exterior & outdoor living

Replacing the Front Door & Decorating the Porch for Fall

Replacing the Front Door & Fall Front Porch - roomfortuesday.comAfter sharing this makeover in real time on IG stories, I know lots of you have been patiently waiting for this detailed blog post. I’m happy to finally share the process behind replacing the front door and decorating the porch for fall! Our house looks a hundred times better, in terms of curb appeal, and I was so happy to get rid of the existing 90’s style entry into our home. With a few renovations under our belt, Emmett and I have always ordered custom interior & exterior doors from Lowe’s. It’s the easiest way to get a designer look (and exactly what we want), while saving time and money. While we typically install our own interior doors, we’ve had all of our exterior doors professionally installed (it’s 100% worth it). Trust me when I say it’s so much faster and will turn out better if you hire a pro vetted by Lowe’s. Click through for a peek into the process, a fun timelapse, sources, and plenty of before & after images! I’m also happy to answer any questions you might have regarding doors in the comment section… 

*This post is sponsored by Lowe’s. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that allow us to create unique content while featuring products we actually use & enjoy!

As a reminder, this is what our front door looked like before…

Replacing the Front Door & Fall Front Porch - roomfortuesday.comObviously it wasn’t in the best shape. Between the dents & dings, and the dated transom & sidelights, this entire front entry situation had seen better days (circa 1995). I knew I wanted to replace the door itself, as well as take advantage of the entire opening with a double front door, in an effort to match the scale of the house and let more natural light into our entryway.

Replacing the Front Door & Fall Front Porch - roomfortuesday.comI opted for beautiful, black double doors with glass that fills the upper two thirds of each door. They’re timeless, classic, and make far better use of the space. It’s amazing how much larger it feels inside too, thanks to the added natural light! In terms of privacy, the glass is slightly tinted / reflective- so it’s very difficult to see in, but we live in a fairly secluded area, so that wasn’t a major concern for us. The doors open into the side of the staircase, so it’s not like there is anything to see anyway… since it isn’t a main living space or high traffic area.

Replacing the Front Door & Fall Front Porch - roomfortuesday.comSo how exactly did I get from Point A to Point B? It was actually pretty easy! Check out the video below for a fast explanation and peek at the process…

As I mentioned in the video, this is something we’ve done for every single home we’ve renovated, so at this point- we’re pretty familiar with the process. If you’re interested to replace doors in your own home, I’m breaking it down, step-by-step below:

  1. Take measurements of your existing door, print the hardware specs you plan to use, and gather up some ideas / inspiration.
  2. Visit your nearest Lowe’s, head to the Millwork, Windows & Doors department, and get the ball rolling.
  3. They have TONS of options to choose from and you can browse through their brand books. I prefer Pella or Therma-Tru.
  4. The specialist will enter your dimensions and begin setting up the door in the computer software, which will give you a wireframe visual (super helpful).
  5. You can specify all sorts of things- the door swing, door color, material, exact size, panel style, window style, mullion style, hinge color, etc.
  6. Put down an installation deposit- which will be credited toward the install when the contractor comes to take final measurements, then wait for Lowe’s to call to schedule your contractor meeting.
  7. After setting up your appointment, the contractor will come to your home and take precise measurements and give a detailed install estimate.
  8. If everything looks good, you can then place your order at Lowe’s. I just did mine over the phone, so I didn’t have to go back into the store.
  9. The doors typically have a 4-6 week lead-time, depending on what you order. Once the door arrives at your local store, Lowe’s will call you back to schedule the installation.
  10. The contractor will deliver the door, remove your old door (and haul it away), and install the new. My installation took just over a day, but it was a big project. The front door at our previous home only took a few hours.

If you’re specifically interested in my interior door selection process, check out this post! It contains additional helpful information.

Replacing the Front Door & Fall Front Porch - roomfortuesday.comIn addition to the door replacement, you’ll also notice some other updates to our front porch. We replaced the sconces and house numbers- which also made a BIG difference.

Replacing the Front Door & Fall Front Porch - roomfortuesday.comAgain, I opted for classic options. I found these budget-friendly black, traditional Baldwin house numbers that paired really well with my sconce selection… these Millennium lantern style porch lights. I love the intricate X detail and seeded glass. They’re gorgeous in person and come in multiple sizes! I’ll probably order some more for the back patio.

Replacing the Front Door & Fall Front Porch - roomfortuesday.comIn terms of decorating for fall, I like to keep it simple. I grabbed a few pumpkins & gourds from the Lowe’s garden center, as well as a couple mums. I keep these allen+roth urn planters (which are on clearance right now!) on our front porch year round, and just replace the plants within them. This is how they looked over the spring and summer. This is what they looked like last holiday season.

Replacing the Front Door & Fall Front Porch - roomfortuesday.comI’m going to link all of the sources for you below! Use the numbered links at the bottom of the collage to shop or be redirected…

Replacing the Front Door & Fall Front Porch - roomfortuesday.com01: custom pella exterior doors // 02: millenium porch light // 03: baldwin house numbers // 04: orange mums // 05: allen + roth urn planter // 06: lantern

I have to say, I’m really happy with the way things turned out! It’s so nice pulling into our driveway to see this gorgeous front entryway. It’s making me want to tackle our staircase and interior entry soon. Our porch definitely feels more welcoming now. Not to mention, the benefits we’re gaining in terms of energy efficiency and heat savings that will roll in this winter! Want to see the before and after, side-by-side?

Replacing the Front Door & Fall Front Porch - roomfortuesday.comIt’s fun to watch how everything unfolded over the course of 2-3 days! I’m thankful Lowe’s was able to help me bring my fall vision to life, so we can enjoy the season and focus on other pressing projects (like the One Room Challenge).

Replacing the Front Door & Fall Front Porch - roomfortuesday.comLastly, I want to share our front door from last fall. This is when we still lived in our previous home! It’s funny to look back and think this was only a year ago. Things feel similar, yet very different. I definitely have a door type and color palette, don’t I? It’s just on a different scale this time around. I have to say- I miss our old vintage door knocker.

Replacing the Front Door & Fall Front Porch - roomfortuesday.comIf you’re curious about all of my home sources (anything and everything I’ve used) they’re all linked on this page for our current home, and this page for our previous home. As promised, leave me any questions or thoughts in the comment section below! I love hearing from you.

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  • Reply
    October 10, 2019 at 4:41 am

    What door material did you go with? I’ve been trying to pick an exterior door too and confused by the options. :)

    • Reply
      October 10, 2019 at 11:15 am

      There are definitely lots of options and selections to choose from. This is from the Pella AdvantagePlus line-the glass is tempered, the door is insulated, the exterior frame material is clad (painted black), and the interior frame material is wood. Hope this helps :) xox

      • Reply
        Bridget Lee
        October 14, 2019 at 7:42 am

        Hi Sarah,
        What a wonderful transformation! Please clarify what material the outside of the door is clad with; steel or fiberglass or some other material? I looked at the Pella AdvantagePlus page & I am still confused.
        Thank you!

  • Reply
    October 10, 2019 at 4:43 am

    Seriously, that’s like a 1000 times better! So stately. (The gold diamonds on the old door…gads.) Double doors will make moving in amazing furniture (and equipment) so much easier! I love the sconces, too. Why, why, why do builders get scale so wrong? Just say no to stingy little lights. (I might make that into a bumper sticker.😀) I hope you are rested and ready for your day! I can just feel all the progress you’re going to make! #ORC

    • Reply
      October 10, 2019 at 11:16 am

      I think so too! We just schlepped two 300 lb hot water heaters up the basement stairs and out the door last night, and you better believe those double doors came in handy! It was so much easier not having to maneuver them through a small doorway. I’m on board with your bumper sticker- sign me up for one :) haha!! Have a great day, Peggi! xo

  • Reply
    October 10, 2019 at 6:06 am

    That’s just gorgeous! All of it.

    • Reply
      October 10, 2019 at 11:16 am

      Thank you so much Monica! xo

  • Reply
    October 10, 2019 at 9:20 am

    I would love a cost breakdown for this project. I have almost the exact same door with sidelights and am dying to replace it. I love the double doors you chose. Great job.

    • Reply
      October 10, 2019 at 11:20 am

      Happy to share the cost, Becky! I should’ve included that in the post- I’m sorry! The doors were around $3,500 and installation was another ~$800 – $1k. That included removal of the previous, millwork, the new custom doors, etc.

  • Reply
    October 10, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    Hey! Would love the front door hardware link!

  • Reply
    October 10, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    It looks awesome! We have a dated sidelight in our front too, but only on one side, so we couldn’t replace it with double doors like you did. Do you have recommendations for how/where to go about updating the sidelight? (I assume our best option is to replace the old glass with its dated design with new glass.. The glass is the full length of the door.) Thanks!

    • Reply
      October 10, 2019 at 1:17 pm

      You could replace the entire opening with one large door- or, as you mentioned… replace the glass and make it feel updated! Lowe’s also has a ton of sidelight and transom options that feel more classic. Hope this helps :) xo

  • Reply
    Christiane Nick
    October 10, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    Gorgeous! What an update. Is the hardware from Lowes or did you go with nostalgic warehouse again? And I noticed your interior handle is a knob unlike your bathroom door. You always surprise me with your flawless mixing and matching.

    • Reply
      October 10, 2019 at 1:19 pm

      The hardware is from Grandeur (same parent company as Nostalgic Warehouse)… I just can’t get enough of their gorgeous products! And yes- you know I love mixing and matching :)

  • Reply
    Grace Geraghty
    October 10, 2019 at 1:03 pm

    I would love to know the dimensions. I currently have a similar setup to your “before” (sidelights and a single door) and am dreaming of doing double doors. I know we can have them made in any size, but think they will each be about 2 inches smaller than a traditional single door and wondering if thats how yours were too or if you had more space to start with. Just hard to imagine/picture it!

    • Reply
      October 10, 2019 at 1:19 pm

      Definitely! My doors measured out to 68″ wide by 97″ tall. Hopefully this will help to give you a visual :)

  • Reply
    October 10, 2019 at 1:26 pm


  • Reply
    Anne H
    October 10, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    A hundred times better? Make that a 1000 times better! Wow, what an upgrade and I love that you were able to do double doors in that space. Those sconces too are gorgeous. Love your new curb appeal!

    • Reply
      October 10, 2019 at 3:12 pm

      Thank you so much, Anne! We’re really happy with how everything turned out :) xox

  • Reply
    October 22, 2019 at 8:28 am

    What do you do with your seasonal planters when the seasons change? Do you toss the plants out with your yard waste? Or move the plants inside? I love your seasonal planters and want to start doing the same thing, but am not sure what to do with the old plants haha.

    • Reply
      October 31, 2019 at 8:57 am

      Great question, Stephanie! It totally depends on the plants and season. Sometimes I’ll replant them outside. I don’t love bringing them inside because we’re constantly renovating and I don’t have room or the energy to care for them. Otherwise, I’ll compost them in our green trash bin that gets picked up by the city.

  • Reply
    Monica Mowery
    April 17, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    The new doors look great. After looking through the other posts I have a similar question. What type of material is the exterior (fiberglass, etc.)? Thank you!

  • Reply
    August 10, 2020 at 10:15 pm

    I have a similar front door situation but went with one single door and sidelights only because of space on my porch and also inside the foyer. I made the mistake I guess of not getting a black sill. Mine is silver! Did you custom order black? My doors are going to be painted black.
    Also what color is your door on the inside? Trying to decide whether to paint black or keep it white. I can send pics.
    Thank you and love your blog, I have learned a lot.

    • Reply
      August 11, 2020 at 9:06 am

      Great question, Caroline! Yes- you have to order the threshold in the color of your choice (ours being black). Our doors are also black on the interior. Hope this helps!

      • Reply
        Caroline M Spinner
        August 12, 2020 at 9:22 pm

        Thank you so much for a response, I am super impressed :) I did order my door with brass hinges but of course they are not nearly as pretty in color as my brass door handle. What color hinges did you use?

  • Reply
    August 12, 2020 at 6:10 pm

    We’re replacing our front door soon and I keep coming back to this post! Love this transformation so much! Could tell me the size of your opening. Our current door looks just like your “before” with side lights and transom. But when we’ve gone to Lowe’s with our measurements, they say they can’t do it. :(

    • Reply
      Desiree Figer
      August 12, 2020 at 6:13 pm

      Could you share the size of your door opening?* Thanks!

      • Reply
        October 24, 2020 at 11:13 pm

        doors measured out to 68″ wide by 97″ tall.

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