Property: Making a statement

A few plants can make all the difference to your front door.
A few plants can make all the difference to your front door.

Is your front door a bit of an eyesore? Improving your home’s facade can be as easy and inexpensive as giving the door a lick of paint - and certainly help to give that vital kerb side appeal when you are selling.

Your home’s front door makes a statement, but is it the right one? It’s key to making a good first impression, both to visitors and, when you want to sell, potential buyers, so make sure yours isn’t letting you down.

Ideally, the colour of your front door should go with the house’s brickwork, paintwork or other exterior finish, and the style of the door should suit the house’s age and architecture – a modern door on a period house just doesn’t look right.

If you’ve got a front door that doesn’t fit in, or that’s seen better days, you need to remove or improve it.

But before you go out and get yourself a new door, check the rules and regulations.

The door may have to comply with building regulations, particularly if it’s glazed, so ask the retailer/fitter or your local council’s building control department about this. If your home’s listed, you may need consent from the council to change the door. You may even be restricted to using certain colours when repainting an existing door – the council’s conservation office will be able to advise you.

Restrictions may apply if your home’s on ‘designated land’, which includes conservation areas and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

If you live in one of these areas, ask the council what you can and can’t do to your front door, because it may want to keep the appearance of the building unchanged.With leasehold flats and houses, check the lease before doing anything to the front door, because it may not be yours to replace or repaint, or you may need the freeholder’s permission.

Painting a door isn’t hard to do – just make sure you use wood paint suitable for exterior use. You can either take the door off its hinges and paint it inside, or leave it in place and wait until a fine, warmish day to paint it.

Replacing a front door is trickier, because new doors always take quite a bit of adjusting, which can be frustrating and time-consuming.

The other problem is fitting the locks – you don’t want to compromise your home’s security, so get an expert in if you’re not sure what you’re doing or you get into difficulty.

As well as looking good, your door must be practical and up to the job of keeping out the elements – and burglars.

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