Voilà: French Doors Add More

Give guests a place to duck out of the weather by creating an outdoor foyer.
Robert Martin

A covered entryway is a great way to keep guests cool and dry when they come knocking. That’s why Wendy Simmons partially enclosed her front stoop with, of all things, doors.

One Step at a Time
Wendy’s clever solution was somewhat of an experiment. Never a fan of lacy ironwork, she had the entryway’s existing wrought iron supports and railing removed. In their place, a local contractor built a box column at the stoop’s open corner. “It remained that way for about a year,” says Wendy, “but I just kept thinking that it didn’t look finished.”

After searching through magazines and driving around Birmingham neighborhoods for inspiration, she found her answer. “I discovered a house where side-by-side panels were used to protect a side porch,” Wendy explains. “I pointed this out to a friend, and he suggested we accomplish the look with French doors.”

Sizing Up the Situation
After measuring the stoop’s side opening, Wendy bought two small French doors at a home-improvement store. The doors fit perfectly between the box column and her home’s brick face, but they weren’t tall enough. To remedy this, Wendy and her friend nailed a piece of framing lumber, cut to the same overall width, to the bottoms of the doors. Next, they hid the framing/door junction by adding exterior-grade base trim and shoe molding.

The stoop still remained too open for Wendy’s taste, so she installed a single, wider French door at the front. As before, she placed it next to the box column and then added the necessary base framing and matching trim. “After everything was set, I painted the whole assembly with Liquid Siding to preserve the wood and to minimize maintenance,” she says.

Now when Wendy’s friends ring the doorbell, they have a great spot to linger.

"Voilà: French Doors Add More" is from the June 2008 issue of Southern Living.