Choosing an Exterior Door – Maintaining Your Home’s Architectural Characteristics

Where do you start? Choosing a front door can be quite frustrating, but after reading this article, choosing your front door will be a smooth process.Do you know your front door is one of the most important aspects of your home? Yes. It relates to the curb appeal, the value and the attraction. I mean it is the first thing impression and the first part of your home a person touches when they enter. Your front door makes a statement of who you are.Many characteristics of a front door are very important that many people do not even realize. For example, the color whether you stain or paint is the premier eye catcher. Choosing a color is I would say one of the most important aspects. You need to consider matching interior woodwork or exterior trim/siding color scheme. What is most important of the two? Well, it also depends on the architecture of the home. Would you have ever of thought of that? A colonial for example is commonly found with a black or a red door.Another characteristic of a front door is the hardware. Yes, the hardware. This polishes the final appearance. Choosing heavy, pronounced hardware I feel is truly a consideration you should have when making your hardware decision. The color of the hardware is also very important. Being consistent in your color schemes when it comes to hardware cannot be overlooked. I mean you would not want bright brass interior door knobs, a satin nickel exterior handle set and black house numbers. That’s just way too many colors. You want to keep it consistent. Finally, choosing hardware that accents the architecture style the door is the last key to the puzzle. For example, if you purchase a Craftsmen style exterior door you would not want to put round or oval shaped hardware, but you would put square or rectangular shaped hardware.I saved the best for last. The style of the door must match the style of the home.Consider the following case scenario:A 1905 Victorian with a Simpson model no. 7132, 6 panel door with two lites at the top. Would you agree or not agree this door goes with this architectural style of the house. ABSOLUTELY NOT! I have to make sure you understand this is a very important you are consistent with the architectural style. Now let’s consider a door that would go with the house.Simpson Door model no. 7501 would be the way to go with bevel glass. If you do not know a lot about architectural style do some research. Drive around to look at different houses. Many ideas will spark when you do this. Ask an architect. Look online. Look at door manufacturers websites. There is an abundant amount of information online. Remember this is an investment so you want to do it right.What type of material should I choose for front door?Wood doors offer the most traditional look. The architectural characteristics and feel of a well crafted wooden door sends an inviting message of warmth. The substantial weight of a wooden door adds a sense of security and sturdiness to your home. These doors may be painted or stained for natural warm appearance. Either standard or custom models, the wood door selection is almost unlimited. Whether your home was built in 1905 or 2009 you can have a custom door made or choose from a standard are sure to have a style of door that will fit your desires. Expect to keep a watch out annually on a wood door when it comes to painting or staining. You really need to pay attention to the break down in the finish. Expect to have to paint or stain a wood door more often than what you may be able to commit too. Also, they most always need a storm door to protect them.Fiberglass doors have come a long way in the market. They are looking more authentic every day, but if you have an old house with a custom size you can forget it. Fiberglass doors have limited styles available and this can be a person’s ultimate reason not to go this route. Now when it comes to insulating factors, Fiberglass is leading in this race. They are tested and prove to be the most insulating. Fiberglass has a really strong skin and are hard to dent and even scratch. They are very durable. As far as weatherization, they will hold up for quite some time before you have to paint or stain them.Steel doors are merely a cost effective option. In my opinion, they are a pop can filled with foam and many consumers have misleading thoughts that they are very heavy duty, strong and can keep burglars out. In fact, they are the easiest to let a burglar in. It is almost like a piece of sheet metal with foam. They easily scratch and dent. Steel doors follow the concept of you get what you pay for. If you choose this route you can expect to replace your door again.CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING WHEN SELECTING THE DOOR…ABOUT THE EXISTING HOME:1. Year house was built
2. Architectural style
3. Exterior siding style
4. Window (grid) style
5. Paint color schemeABOUT THE EXISTING DOOR:1. Door size
2. For pre-hung, rough opening size
3. Condition of door jamb
4. Condition of door sill
5. Exterior trim type
6. Condition of existing storm doorTHE NEW DOOR:1. Are you going to paint and/or stain door
2. Are you going to paint and/or stain jamb
3. What type of wood
4. How much glass
5. What type of glass
6. Raised or flat panel
7. How many panels
8. Pre-hung or door only
9. Exterior trim type (reuse or new)
10. Storm door style
11. Does the door fit the architectural style
12. What type of hardware
13. Hardware color
14. Who will be installingYour front door makes a statement of who you are. Do not shortcut and go with your gut instinct. This is truly an investment. If you choose a door that is of great quality and hire a professional installer you should only need to replace your front door one time. Leave your home with an amazing last impression and give it a “WoW” curb appeal.When purchasing a front door, if the sales person does not ask you many questions and offer you many options, you may want to consider to go elsewhere to purchase your door. Don’t be trapped into a corner to choose between 3 styles of doors. There is an unlimited amount of door options out there. Here are a few of my favorite manufactures:
WOOD DOORSSimpson Doors
Buffelen Doors
Lemieux Doors
Karona Doors
Rogue Valley DoorsFIBERGLASS & STEEL DOORSTherma Tru Doors
Provia Doors
Masonite DoorsDOOR HARDWAREEmtek Hardware