This post was originally published in February of 2020, but today we’re sharing an update!
One of the things that is difficult but inevitable about our home is that the living space is long and narrow.
When we initially walked through the house, it was like a (wide) hallway: the couch was on one side, opposite the TV, and then further down the hall, there was a small dining table, and then down at the end was the kitchen. (In this photo, we moved the dining table right in front of the door.)
While it’s nice that it was all open, it was all oriented the same way, which made it feel small and long and narrow. Again, a hallway.
So, when we walked through, I was really looking for a way to help eliminate the long and narrow feeling.
The problem was that the front door being at the far end made that wall unusable and created the need for an entryway area, coat closet, and walkway space right through the middle of the living room.
Deciding to Remove Our Front Door
Ultimately, we decided the best course of action was to remove our front door. (I know! I know!)
It’s an unconventional choice whenever it comes to removing doors or windows, but we’re trying really hard to stay focused on functionality and designing for the way we really live.
We figured that it was unlikely that anyone would use our old front door anyway—there’s a mudroom door that’s the easiest to access from the garage, and French doors from the deck, which are easier to access from the driveway.
So, after a lot of discussion, we decided that those French doors are going to be our new front doors, so the deck will be the entry point to our house. (At some point we will replace the doors with true entry doors, and we’re also going to update the deck next year.)
This simple change allows us to break up the long, narrow nature of the living space. We’re still working on furniture layout but I think it’s going to work a lot better since that area where the front door used to be can be exclusively living room space.
Removing a door or a window can be a scary move, but sometimes actually closing it up is the right move for how you actually want to live in your space. Don’t be afraid to do what’s right for your family.
Removing Our Front Door
Here’s the big, exciting update to this post: we officially had our front door removed! This is something we decided to hire out, as our exterior contractor gave us a quote that we felt was very reasonable for the work.
I think it’s something you perhaps *could* do yourself, but since it was exterior work, we just thought we’d leave it to an expert to be sure our house is properly sealed and winter-proofed.
How’d he do it? It’s actually pretty straightforward. He just cut around the door (and the windows on either side) and took them out. Then, he framed in the hole with 2x4s and put plywood on the other side, followed by house wrap. He’ll come back to patch the exterior stucco later but the house is all set with just the house wrap for now.
We said we’d handle all interior finishing, so we started by putting insulation in between the 2x4s and then we’ll put a vapor barrier over that before hanging new drywall.
Since there’s no door here anymore, there’s no need for the coat closet that used to be on the left side of the fireplace, so we demoed that as well. Drywall is going up soon and then we’ll be able to customize the living room how we want it!
Have any questions about the process of removing and relocating our front door? Please drop them in the comments or you can always email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.