Short of making a drastic color change to your home, changing your front door is one of the easiest ways give your home a new facelift. Choosing the right door can be a daunting task. Let us help you decide among all of the front doors out there.
Your front door is the first thing that guests will notice as they enter your home. It is the transition space between the outside and the inside and it sets the tone for what they will find inside. Short of painting the house a new color, changing your front door can make more of a difference in your home than any single change.
How do you decide what door is right for you? You have several decisions that you need to make.
Choose a material for your front door.
The first decision you have to make in choosing a door is its material. Most front doors are either going to be made from wood, steel, or fiberglass composite.
1. Wood Doors
Pros and Cons
Wood doors are the classic choice. They give a luxurious feel to your entrance. There are many different types of construction from solid hardwood to particle board with a laminate over the top. Obviously, a solid hardwood door is going to be the most expensive.
Wood doors do have their downsides however. They can be very sensitive to moisture and sunlight which can cause the door to warp and crack. In addition, if the door is going to be exposed directly to the elements, you need to make sure that you treat it like a fine piece of furniture. You must check it periodically see if it needs to be refinished or repaired.
Wood doors also tend to expand and contract with the seasons which can cause them to stick in the summer and be drafty in the winter. They also are not as energy-efficient as fiberglass composite or steel doors.
2. Fiberglass Composite Doors
Pros and Cons
Fiberglass composite doors are relatively affordable and are a good choice where longevity is a factor. They are virtually maintenance free and work well in extreme climates that would warp a wooden door. They can be constructed to look just like a stained or painted wood and are indistinguishable from a real wood door except upon close inspection.
Most fiberglass composite doors have a foam insulating core making them very energy-efficient. They come in all sorts of finishes that mimic stained or painted wood. They are the longest lasting of your door choices and are also the most durable.
3. Steel Doors
Pros and Cons
Steel doors offer the most strength of the available choices. They are more secure than wood or fiberglass composite. They can also be quite inexpensive in certain configurations. Steel doors also will not warp or crack like wood.
They are prone to rust and dents. If your door will be exposed to heavy rain or salt air or spray, steel may not be your best choice.
They also conduct heat. If you have ever felt the heat coming off of a steel door in the sun then you know they are not the best choice for direct sunlight. Most are insulated with a foam core which helps make them more energy-efficient than wood but not as good as a fiberglass composite door.
Choose your door style
Doors come in all shapes and sizes. Front doors are generally either a single door or double doors. Unless you are building a home from scratch, you will probably not be able to change whether you have a single or double door without significant construction work.
Before you begin to shop for a door, take careful measurements of the door.
- A standard single door size in the United States is 80 inches tall by 36 inches wide. Also quite common are doors with a width of 30 and 32 inches.
- Standard double door sizes in the United States are generally 80 inches tall by either 60 or 72 inches wide. You may find some that are 96 inches wide, but for most manufacturers, that would be a custom size.
If you have a standard size front door, you have more options. Older housed sometimes have odd sized doors which limits your choices.
1. Solid Doors
A solid door is the most common type of door. It is the most inexpensive and offers the most security as well as being the most energy-efficient.
The disadvantages are that they do not allow any light to pass through and can make the inside of your entrance way dark. You also can’t see out and will have to rely on a peephole or window to see who is at your door.
2. Doors with Glass
Doors that have windows built into them come in so many variations that it is impossible to catalog them all. They range from full front glass doors to doors with only a very small glass portion at the very top.
The biggest negative to doors with glass inserts is that they are the least secure. Glass is much easier to break than a steel door. However, some manufacturers are starting to use nearly unbreakable glass in some of their high security doors. They also are not as energy-efficient as a solid door, though double pane glass can help.
Gallery of front doors