How do I choose an exterior door? Your guide to finding the perfect fit.

Choosing an exterior door can seem like a daunting task with all the available options. However, there are a few key factors to consider that can simplify the decision-making process. Here are some important things to keep in mind when choosing an exterior door:
  • Material: The three main materials used in the construction of entrance doors for side or front entry include steel, fiberglass, and wood. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to weigh them against your needs and preferences. Steel doors offer the strongest security, but they are also vulnerable to dents and scratches. Fiberglass doors are durable and energy-efficient, but they may not provide the same level of security as a steel door. Wood doors have a timeless look and can be customized, but they require regular maintenance to keep them looking good.
  • Hanging design: Doors can be hinged on the left or right, so it’s important to know which side the hinges should be on to determine the correct hanging design. This will ensure that the door opens correctly and doesn’t obstruct any nearby objects.
  • Energy efficiency and insulation: An exterior door can be a major source of energy loss in a home, so it’s important to choose a door that is energy-efficient and well-insulated. Look for doors that have a high R-value or U-factor to ensure maximum energy savings.
  • Security: A front door should provide a high level of security to keep your family and belongings safe. Look for doors with a sturdy frame, reinforced lockset, and deadbolt for maximum security.
  • Swing: Doors can swing inward or outward, so it’s important to consider which direction will work best for your home. Inward-swinging doors require more clearance to open, while outward-swinging doors can be more difficult to weatherstrip and secure.
  • Color: Exterior doors come in a variety of colors, so choose one that complements your home’s overall aesthetic. Keep in mind that darker colors may absorb more heat from the sun, which can lead to warping and fading over time.
  • Installation: Make sure that your new door is installed properly for maximum efficiency and security. Consider hiring a professional installer to ensure that the door is level, plumb, and sealed correctly.
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By considering these factors when choosing an exterior door, you can ensure that you end up with a beautiful, secure, and energy-efficient entrance to your home.

Material Options for Exterior Doors

Choosing an exterior door for your home may seem like a simple task, but there are many factors to consider. One of the first things to consider is the material of the door. Three of the main materials used in the construction of entrance doors include steel, fiberglass, and wood. Each material has its own unique benefits, so it’s important to choose the right one for your home.

Understanding the Benefits of Steel, Fiberglass, and Wood

Steel doors are durable and strong, making them a great option for security. They are also low-maintenance and typically less expensive than other options. Fiberglass doors are energy efficient and provide good insulation. They can also be designed to mimic the look of wood. Wood doors are known for their classic appearance and can add warmth and charm to a home. They can also be customized with various finishes and designs. When choosing a material, consider the style of your home, your budget, and your priorities for things like maintenance and security.

Choosing the Right Hanging Design for Your Needs

The hanging design of an exterior door refers to the way the door is attached to the frame. There are two main types of hanging designs: inswing or outswing. An inswing door swings inward, while an outswing door swings outward. The type of hanging design you choose can impact the space in front of the door, as well as the overall look and feel of your home’s entrance.
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Insider Tip: If you’re concerned about energy efficiency, choose an inswing door. They tend to provide better insulation than outswing doors.

Ensuring Energy Efficiency and Proper Insulation

Energy efficiency is an important consideration when choosing an exterior door. Look for doors with a high energy-efficiency rating, which typically means they have better insulation and can help reduce your heating and cooling costs. Proper insulation is also important for reducing drafts and keeping your home comfortable year-round. TIP: Look for doors with weatherstripping and insulation materials like polyurethane foam to help ensure energy efficiency and proper insulation.

Security Features to Consider When Selecting an Exterior Door

Security is another important factor to consider when choosing an exterior door. Look for doors with reinforced steel plates and locking mechanisms that are difficult to pick. Shatter-resistant glass is also a good option for added security. TIP: Consider installing a deadbolt lock in addition to the lock provided with the door for added security.

Choosing the Right Swing Direction for Your Door

The swing direction of your door can impact the overall flow and function of your home’s entrance. Consider the location of any nearby walls or obstacles, as well as the way you typically enter and exit your home. In general, an inswing door is a good option if you have limited space outside your door because it gives you more interior space to work with. TIP: Consider installing a storm door for added protection and insulation.

Selecting the Perfect Color for Your Home’s Exterior

The color of your exterior door can impact the overall curb appeal of your home. Consider choosing a color that complements or contrasts with the color of your home’s exterior. Popular options include traditional colors like brown, black, and white, or bold colors like red, blue, and green.
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TIP: Consider painting the trim around your exterior door to give it a finished and polished look.

Tips for Proper Installation of Your New Exterior Door

Proper installation is key to ensuring the longevity and functionality of your new exterior door. Consider hiring a professional to install your door, as they will have the expertise and tools necessary to get the job done right. Properly sealing the edges of the door is also important for preventing drafts and maintaining energy efficiency. TIP: Look for doors with adjustable thresholds, which can help ensure a proper and tight fit.

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