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Increase your front entrance size with a wider front door + transom

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Today’s home topic is our gorgeous front door with sidelights and transom which increased the size of our front entrance. Can I make my front door opening bigger? You sure can! We partnered with Horner Millwork and Masonite to share this amazing front door entrance makeover at the split level remodel and wait until you see it!  A couple weeks ago, we removed the old standard front door at the split level home in Foxboro, Ma that we are renovating and needless to say, it was the best decision ever to increase the front door width and height. 

Front Door Entrance Ideas 

There are many ways to enhance your front door entrance and one of the most important features of any home, in my opinion, is the front door. Increasing the opening size of your front door is a perfect front entry idea to modernize a home and increase value. I love a  front door with sidelights and a transom!

You will notice below that the existing old front door was a standard size and nothing special. The front door was very old, skinny and added nothing to the curb appeal of the home.

(Keep reading, I provide the full exterior makeover reveal link to this house below.)

Split level house Foxboro Ma brown siding

The view from the inside was very dark and boxed off when looking at the front door from the top of the stairs. This front entrance is very typical of a split level home. If you want to see more of this cute split level house before we started renovating it, visit the split level home tour page. 

split level entryway with white iron stair rail

Can you install a bigger front door? 

Yes! You absolutely can install a bigger front door and not only will the larger opening enhance your front entrance it will add overall curb appeal and architectural interest. Front doors with transoms and sidelights will also allow more natural light into the space making the entryway feel bigger.

The first order of business when replacing your front door is to remove your old door. If you are like us and want to increase your front entrance size with a wider front door and transom look no further for inspiration because we are about to wow you! 

Here is the rough opening after we removed the old door. 

standard size front door opening of a split level house

We removed all the sheetrock from the inside wall around and above the door opening in preparation to cut the wall width and height to accommodate an oversized front door. 

split level home with front door removed

In the picture below, you can see the black windows (click to see window install) we installed a few weeks ago and the small front door opening.

brown split level home black windows front door opening door replacement

Once the old door was removed, we had to cut the rough door opening to increase the height and width to fit the new front door from Horner Millwork and Masonite.

Prior to cutting into the wall, Jim installed a new header above the door opening to support the new larger front door. The new front door came prehung from Horner Millwork with sidelights and a window transom above the door. A front door with sidelights and a transom is the perfect option to allow more light inside and create a larger door opening.

adding a new header above front door

How to make exterior door opening bigger 

Once the new door header was installed, we cut into the wall and removed the old wall framing to increase the width and height to accommodate the new Craftsman style front door.

split level front door rough opening for door with sidelights and transom

The larger door opening will offer so much more natural light and visually look gorgeous from the inside and outside.

Once the rough door opening was finished, we added the door weather stripping tape and Advanced Silicone Adhesive along door threshold. 

advanced silicone adhesive and black door weatherstriping

The new Masonite Craftsman front door is part of the Heritage Smooth Series featuring double sidelights and a 12″ transom. We also have black grills for the sidelights and transom that we will install at a later date.  

See a full catalog of Masonite front doors at Horner Millwork (click here).

Farmhouse Front Door with Sidelights and Transom

Our new modern farmhouse front door with sidelights and transom allows natural light into the entryway and overall, add a modern look to the house. The old door was skinny and provided no natural light. It was pretty ugly! 

masonite craftsman front door with sidelights and transom installation

I have worked with Horner Millwork for over 7 years now and their showrooms and sales staff are great!

If you have been following us for a while you may remember our partnership at our old house where did a huge front entrance patio door makeover with Masonite and Horner Millwork as well as our our pool pump house makeover.

The same patio doors that we installed on both of these past projects are also being installed in this split level house on the back patio.

That patio door post is coming soon!

masonite craftsman heritage series front door with sidelights and transom

You will notice that we added a roof overhang to also enhance the front door entrance. I will share the roof overhang tutorial soon! 

masonite craftsman heritage series front door with sidelights and transom

The front door came prehung from Horner Millwork which makes is very easy to install.

screwing a prehung front door to the door frame

A prehung door includes a door slab that is already hung in the frame and the doorknob and strike plate are precut. It’s kind of like an all in one kit! It makes life a lot easier during install to purchase your exterior door “prehung.”

Once the new door was set in place, we screwed the new door frame to the door opening frame. 

brown split level house black windows craftsman front door with sidelights

Updated 2022, want to see the full exterior makeover of this house? Check out this split level exterior makeover final reveal by clicking through this post, best split level exterior makeover. Tell me what you think of the new exterior featuring white board and batten and brown stained door below in the comments. It’s an amazing transformation and the new front door looks so pretty a warm toned brown stain!

If you want to increase your front entrance size with a wider front door + transom I highly recommend this gorgeous Craftsman style front door from Horner Millwork and Masonite.

Stay tuned, the kitchen cabinets (see kitchen demo here) have been installed, the planks on the ceiling are finished and the board and batten siding has been installed. The white board and batten along with the black windows has made this cute split level home completely unrecognizable! 

Disclosure: I partnered with Horner Millwork and Masonite as part of our Split Level House Renovation Series.


About The Author

What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.

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  1. Did you use a temporary support while changing out the door header? If so, what type & where was it placed? You inspired us to do the same in our current home but we want to avoid any mishaps! Any additional information you can provide would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Hi, yes we used multiple 2×4’s to create additional tep support while adding new header. I don’t have any pictures but google temporary header support using 2×4’s or temp brace support. Definitely hire a professional contractor if it’s not something you are familiar with 🙂

  2. I am looking to do this but I’m having a hard time finding a contractor who can do this since I’m not handy. I’m in Georgia. Any recommendations?