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Some design elements from the past are no longer relevant in today’s age of farmhouse sinks and open floor plans. Basement toilets and card table closets are two examples. This is true for houses with two front doors. A single-family home with two front doors is not a multi-family house.
This feature is found in many American homes built between 18th and 19th century. Although it may sound odd, it’s actually quite common! Here’s why.
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The Exterior is made of two doors
Symmetry was a popular trend back then. The Georgian-style homes of that era were built around harmony, order, and classical symmetry. This was often accomplished by using many Windows, two chimneys, and a front hallway that ran through the center of the house.
A centrally placed front door can throw off a home’s centered hallway if it is not possible to do so. Easy fix: To keep things balanced, add another door.
Scott Sidler, of The Craftsman Blog, writes that “Old homes built in the Adams, Georgian or Federal styles follow rigid rules of symmetry.” The front facade must be perfectly symmetrical, in particular. Two mirror-image front doors are often better than one. This not only makes the house look more appealing, but also adds utility.
One door was formal, the other wasn’t
Two doors could have been installed to allow for separate entrances into the home. They might have opened to different areas. One door might have opened to a formal space, while the other could have been used daily for business. The same principle was applied to visitors. Most likely, homeowners wanted to welcome guests at a formal entrance.
Residents Can’t Pay for Windows
Early American settlers couldn’t afford glass. Glass had to either be shipped from Europe or made on-site, which was a special trade. It was thought that windows were more expensive than doors because they required more glass. You can find more home features from the past across the country.
This is why Southern homes have separate porch doors.
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