First impressions matter. Your front door often creates a lasting impression on your visitors, on your neighbors, and even on you.
Why not let that impression be stylish and impactful? There are a multitude of styles and colors, shapes, and designs to choose from. Why settle for bland?
Changing your front door can be expensive, but you may be able to recoup over half the investment if you sell your home, according to Remodeling Magazine’s latest Cost vs. Value report.
Exterior Door Materials
When selecting a new entry door, you’ll encounter three primary options:
Naturally beautiful, wood doors require regular maintenance when exposed to moisture and sun. Beautiful detailing can be carved into solid wood doors. They can be stained, finished naturally, or painted for a nearly limitless variety of appearances. Some wooden front doors are built over a steel or wood fiber core for strength, insulation, and resistance to warping.
Steel is usually the most affordable front door option and comes in a multitude of colors, decorative options, and glass insets. These sturdy, durable doors don’t warp, swell, or shrink. But they can be dented, and they are prone to rust. Depending on the material used in the door’s core, you can enjoy extra insulation.
Special composites are used for fiberglass doors, which typically include insulating foam cores. They come in many styles with panels, detailing, and glass insets. They can also be textured to look like wood. Fiberglass wood doors are both durable and affordable but can be cracked if hit with a sharp object with enough force.
Wrought iron front doors are expensive and difficult to install due to their sheer weight. They are offered in a variety of beautiful designs or can be customized. Iron doors are incredibly secure and weather-resistant (aside from rust if the paint or finish wears).
Add Your Style
Beyond the choice of door materials, there are many ways to customize your front door.
Color – A bright or contrasting shade will add a pop of personality to your home. Red, charcoal grey, dark blue, and jet black are popular choices. To make a more dramatic statement, consider plum, turquoise, yellow, orange, or any other color you love.
Styles – While single-entry doors are most common, you may want to consider double-entry doors, an arched doorway, or a Dutch-style split door. Among standard single-entry doors, there are countless architectural styles to suit traditional or contemporary tastes.
Hardware – Select a handle set that matches the style of your door. Finishes can be matte or glossy, in various metallic shades. You may also be interested in incorporating a smart lock or a doorbell with a built-in security camera.
Glass – Glass is both decorative and an excellent way to bring in more natural light. There are many ways to incorporate glass into your front entryway, including sidelights, transoms above the door, or glass insets within the door.
If you’re concerned about privacy, consider using textured glass. Manufacturers offer a wide variety of options, including satin etching, geometric patterns, wavy ripples, and rain droplets. Typically, the decorative glass is sandwiched between two smooth layers to improve energy efficiency and make them easy to clean.
Another privacy option is clear glass with blinds sandwiched between the panes.
Storm doors – Many homeowners prefer to add a storm door to their front entry. It’s an excellent way to enhance insulation, weather protection, and security. Storm door options typically include various combinations of screen and glass panels, to accommodate seasonal preferences.
If you want to include a storm door, but don’t want it to reduce the visibility of your main entry door, be sure to choose a full-view storm door.
No matter what type of door you select, this may not be the best DIY project. Have your door professionally installed to ensure it swings freely and seals completely. Expect to pay several hundred to several thousand dollars for installation, depending on the complexity of your project.