Step up curb appeal with new entry door, glass panels

Transform your home with a new entryway and take advantage of the energy-saving features as well as the fresh, welcome appearance.

Q We will be selling our house in the fall and want to give it some added curb appeal. Would there be much work and expense involved in putting in a new front door? I was thinking of adding side glass panels, not sure if this is a mistake. Thank you for any ideas.

A: Replacing your entry door is a great idea. It will not only transform the exterior of your home, but also your front hall. Any rooms that open onto the hall will reap the benefit of a new design, and if you add glass panels, more light. There's lots to consider, and you will find a wide choice of style and color.

Entrance doors come in wood, fiberglass and steel. Wood is a traditional favorite with authentic designs to match your architectural style, whether Victorian, Colonial or Craftsman.

The new fiberglass or steel doors look like wood but offer low maintenance and are more weather-resistant and durable. They're also more budget friendly.

The entrance shown here is from Pella. The six-panel fiberglass door has a wood-grain finish. The side panels and transom frame the entry with the artful detail of decorative glass.

There are various designs available that provide partial or full privacy while allowing light to shine through. Glass inserts or metal fretwork can be installed as part of the door as well.

Since you are thinking about adding panels or a wider door, the original entry opening will have to be enlarged. Ask a professional contractor what this will entail in materials and labor.

A 36-inch-wide door will add more room to maneuver, whether you are carrying a baby, a bag of groceries or need extra space for a wheelchair or walker. That's a big bonus, and one more important element to consider.

Q: We recently replaced our bedroom windows with low-e glass. The warm beige we love on the walls now has a lime-yellow tint. I've tried testers of different beiges and also gone darker than we wanted, but they all look greenish. Is there any way to get a warm beige shade that will go with our new caramel brown carpet? We also are picking out a duvet and drapes.

A: This is a challenge. We don't really think about how the window glass we choose will affect our interior color choices. Clear glass filters out very little of the visible color spectrum, causing little to no distortion in the colors of our interiors.

Low-e coatings reduce heat transfer through windows by limiting the amount of radiant energy they emit. However, not all low-e glass is the same; some filter out a substantial portion of red and/or blue light. This is what is causing your problem.

The lighter the paint color, the more distortion you will see, as light colors are better reflectors. I don't see beige working here. Instead, move in the opposite direction and choose a deep cornflower blue. This stunning shade will complement your caramel carpet.

Bedrooms are night rooms, which will help to some extent. You can pull the drapes and enjoy a softer, artificial light.

But again, with all the energy-conscious changes in light-bulb production, be aware of the effect these lights have on your walls and furnishings.

Debbie Travis' House to Home column is produced by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle. Email questions to You can follow Travis on Twitter at and visit her website,