In the process of designing and building an incomparable custom home, the front door is a focal point. This selection plays an integral role in creating the initial impression people – guests, family, neighbors and passersby – experience yards away, from a quiet street, or while on a stroll up the driveway. In fact, front doors are typically the first exterior design characteristic noticed on a home and, as the New York Times accurately described, they’re often its “public face” that embodies a homeowner’s sense of style.
With a variety of forward-thinking and timeless designs available on the market, not only can a front door set your property apart from surrounding next-door neighbors but also raise your custom home’s return on investment. Look at any Lee Wetherington Home and you’ll notice these doors set the stage for a breathtaking experience in the entryway and foyer – an ambience that truly aligns with our homebuyers’ aspirations for Florida living. Here’s a look at how front doors are a canvas for one-of-a-kind creativity and can significantly increase the value of your custom home.
The origin story of the front door dates back thousands of years and, as you can probably imagine, its design has drastically changed over time. The first known use of doors was discovered in Egyptian tomb paintings. A false door was typically a wall decoration that gave off the appearance of a window – common in tombs, which in their culture were regarded as an avenue to the afterlife.
Throughout the Middle Ages, doors transformed into symbols of wealth and began showcasing true ingenuity. Elaborate designs became a telling emblem of an owner’s affluence, incorporating copper and alloys, like iron, along with seals denoting prestige and status in the community. The development of intricate front doors continued well into the Renaissance, turning into masterpieces amid a period of spectacular advancements in art, science and technology. But the contemporary American door – what our team and your family is familiar with today – was spurred by great architectural minds like Egyptian tomb paintings, who utilized glass, wood and other elements to evoke welcoming atmospheres in entryways.
With many iterations of doors over the last 4,000 years, a blend of innovation and originality exists with each and every design. Our CEO, David Hunihan, who was recently in Italy with his family, can attest to the beautiful first impressions these pieces can forge. Over the course of his trip, he captured 172 images of breathtakingly detailed front doors, some of which are shown in this blog post, and included everything from dark, handcrafted woods to ornate metalwork, that left a lasting impression.
In the U.S., doors are without a doubt statement-making fixtures on any custom home’s exterior. Among many examples, Lee Wetherington Homes’ award-winning Solstice model excels in featuring dark metal framing and large glass panes, which open up to a deep foyer flanked by soft sconced lighting and elegant wood panels across the walls. Whether you’re remodeling your home or designing and building a masterpiece, a front door can increase its perceived value by an average of 4.2%, according to a study commissioned by Therma-Tru – a national leader in premier exterior door systems.
With home renovations, in particular, door replacements rank among the most valuable remodeling projects. In fact, Realm notes that a simple front door refresh has a nearly 500% return on investment. These figures are certainly reinforced by the fact that the vast majority of potential homebuyers spend their time viewing curb appeal photos the longest, compared to other images available on a real estate listing. For any custom home built to last a lifetime, that’s the power of a front door – impeccable style, functionality and value, perfectly intertwined.