We’re in Rhode Island to meet the winner of our Elevate Your Exterior Contest. Her name is Merry Beth Cutler and her 25-year-old home is about to get an exterior makeover, courtesy of the contest sponsors, Therma-Tru Doors, Fypon Millwork and Fiberon Decking.

Even though Merry Beth’s home has been well cared for, wood components have started showing wear and tear. And the old metal door was neither energy efficient, nor very attractive.

That’s why we’re here!

Home Exterior Makeover: New Front Door

Merry Beth and her mom watch as the crew removes their old front door. And, after prepping the opening, a new fiberglass unit is set into place — and what a difference it makes!

Jerry Flanigan from Therma-Tru helped Merry Beth choose a door from its Classic-Craft collection.

Therma-Tru doors look, feel and sound like authentic wood doors. They can stand up to extreme weather and moisture, and resist rotting, warping or twisting.

Adding Decorative Trim

Monochromatic siding and trim on the front of the house offer no real character to the place, so we realized the new front door and Merry Beth’s windows needed dressing up.

That’s next on the list for this home’s exterior makeover!

The front door and all the front windows get some detailed polyurethane trim from Fypon. It goes up around the door with help from the foreman, Andrew Fenster.

This one-piece trim is a low-maintenance alternative to the four pieces of wood that would be required to create the same look. (And those pieces would have to be caulked and painted, and re-caulked whenever temperature changes caused the wood to expand and contract.)

Replacing the Deck

The wood deck needed painting every few years, and Merry Beth wanted a low-maintenance option, so we’re installing Fiberon composite decking.  

This decking is capped top and bottom, so it’s perfect for a second-story deck. And its hidden fastener system means there are no visible screws. 

With the thumbs up from Fiberon’s Dave Jarvis, the backyard deck is transformed, and this home’s exterior makeover is almost complete.

Replacing the Screen Door

While looking for more projects to tackle during this home’s exterior makeover, we found a door that needs some new screen. Suddenly, we had our own project, helping Merry Beth repair the screen door that leads to the deck. 

Replacing the screen is easy and requires just a few tools. Watch “How to Repair a Sliding Patio Door Screen” for the step-by-step guide!

Painting Carriage Lights

We know Merry Beth wants everything on her home to match, and when she sees the front door’s new handle, it’s clear that the brass carriage lights clash.

So, we removed those lights and let Chelsea work her magic. She shows Merry Beth how to block out the light fixtures with painters tape and spray-paint that brass black.

Post-Production Thoughts

Following this exterior makeover, Merry Beth’s home has a great new look.

The Therma-Tru fiberglass door adds color, character and energy efficiency, while the new beefier Fypon moldings around it and the window beg neighbors to notice them and the rest of the house. 

And the Fiberon decking and rails out back not only look incredible, they’ll continue to look that way for years to come.

Danny Lipford and Chelsea Lipford Wolf, with Merry Beth Cutler, of Exeter, Rhode Island.

Other Tips from this Episode

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Woodworking Tip: How to Hold Wood in Place
Jodi Marks, pictured with Zevo Bug Killer at The Home DepotBest New Products
The Best Plug-In Bug Trapper for Your Home
Chelsea Lipford Wolf, Danny Lipford and Merry Beth Cutler of Exeter, Rhode Island, work together to replace a screen from a sliding patio door.Watch & Learn
How to Repair a Sliding Patio Screen Door

Further Reading


Editorial Contributors
avatar for Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio, TodaysHomeowner.com, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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