The sequence to the front door can be  made into a great experience that makes a powerful gesture and sends massive messages, yet it’s often an afterthought or something that never does get enough attention to come together.    I recommend this as a must-do project because of the vast improvement it will make and the fact that it’s often enormously cost-effective.   Give the entry sequence makeover some budget in your plans and spend some time visualizing the kind of changes that make sense for you and your home or commercial building whether you plan to stay there forever or sell it this year.

The entry sequence starts with the streetscape (the curb, planting strip, and sidewalk area).  From there it moves away from the public right-of-way toward the main entry door and the more private space that accompanies it.  That realm change often includes a change of grade as it transitions to the indoor space at the front door/ front porch which often includes another change of grade.  In all of these areas, the character and condition of each  of the components in the space matters.  The sidewalk, street trees, fences, gates, arbors, steps, paving, paths, plant materials, windows, doors, siding, paint scheme and lighting as well as the orientation of the site itself concerning such factors as slopes, views, sun and shade, wind and privacy all contribute within the overall design to an entry sequence that can be a uniquely enjoyable entry experience or unpleasant and forgettable.

In addition to the character and condition of the components, the scale of the components plays a big role and  is one of the most interesting things that can be manipulated in an entry sequence makeover.   Widening steps and an entry walk from 3′ to 6′ makes an amazing transformation.  Creating or enlarging a porch, introducing curves and designing a plant scheme that creates a foreground with perfectly placed focus are all game changers that look great when they go in and keep getting even better over time.

Putting the pieces in place to make an entry sequence makeover happens to also pay you back in spades.  It pays you the first time because you will love what it does to the appearance of your home or commercial building and that it can happen at a fraction of the cost of many of other kinds of improvements is attractive. Then, it pays you again as it welcomes each and every person to your home, business or commercial building.   If you ever need to sell, it’ll come through for you again because an entry sequence makeover will definitely help with that.  Excellent entries are actually pretty rare, so people see and experience that immediately.   They may not be able to put their finger on exactly what they love about your place, but they will love it and if they’re thinking about buying your place, this will influence them positively.  People often decide if they’re buying before they walk through the front door, so don’t miss the opportunity to get the entry sequence right.

An entry sequence makeover can achieve way more than just curb appeal, though.  It helps define a neighborhood or commercial district and it often winds up being contageous.  One great entry happens and not long after 3 or 4 others pop up on the block.

The makeover can also address accessibility.   Steps can often be eliminated in the redesign in order to create a way into the house or business without the barrier that steps present.  Having a universally accessible entry makes sense because then if you ever find yourself, your family, your coworkers, your customers, or your friends unable to easily negotiate stairs, you’ll certainly be glad you planned for accessibility.

Entry sequence makeover?  Let’s make a plan.