Houzz Planning: How to Select a Front Door

Front door is a huge portion of your home’s first impression. It is a transitional part of the facade which makes a statement about who you are, and what people can expect if they walk into your house. Not to mention, it’s an impact on your home’s value. I’m not referring to curb appeal; replacing your front door with an energy-efficient design can increase the total value of your house, save up to 10 percent on energy bills, and qualify for certain tax credits in the United States, as long as it is installed by December 31, 2011.

But how can you determine which door is right for you? A front door like any exterior material — has to be tough enough to withstand the elements. But additionally, it should complement and increase the aesthetic of your home.

Since functionality is its main (and most important) function, the very best way to narrow front door alternatives would be to examine it in terms of material. The three most frequent exterior door substances today are wood, fiberglass composite, and steel.

Wood doors. Wood is among the more common options for a front door. Regardless of the faux substitutes, nothing can beat the real bargain for many homeowners. Contemporary wood door models are often sandwiches of timber veneer skins over a wood center. This structure tends to minimize the likelihood of warping, and reduces price. For this kind of wood doorway, look for furniture-grade veneers which are at 1/16 inch thick. Anything thinner might be too easily damaged.

Clay Construction Inc..

While timber doors are luxurious and lovely, they also offer you a fair amount of maintenance. Wood is sensitive to moisture, and wetness in the timber can cause the door to warp, crack and change shape. Sun is also a significant factor in the life span of your door. If your doorway is guarded from these components, it is bound to continue much longer.

While shopping for prefinished wood doors, look for lasting stains and high-gloss finishes, since these will best protect wood. If you’ve resolved to apply the stain or finish by yourself, make certain to set the end on the top and bottom edges of the doorway as well to help prevent it from absorbing moisture.


Mahogany Carved Wood Doors

Because of its sensitivity to the components, a solid wood door should be examined each year to find out if it requires any refinishing. Signs of wear a finish include dullness, or a sterile touch to the end; a white color appears on the end, and dark stripes in the base of the doorway (which can signal moisture being drawn up into the timber).

If you discover any of these signs on your own timber door, lightly sand, clean, and re-prime these spots.

The Home Depot

Legacy Doors M-43 Square Top Prefinished Mahogany Door – $398

Wood doors also are normally the most expensive on the exterior door scale. A full system — that includes a pre-hung door, hinges, locksets, weather stripping, etc. — can come to be rather costly. Make sure you use hinges and other hardware from precisely the same manufacturer — or actually come with the doorway, like this pre-finished good wood doorway. There are a few systems which won’t match up nicely with other distributors’ parts.

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Design-Pro/Smooth-Pro Fiberglass Glass Panel Exterior Door

Fiberglass composite doors. Relatively affordable, fiberglass composite doors are ordinarily chosen because of their durability, and also the fact they are almost maintenance free. These doors can persist for a lengthy time, and lots of models offer guarantees for as long as the buyer resides in the home.


Belleville Smooth Fiberglass Door

Because fiberglass composite doors can go several years without having any paint or stain touchups, they tend to work very well in harsh and humid climates. This material lasts more than steel or wood, and its foam core offers a whole lot more insulation than timber.

The Home Depot

Feather River Doors Lakewood 36″ Fiberglass Light-Oak Door – $369

Since this material resists denting, warping, rot, rust, and other issues connected with wood and metal, fiberglass composite is a natural choice for a front door exposed to extreme weather. It is great for high traffic areas, and — like this traditional fiberglass door with a light oak grain — its look is readily customized to look like wood or other natural materials.

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Steel All Panel Exterior Door

Steel doors: Steel doors can endure dents, but slight damage can normally be repaired with a simple auto-body fix kit. An all-paneled steel doorway, like the one above, has great insulating value, will help reduce energy costs, and it’s among the least expensive front door choices.

However, steel will have a shorter lifespan than wood or fiberglass, and because it can rust, it isn’t necessarily the best choice for a house subject to harsh weather conditions. Also, steel conducts temperature, which is not perfect in a very cold or hot environment.


ReliaBilt 36″W Fan-Lite Left Hand Steel Door Unit – $198

Just like wood or fiberglass composites, steel doors come in a variety of sizes and shapes — like this steel door unit with a decorative glass window. Steel is most frequently chosen because of its strength, and that it won’t crack or warp like wood.

Milano Doors

Milano-14 Stainless Exterior Door – $2,750

Most steel doors including this ├╝ber-secure and high-end stainless steel model from Milano — can be particularly vulnerable to rust in some specific weather conditions when they are not finished correctly. Some models will have a coating with a baked-on polyester finish which needs periodic repainting. Steel doors which are a bit more expensive might have a vinyl coating for weather resistance, or even a laminated wood veneer.

Color: Now for the fun part! As soon as you understand what material you require, you get to think about colour, style and overall look. It is the very first thing guests will see when visiting your house. Stay inside the overall fashion tone of your residence, but do not be reluctant to go daring, either. Think about the sort of statement you’re looking for about your house, and make sure the colour or type of the doorway you choose makes that announcement clear.

Orange provides this structural house a significant pop while still fitting with its modern design.

Helios Design Group

It is amazing the difference the front door can make in the look of your home’s facade. A splash of red-orange on the exterior doorway adds a lively touch to a traditional exterior.

Allison Cosmos

Play around and experiment with various looks. This pink-and-white hand-stenciled pattern is super daring, but it absolutely works together with the muted gray exterior for this home. I really like the announcement the artist makes here. Can you imagine how different it would be if the door were just a simple black or brown?

Next: Browse entry doors

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