Are you on the hunt for the perfect front door but haven’t got a clue where to start? It’s no mystery that the main entry door is the focal point of your home. But with so many options, it can be difficult deciding which door is best for you. Though style and design may be the first thing you think of when considering a new door, material is actually much more important, especially if you live in an area that faces extreme weather conditions like blistering heat, ice and snow, or heavy rain. So, be sure to take these things into consideration when door shopping.
The most common door materials are:
These doors come in a variety of styles and are growing in popularity because they don’t rust and they don’t rot. They are also the perfect doors for harsh weather as they are resistant to the environment. If this doesn’t sell you then consider they are relatively low maintenance and well-insulated, which will help conserve energy.
A durable (and affordable) choice for a front door and one known for being the most secure of all materials. Steel isn’t prone to swelling or shrinking, so intense sun, humidity, and rain won’t affect it. Though some feel that steel doors don’t look as nice as wood, new designs are changing that view. Steel doors are now designed with decorative panels and some are even made to resemble wood yet are insulated better. One disadvantage, however, is that they can rust. Another is they do dent on occasion.
In regards to design aspect, wood doors offer the most. They are very versatile because they can be stained or painted, but they do require maintenance in order to keep them looking good. Also, they do not take well to the elements so they can warp and rot easily, especially in damp and humid climate.
ETO Doors has a wide selection of affordable exterior doors in a variety of materials and styles if you need a little direction. Once you’ve made a choice on which material is best suited for your home (and climate) then you can move on to deciding on style and design.
Here are some of the most popular front-door styles available:
Inlaid with carved panels and often referred to as stile and rail doors. Some have window inserts but this is not the common trend.
This 17th century door is horizontally split. Its main purpose when first designed was to let light in the top half when it was opened and keep the bottom portion closed to keep livestock from entering the home. Whether or not you have livestock, the Dutch door definitely makes a statement.
- Decorative Glass
Decorative glass doors can include beveled glass, stained glass, and leaded glass panes most often inserted in a wood door. The charm of these doors can be enhanced even further with transoms and/or sidelights.
- Wrought Iron Glass
Most commonly associated with wood doors but also iron/steel doors, which are frequently double and arched. The intricate iron scrollwork can be contemporary or French Gothic like many doors in New Orleans and Paris. Frosted glass is another great feature of this particular style.
Available in fiberglass, wood, and metal, these doors often feature raised panels (generally 2 to 12) and/or decorative glass and ironwork.
Minimalistic doors with clean, simple lines. They are often large with frosted glass panes and trendy hardware representative of the Frank Lloyd Wright mid-century modern look.
Though most would associate this style of door with cabins, it also work well with brick/stone ranches and believe it or not, Tudors. Most often constructed of thick deconstructed or distressed wood with oversized hardware.
Architecturally pleasing doors that fit into most style homes including: traditional, modern, and Craftsman. These doors have to be frequently custom made because of specifications.
One of the more versatile door options because they can work with many different style homes. Usually made from fiberglass or wood, a Craftsman style door can work with cottages, bungalows, brick homes, Tudor homes, and even cabins. Many of these doors have a single top window, trimmed in dark wood or painted white that leans toward Shaker style.
A few more things to consider in regard to your door purchase. You will need to decide if you want a pre-hung door or whether you want to risk hanging it yourself, which could involve planing. (FYI: It sounds much easier than it actually is.) So, measure accurately and hire a professional if you feel you are not qualified.