What Does a Red Door Mean on a Home?

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what does a red door mean

One of the best ways to add value and curb appeal to your home is by adding a colorful door that pops.  Red is a common choice that does the trick. 

Take a drive around your neighborhood and you’ll probably be surprised at just how many homes have a red door. 

After driving around my neighborhood, red doors were so common it made me question if there was more to it. 

What does a red door mean?

A house with a red door can mean that the homeowner has paid off their mortgage loan.  Similarly, it can also be a way to bring good energy, happiness, and good luck to its residents.  To some it meant a safe place for weary travelers or a safe haven to those fleeing oppression.  Finally, it can be a sign the home is protected.

Oh, and it could just be that the homeowner likes red or bought a house with a red door!

Here are some explanations and history on red door symbolism. 

Scotland Tradition – Mortgage Free Home

Paying off your mortgage is a huge accomplishment for any homeowner.  In Scotland, it’s a reason to paint your front door red. 

However, you don’t have to be Scottish to participate.  Plenty of homeowners from countries all over have caught on to this fun tradition. 

What does a red door mean in terms of mortgage debt you ask? 

Well, red paint was actually more expensive at the time.  What better to do with your newly discovered discretionary income?  Splurge on paint to color your front door red!

Even though paint colors don’t affect prices like they used to, I think my front door will be painted red on the day of my last mortgage payment. 

Chinese Red Door – Happiness, Success, and Good Luck

Chinese red door

In Chinese culture, red is associated with happiness, beauty, vitality, good luck, success, and good fortune. 

The color red is so important in Chinese culture that it’s actually a common color used in weddings. 

It is also thought to fight away evil.  It’s no wonder why they might paint their doors red!    

What Does a Red Door Mean in Feng Shui?

Feng Shui is a practice originating from ancient China which claims to use energy forces to harmonize individuals with their surrounding environments. 

It’s common for homeowners to focus on creating good feng shui in their home. 

As you can imagine, a home’s entry is extremely important to feng shui.  It’s where energy enters your home and even your life.

A front door then represents the first place many homeowners start on their feng shui journey. 

Red isn’t the only color associated with feng shui, however.  The direction your front door faces determines what color your front door should be painted.  There are several colors and a total of 8 directions (think north, north west, west). 

The feng shui element of the south direction is fire.  If you’re open to welcoming energy from feng shui, make sure your door is painted red.  

What Does a Red Door Mean in America?

In American tradition, a red door indicated that the household was friendly and would welcome tired travelers who needed a safe place to rest for the night. 

For context, a horse and carriage averaged around 50 miles in an 8-12-hour period.  A little different than hopping in your car and driving 60 miles an hour on the highway.  A long-distance trip of just 100 miles could take an entire day to travel.  That’s why travelers could look for a door painted red. 

Around the time of the Civil War, a red door also communicated that a house was a safe stop for those in the underground railroad.  Those fleeing slavery knew to stick to homes with a red door for refuge and food. 

Red Doors Biblical Meaning

Church red door

If you’re a Christian you’re probably well aware of The Passover.  It’s a story about how God freed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and it’s out of the Old Testament in the book of Exodus. 

Here’s a high-level summary of the story. 

The Pharaoh at the time was afraid that there were too many Jews living in Egypt at the time, so he introduced slavery.  He also mandated that male Jewish babies be killed.

One mother saves her baby by floating him down the Nile river in a basket.  That baby was Moses and we was saved by none other than the Pharaohs daughter. 

Once grown, he’s instructed by God to lead the Jews out of slavery.  Moses pleads with the Pharaoh many times for their freedom but is denied each time. 

With each denial, God sends a plague down on Egypt.  This is where the red door comes in.

The tenth plague was the most severe.  It was the killing of every first-born child by the angel of death.  In order to protect their first born, the Israelites marked their door with lamb’s blood so the angel of death would pass over them. 

The tenth plague was the most severe.  It was the killing of every first-born child by the angel of death.  In order to protect their first born, the Israelites marked their door with lamb’s blood so the angel of death would pass over them. 

You might also notice that many churches have red doors.  Red doors represent protection from spiritual evil as well. 

Red stands for the Blood of Christ shed for its sinners.  Many churches will actually have all entry and exits painted red, often on the North, South, East, and West, representing the sign of the cross.

Ready to Paint?

If you’re like me, you probably had no idea there were so many possible reasons for all the red doors in your neighborhood. 

I will say that a red door absolutely looks welcoming, like the home is inviting me in.  It’s great to know that it’s a lucky color and meant to bring happiness and good luck.  It may be helping the house next door with some positive energy.  Or, it could be protecting the homeowner (and their first born) from spiritual evil and plagues. 

If you ask me, my guess is your neighbor just thinks a red door means their house looks good.  Or maybe they simply bought the home that way.  It is possible they felt a red door made their house pop for some added curb appeal. 

Fun fact: Homes with high curb appeal sell for 7% more than other homes with boring exteriors. 

What a great way to add a little more money to the asset section of your budget!  Painting is a simple, cheap option that anyone can do. 

So, tell me, are you ready to paint your front door? 

Paul W

Hello! I'm Paul, finance expert and founder of The Income Finder. With over 15 years experience in the finance industry, a bachelors from Benedictine University and MBA from DePaul, I'm well qualified and ready to share great insight and tips on money management. Read More