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

    1. 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

      1. Bridget Lee says:

        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!

  2. 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

    1. 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

  3. That’s just gorgeous! All of it.

    1. Thank you so much Monica! xo

  4. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. Priya Vijayasarathi says:

        Sarah, I recently found your blog and I’m loving what you have done with your front door. I reached out to Lowes to price this out and they think it may be around 5-6k. Does that sound right? Did they have discounts built in to your pricing?

        1. Thank you so much, Priya! Yes- that’s accurate. I wish I had a discount with them, but I don’t. My price was the regular retail price. You could save some money by opting to paint the door yourself though.

  5. Hey! Would love the front door hardware link!

  6. 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!

    1. 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

  7. Christiane Nick says:

    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.

    1. 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 :)

  8. Grace Geraghty says:

    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!

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

  9. 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!

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

  10. Stephanie says:

    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.

    1. 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.

  11. Monica Mowery says:

    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!

  12. 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.

    1. 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!

      1. Caroline M Spinner says:

        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?

  13. 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. :(

    1. Desiree Figer says:

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

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

  14. Juli Brocato says:

    I’ve been going back and forth forever about whether to replace my current door situation (single door with sidelites) with double doors or with another single door (2/3 lite) + 2/3 lite sidelites. My only hesitation with the double doors is the safety in question. Do you feel that this is the case? Do you feel like the center point is less secure and thus could be kicked in easily? That’s really my only real hesitation from my research (other than the fact that I love my wreaths and don’t have 2 of everything! lol). What do you have in place to make sure it can’t be opened easily?

    1. Hi Juli! I haven’t had any safety concerns, or feel like the double doors are less secure than our previous single door. One door has two manual locks that lock into the top and bottom of the door frame, keeping it in place… and the functioning door locks to that. I’d visit a local store and test a double door in person, so you can see how it functions. Personally, it has been a concern for us, but we also use home security, live in a not as populated area, etc.

  15. Hi Sarah! This article is SO helpful–and your door/entry way is beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing!
    Is the door fiberglass or wood? Did the reflective glass come automatically or was that something you had to add when ordering?
    Thank you again so much!!

  16. I just found your blog and love so many of your renovations. I am replacing a basic front door but am looking to have more glass to let light in. I like that you used tinted, reflective glass. Does it still let light in? Can ppl outside see in?

    1. Thank you, Jeanine! With our doors, you can still see inside from the exterior, and it also allows light to filter in. I hope that answers your question!

  17. Do you have the model number for the Pella door at Lowes?

    1. I don’t, I’m sorry!

  18. Hi! Planning to replace our entry that looks very similar to your “before” photo. Curious if you recall the width of your doors. Are they 30”? We have room for double doors if they are 30”, but ours will also be tall so trying to visualize if they will look too narrow. Love the look of yours!

    1. Hi Alyssa! Our current doors are 32″ each (and we have two of them, obviously). That doesn’t include the center piece, trim, or millwork. I hope that’s helpful! I feel like yours should look pretty similar, in terms of shape and size.

  19. Alicia Drake says:

    Hi Sarah!
    Love following you on here and Instagram–your designs are truly inspirational!
    I was curious about how you installed your handle on the inactive door? Is this a dummy handle/knob? Or did you just buy a normal functioning handle and leave the latch out? We are doing nearly the same thing–replacing and old single door with sidelites for a double door, and your blog has been super helpful!

    1. Thank you so much, Alicia! I really appreciate that and am so glad the blog has been a helpful resource. I believe we bought a dummy for the other side (the door knob doesn’t turn or function), but the other side closes and locks into it. The dummy door has dowels and locks at the top and bottom to keep it in place (that push into the frame). I hope that helps :)