Front Door Remodel: A Garden Entrance

Written By petite karinne on Saturday, April 4, 2015 | 6:06 AM

My first exterior "Fixer Upper"project was inevitable. The original entrance was rotted. The  fence, door casing and deck with railings were all beyond repair.  A rhododendron was planted too close to the house and the metal door was rusted and warped from moisture. The deck and the railings were built downward and towards the facing wall... 

you may have already guessed,  there was rotting walls too. The way that the deck was constructed, all of the caught rain and melting snow went towards the house. It wasn't pretty.

These are the only early before photos I have, the quality is terrible. 

Here is the original door. I painted it to live with it until we got the new one. 

Removing the deck first was easy enough. Then the project moved on to taking out the over grown plant... which wasn't so easy. Hubby had to use his truck to pull it out. It was old and the roots were quite deep. ( I salvaged it and it's doing very well where I replanted it.) 

After making room to work, the two walls were replaced, insulated and rewired to include an outdoor GFI outlet. Then my favorite part... the door!  It was a dark finish, almost a solid paint. I wanted the wood grain to show through, so I sanded it off on all of the high parts and stained it in golden oak. I left the dark finish in the routed areas for contrast to match the interior trim around the door. 

The glass... oh my! The intricate engraved look of scattered leaves is just stunning. I love it! 

I found it on Craigslist. A brand new, never installed before $1200 door and I practically stole it for $200 ... really... a solid hardwood door with the gorgeous window made the entrance all by itself. It was a minor investment when I bought the lock-set and doorknob for the same price as the door. Still a bargain door for $400!  My dad brought the hinges and he prepped and installed it into the new door frame that hubby set in. 

The next phase was to build a concrete patio with steps to the door. 

I reclaimed retaining wall blocks to form the first step of the concrete layer;  rounding off at the corner. I incorporated a small garden pond off to the side. Then, repeated the pattern for the second layered step to the door. Hubby helped me with the concrete for the first layer... it was a lot of mixing and bags of cement. The second layer was easy for me. 

After the concrete phase was done, I used some fabricated rocks and actual stones to side the wall. This was my first attempt building a stone wall and quickly learned it required a lot of patience.  It's not an easy project. After finishing the stones, I stained the pale yellow siding and painted over the blue trim with a cedar color.

The final and fun part was landscaping. 

I finally have the finished entrance I envisioned. I love timber and stone exteriors. Eventually, it will get finished all around the house. 

Each year I love to make the entrance really inviting by using different plants and garden accents. 

Last year I got this water fountain from a thrift shop and added it to the pond. 

The little pond has tenants... frogs and tadpoles throughout the summer. 

The landscaping part of the project took a few summers and a lot of determination to get it into a garden entrance. 

But it can continue to be flexible with decorating ideas. Right now it's ready for spring. 

Hope you enjoy my front entrance and come back to visit for more redo ideas! 


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