Exterior doors add a lot of character to your home, but many don't think about replacing them when they're thinking about a remodel. In fact, replacing your exterior door can be absolutely the fastest, easiest way to renovate your property. Most homes come with generic, builder-grade doors. These are more than suitable in terms of functionality but might not be up to your style.
What Materials Can You Use for an Exterior Door?
Most exterior doors are solid wood, but without flair. They may be well-insulated, but might not have very interesting designs. You can get doors in many materials:
- Wood. A basic door comes with basic wood. But there are many dramatic and exotic woods that you could use for your front door that would have interesting grain patterns. Apart from the wood itself, there are designs that can be carved into the wood. An elegantly beveled and stained wood door can make a home feel elegant or cozy, depending on the style.
- Fiberglass. Fiberglass comes in many styles and colors; it's very versatile. It's also known to be one of the most durable and insulating materials. If you want a front door that's not only attractive but also long-lasting, fiberglass is a great choice.
- Steel. Steel is extremely strong. While it may be a little more expensive than some other options, it can also come in some unique designs such as having inset windows. Steel entry doors commonly come with elegant metal filigree or modern-style slats.
The materials have a lot to do with the overall appearance and function of the door, so consider what you need your door to do. As mentioned, steel tends to be the strongest material, but fiberglass has better insulation. Wood is versatile and comes in many styles.
Energy Efficiency, Security, and Aesthetics
How do you decide which aspects of a front door are most important to you?
Better insulating doors both improve energy efficiency and comfort. If you've ever felt a cold draft around your door (despite the door being well-insulated around the frame), it's because the cold is being transferred through the material. Older doors can have this problem. But new doors prioritize insulation.
In terms of security, solid-core wood doors, steel doors, and fiberglass doors will usually be comparable; though steel doors are naturally more difficult to break, all solid doors serve as significant deterrent. But if you want true peace-of-mind, you may want a door that is built with security in mind. Specifically, make sure there aren't any windows in your door if you're afraid of someone breaking in.
Aesthetics, however, are often the biggest choice. Most modern doors today are secure and energy efficient. At very least, they're much more secure and energy efficient than older doors. So, aesthetics can be a major decision-making aspect.
Glass and Sidelights
What if you want to add some natural light into your home? There are a few great ways.
First, front doors come with nearly any amount of glass. Some are completely glass. This is less secure (someone can break through the door), but in reality it's not any less secure than having windows to begin with. The major issue people usually have with completely glass doors is that there can be privacy issues, but frosted or stained glass can help.
Apart from glass in the door, sidelights are another option. Sidelights are inset windows to either side of the door. They bring in more light and make the doors look more grand and majestic. If you have a large area in front of your home, you may want to add sidelights.
The Styles of Doors
So, doors can come in multiple colors and materials. But what kind of styles are available? Modern styles tend to be bold; large, flat planes and straight lines. Traditional styles tend toward subtle beveling, while classic and ornate styles tend to be more intricate. Very ornate styles may have wood carvings across the majority of the door, glass insets, or filigree.
There are two important things when choosing the style of your door. First, you must make sure that the door is to your liking. But second, you need to make sure the door matches the style of your home. A minimalist, modern door isn't going to match with a traditional, ornate home.
Other Exterior Doors
In addition to front doors, there are also patio and back doors. These can also make a dramatic difference in your home. As an example, changing your back doors into French doors can make your backyard area feel more useful.
Whenever you want to easily change the appearance of your home, an exterior door is a great bet. Want to discuss possibilities? We're happy to help when you're ready.