Friday, August 03, 2007

Boosting Your Home’s Bottom Line: Big Ideas for Making a Good First Impression

(ARA) - A home’s exterior makes or breaks the first impression when prospective buyers see your home initially. If you’re looking to add value to your home without spending a lot of money, consider enhancing its curb appeal with a new front door. A spruced-up entryway can add as much as $24,000 to a home’s perceived value, according to research commissioned by Therma-Tru Doors.

“Your home competes for attention with the other homes in the neighborhood and even on your block. But you’ll never get an offer if potential buyers don’t make it through the front door,” says Tom Kraeutler, AOL Real Estate’s home improvement editor and co-host of ‘The Money Pit’ nationally-syndicated radio show. “The good news is that you can give your home an inviting new look by simply upgrading your front entryway. It’s one of the fastest, easiest and least expensive home improvements you can make.”

Whereas many doors are made of wood or steel, newer fiberglass materials and design options make the rich look of a wood door more affordable and easier to maintain. Fiberglass won’t rot, swell or peel like wood; requires minimal maintenance; provides excellent thermal protection; and offers unlimited possibilities for styles and finish options.

Today’s manufacturers also offer a wide array of choices for your home’s entryway, from doors that complement your home’s architectural style to custom looks using decorative glass, sidelites, transoms and more. Here are some “IDEAS” for choosing a new entryway system for your home:

IDEAS Tip #1:

Don’t IGNORE the Small Stuff “Remember that an entryway is an entire system of components, not just the door slab,” Kraeutler says. “Look for a complete door system designed to work together with high-quality, durable components.” From door hardware to beautiful glass sidelites and transoms, an attractive, high-performance entryway can go a long way toward making your home more appealing and drawing potential buyers to at least look inside.

IDEAS Tip #2:

One DOOR or Two? If you have a single door, you can simply replace it with a new door in the same size. But if you add sidelites -- stationary glass panels next to the door opening -- you will enhance the beauty of the entryway and also bring more light inside the home to showcase what’s inside. If you currently have double doors, instead of simply replacing them, consider installing an extra-wide single door (3 feet by 6 inches) and use sidelites to fill in the opening. Or, for a truly grand look, expand to double doors and add decorative glass sidelites and a transom window above. This may be a little more work, but it will transform your home with a completely new look.

IDEAS Tip #3:

EVALUATE Your Current Entryway Check the door opening to see what your home can accommodate structurally. Measure the height and width: most doors are 3 feet wide and 6 feet 8 inches tall. But some of the most popular doors are now 3 feet 6 inches wide and 8 feet tall, so you may need to enlarge your opening. In addition, consider adding Dixie-Pacific columns on the outside of the home or Fypon’s crossheads which will not only add style and elegance, but increase the home’s value and appeal.

IDEAS Tip #4:

ASSESS What Glass Meets Your Needs Adding decorative glass to your entryway can greatly enhance the curb appeal of your home. For example, use decorative glass with wrought iron designs to add sophistication to a Rustic or Spanish-inspired entryway; choose oval-shaped glass with curved or angled geometric designs to enhance a Victorian home; or select glass with crossover designs to add personality to a Prairie-style home.

IDEAS Tip #5:

What STYLE is Your Home? Knowing your home’s architectural style, and what kind of statement you want to make with your entryway, will help you narrow the choices. You can find doors and components to fit just about every architectural style. For example, Therma-Tru offers style-specific door collections -- from its American Style Collection that complements Traditional or New American Style homes, to the Rustic Collection that is ideal for Southwestern or Old Tuscan style homes, to the Oak Collection that suits everything from Colonial to Contemporary architecture.

For entryway design ideas, installation tips and a complete door selection guide, visit The site features an interactive Door Designer that allows you to match different door styles with glass sidelites, transoms, and stain and paint colors to create the look you want. Therma-Tru door systems are available through a national network of distributors, lumberyards and home centers. For additional ideas, visit , and

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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