5 Things To Consider For Your Front Porch & Front Door
Adding to our ‘Curb Appeal Helps Seal the Deal’ series one of the most important things to consider in the new build or remodel of your home is your front door and porch. We all want to get enjoyment and comfort from our outdoor spaces, so take these ideas to create a front porch you will love while you occupy your home, and when it comes time to sell your home, a front porch, and a door that will appeal to the greatest number of buyers. You want such high and enticing curb appeal to your home that buyers will look past other areas that may be detrimental to your home setting, either outside or inside.
These 5 interrelated ideas will help you get the end result you want.
Within the overall budget for your new home being built or if you are only doing a focused porch and front door remodel, the first thing to do is set your budget. It is estimated by Discover Home Equity Loans that the average front porch remodels, for an existing home costs approximately $21,000.00. We have seen estimates as high as 85% return on the cost of a front porch investment. So put a budget together and we recommend doing a separate budget for your front porch from your front door. Consistently buyers talk about front porches that are laid out well, are comfortable, have plenty of room and look good. The budget for your front door will include additional value items such as sidelights, transom windows, matching additional porch windows, lighting, trims, blinds, etc.
The next item to work on after you have your budget is the material’s that you want for your front porch and door. You may want to talk with your contractor or if doing it yourself, there are tons of websites that cover the pros and cons of different porch materials such as wood, concrete, tile, composites, etc. Same with your front door and windows there are a lot of different door materials such as wood, fiberglass, steel, or glass, to jamb and molding materials of wood, aluminum, vinyl, fiberglass, etc. Determine what materials you like the look of first, then what materials are most likely to fit into your budget best. Then as you start adding in the cost of labor and material you will adjust the materials or your budget as needed and as you are able.
Two things can add quite a bit of value as you consider your materials. First is the size of your porch. Remember this is for a front porch only – a back porch is another subject. The average size we see that appeals to most people is a depth of approximately 6′ and an average length of 10-12′. Second is only if you have a basement – if possible extend the footing & foundation to include the porch and make the room under your porch a cold storage room or add a safe door for a vault storage room.
Where do you live? What is your environment like? Is there humidity? Are you in a high-traffic area? Are you facing north or south? These will impact you for example if you are north-facing and live in a cold climate you may want to put a heating element in the floor to melt any snow and ice or add windows to keep snow off. If you get a lot of traffic in and out your front door you may want a steel door that will hold up better. If you are south-facing and have hot summers you may want to install ceiling fans. Consider your environment and the type of materials to work with for the most comfort and value.
4. Security and Accessibility
Studies have shown that most forced entries are through the front door and it is typically not because of door failure, it is because of deadbolt or lock failure. What is recommended is to have at least a 1-inch minimum depth for your deadbolt and that the screws for the plat or deadbolt insert go all the way through the door jamb and into the jamb stud. One more thing about security is to have an organized porch. Don’t let things stack up and allow clutter where someone who shouldn’t be there could easily be hidden. Movement-activated lights will also increase the security of your front porch.
Some forethought is also good when it comes to accessibility. Is your porch wheelchair accessible or could it be reconstructed easily to be wheelchair accessible? The height of your porch, where you locate any steps, what type of railing, and where you put it is will also affect the security and accessibility.
When choosing a color for your door, porch railing, trims, lights, etc think about the type of audience you want to draw to your home. You want your curb appeal to be appealing to the largest group of possible buyers. If you choose to use unique colors or unique items, you may reduce the pool of interested buyers. There is definitely a range of unique items so check with your REALTOR and see what is most appealing in the market.
Whether you're a first-time home buyer in search of your dream home, a seller looking to downsize or an investor looking for a great opportunity, working with a dedicated real estate professional can make all the difference. Contact me today.