Deadbolt with a San Clemente Handleset and halifax interior lever. See smart lock at Home Depot.
  • Or for regular hardware we like this one in satin nickel finish. In addition to getting a new door we upgraded the hardware and digital smart lock (just enter in a code to get in, no key needed). It’s the best thing ever! Our daughter knows the code so she can open the door without needing to carry a key. No more latch key kid!
  • We always get our rugs at Target.

Overall, we think our new door and hardware fits the style of our home A LOT better. Now our front door has a more modern look that makes us happy every time we come and go. 

front door from inside

Your Front Door Sets the Tone for the Rest of your Home

Front doors have always been important to me. It’s the first impression people have when they come to your home. I hate a dirty or messy front door. I want the front porch to be clean, inviting and fit the style of the rest of the house. Our new front door has so much more style. 

Home Security

In addition we want our home to be secure. I noticed some of our neighbors had a Ring doorbell when we went trick-or-treating last year. So we decided to get one. It allows us to answer the door from just about anywhere. We can see a live video of who’s there and talk to them through the intercom.

With Ring, it’s easy to see who’s at the door or when a package gets delivered. Also, you get to see what’s going on in the neighborhood because there’s a Ring community keeping an eye on things. The app has a live view section and a space for other Ring owners in the area to share footage (like theft, suspicious people, etc). I like knowing what’s going on. 

It’s also important that your home is well lit. We have automatic lights from Hue that are on settings we can change from our phone. You can put your lights on timers so they go on each night, even when you’re not home. It also looks nice and inviting to come home to.

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