Maple Park family wins contest for Ugliest Door

By on August 27, 2010

by Keith Beebe
MAPLE PARK—It’s not very nice to tell someone that their front door is ugly, but that sort of criticism was music to the ears of Wade and Tara Scharlau. They recently won a $5,000 door makeover after winning Therma-Tru’s Ugliest Door contest.

The contest, which ran from May 3 to July 2, selects its winners based on online votes and offers the possibility of both reward and redemption to those who have out-of-date, tacky and hideous front doors on their homes.

The Scharlaus first became aware of the contest in 2008 after seeing a contest flyer at a Lowe’s hardware store. They entered the contest that year but were eliminated before reaching the finals.

“We kept looking at Therma-Tru’s website to see if they had the contest again, (but) last year there was no contest,” Tara Scharlau said. “This year, we entered and made it to the finals because the (rest of the) house looks so much better with all the windows replaced.”

Therma-Tru manufactures both fiberglass and steel exterior door systems. And when the Scharlaus filled out a Certificate of Appropriateness three years ago with the Kane County Historical Society, they were provided with a list of front-door options for their historical home, including a Therma-Tru door that matched all of the house’s existing doors.

The Scharlaus’ home, located on Beith Road, was built in 1847 and is considered a Kane County historical landmark. Their new door system will be so well-insulated that it will reduce the couple’s gas bill, which is currently a bit too high for Tara’s liking.

“I’m just waiting to hear when we can order our (new) door and install it,” she said.

Contest entrants were required to submit either a 150-word essay or 90-second narrated video explaining why they thought their door was the ugliest.

For more information regarding the Ugliest Door contest, visit