Replacing Exterior Doors
New exterior doors can increase your home’s value through greater curb appeal. When upgrading your exterior doors, there are many details to keep in mind. From architectural style to interesting details like a knocker or decorative glass, there are many ways you can transform a basic front door into a grand entrance. Keep the following tips in mind to help select the door that is right for you.
Exterior doors are available in an incredible variety of designs. From traditional steel to ornate, hand-carved wood, you can find a door for any taste or budget.
- Steel — Steel is the most affordable option today and is a good choice for most climates. It offers strength and durability, and requires only minimal maintenance and upkeep. Dress up a steel door with decorative glass inserts.
- Fiberglass — Fiberglass doors come in an immense variety of styles with or without decorative glass inserts, and many offer the look of real wood at all budget levels. Fiberglass is built to withstand any climate, and requires minimal maintenance.
- Wood — If your home calls for a stunning entry statement with a handcrafted touch, wood may be the best material for you. Wood doors should be repainted or refinished every year or two to prevent splitting and warping, and they are best maintained under a proper overhang.
Beauty is in the Details
There are a number of features to consider with any exterior door choice.
- Door Configurations — Entry doors are available in many configurations to make the most of your entrance. Choose a single door, or a double door to create a grand entrance with twice the opening space. Add a sidelight or two to give the illusion of a larger entry, or bring additional light into your foyer.
- Door Swing — Doors are available as inswing (I/S) or outswing (O/S) models. This simply refers to which way your exterior door will swing: outward (toward the outside of the house) or inward (toward the inside). Most homes are built to accommodate inswing doors, however, your entry door can be designed to swing outward if preferred.
- Door Handing — This refers to the direction that the door swings. When viewed from the outside, if the hinges are on your left side and the door is pushing away from you, it is a left hand (LH) inswing. If the hinges are on your right side and the door is pushing away from you, it is a right hand (RH) inswing.
- Panel Type — Choosing the right panel type and glass option will help you transform your home into the showplace you desire. Doors are available as an all panel style or with a glass panel insert.
- Glass Options — The glass you select for your door can add both style and performance benefits. You can choose from performance features like impact-resistant glass for storm concerns, or Low-E glass to improve energy efficiency and provide UV protection. Style features include decorative glass, or textured glass and blinds between the glass for added functionality and privacy concerns.
Understanding Door Slabs versus Prehung Systems
A door slab is simply the door itself, whereas a prehung system includes the door hanging within its own frame. A prehung system will include all of the parts, like the door frame and hinges, needed to install the door. If you already have a good door frame in place, then you may just want to replace the door slab.
Now that you have an understanding of the many features and options available for entry doors, we hope you’re ready to select the type that best fits your needs.