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Enclosed Porch Door Conundrum - 1915 Craftsman Bungalow

23 days ago

The door to our enclosed front porch is unusually small—29.75” wide and 77” tall—and an interior door, not exterior. It’s always bugged me that the door feels insubstantial (and that there’s no entry into the house wider than 31”).

Someone recently crashed their car into our porch. Insurance will cover extensive structural repair, including reframing the front door. This creates an opportunity to swap it for a wider exterior door with narrower/no sidelights, or at least a thicker exterior door. But I’m torn—the geometry of the sidelights and transom perfectly match the existing door. The porch enclosure is not original—my guess is that it was done sometime in the ‘20s or ‘30s. So while the door isn’t original, it is historic.

Should we replace the door with a period correct wider one and narrower/no sidelights? Keep the existing sidelights but replace the door with a thicker exterior one? Or keep the existing door and either strip it or paint it whatever color we decide on for the window frames? I know the architecturally correct choice is to open the porch back up to its original state, but it’s too convenient to have an enclosed/locked entryway to store shoes and such.

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