5 Easy Ways to Customize Your Builder-Grade Home: Part 3

Welcome back! We’re so glad you joined us in the third post in our series on how to make your builder-grade home feel more expensive. If you missed the first, you can read our posts on light fixtures here and on cabinet hardware here.

This week, we’re talking about upgrading the doors in your home. I know it sounds boring, but stick with me. Doors are often overlooked, but they’re an important component of your home’s style.

When talking about doors, my mind always jumps to the front door and curb appeal. The front door is the first thing to make an impression on a person who visits your house, so it’s important for that impression to be a positive one.

If your current front door lacks character, there are several things we can do to give it a bit more excitement. The first is to replace your front door entirely. I like this door from Lowe’s.

But exterior doors can be pricey. If a brand new front door is out of the budget, you can paint the front door with a new color. Don’t forget, black is a color too! It’s one of my favorites to use because it looks so clean and classic.

If you think painting wood is a mortal sin, you can always clean and polish the wood on your front door (and wash the glass if you have any) to give it new life. You will be surprised at the difference a good cleaning will make!

While we’re talking about exterior doors, let’s not forget the back door. We can replace, paint, or clean the back door just as we did with the front door.

Finally, keyless entry is a great feature to add to your exterior doors if you really want your home to look custom. You can find a kit for installing a keyless entry pad at most hardware stores. We have one on our house, and I love it! No more digging through my purse in the dark to find keys.

Interior doors can be easily overlooked as an upgrade option. One of the newer trends is to replace your pantry door with something unique. I found these images on Pinterest and thought they were cute. (I have to admit, though, I would have to use frosted glass or a curtain because my pantry is a perpetual disaster.)

Another great place to install new doors is in an office, if you have one. I adore double French doors, especially when trimmed in black like in the photo below. If you don’t have room for double doors (or the desire to install them), a standard single-hinged French door would also look nice.

If you have a bigger budget, you can replace some or all of the interior doors in your house. This is especially impactful if you have flat-faced doors with no features (these are often installed in homes built prior to the 1980s). Most homes built in the 2000s or later have interior doors with some detailing, so replacing them shouldn’t be necessary, unless you just don’t like them. Below are a few interior doors from Lowe’s that would add subtle style to a builder-grade home.

You can also find antique doors at flea markets and install them in your home. (Note: I would install these traditionally-hinged instead of on a barn door track.)

If you don’t have the budget to replace the doors in your home, you can change your knobs. Hardware stores carry a large assortment of styles, colors and finishes from which to choose. You can even search Etsy and eBay for “doorknob”; they have some beautiful antique doorknobs you can add to a special room like a library or glammed-up walk-in closet.

I especially liked this custom doorknob for a man cave or boy’s room.

Lastly, paint can make a huge difference to a door. I love that the black doors in this house look sleek and refined.

A painted door can add unexpected color to a room that would otherwise be bland and can completely transform the look of your home’s exterior.

Take a tour of your home and make note of the doors that would benefit from an upgrade. Tell us in the comments what changes you plan to make to your home’s doors!

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