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Larger after -view of split level house with new entryway.
AFTER: Running Remodeling, of Kensington, Maryland, put in some smart double doors, and sheltered them with a simple front-gable canopy set into the existing roof.
"Welcoming" wasn't exactly the first word to come to mind when surveying this mid-1970s split-level home. The entry, while centrally located, was clumsy—a lopsided composition of a paneled door and a fixed-glass sidelight. Covered by a shed-roof overhang that dropped down in a slot between the "wings" of the house, it also lacked any presence. To right these wrongs, Running Remodeling, of Kensington, Maryland, put in some smart double doors, and sheltered them with a simple front-gable canopy set into the existing roof. Supported by squared-off redwood columns, it breaks the monotony of the old design and gives an inviting focus to the front of the house.

Homeowners Yardena Mansoor and Michael Phillips, veterans of several remodeling projects, share a tip about communicating with architects and building professionals: "We've gotten the best results by giving them a list—not a sketch—of the things we want," says Mansoor.

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