Why You Don’t Want an Exterior Dutch Door
With the rise of the farmhouse and rustic styled homes comes increased focus on the Dutch door. A design that originally came about from the 17th century means that while this style of door is making a comeback in a big way.
The reason for this is that these doors have the unique capability to open in halves – split horizontally the door is capable of moving the top and bottom portions separately. These doors can be tightly secured together with a latch to convert to a more traditional style.
Like standard doors, these devices have a deadbolt on top, a handle with a latch on the bottom, and hinges on the opposite side.
Where they differ, other than their dual opening nature, is that these doors are often outfitted with a shelf in the middle and a second handle located near the top to easily open and close each portion. That being said, Dutch doors aren’t without their shortfalls.
Before we jump into why you want to avoid having an exterior Dutch door we first need to look into why people choose these doors in the first place.
Why do People get Dutch Doors?
As you can imagine, these doors are remarkably unique. One of the first areas a person looks at when visiting a home is the front door – these entryways are what everyone waits at when knocking or ringing the bell.
The unusual nature of these devices can bring some extra personality to the front of a home. Being the main entryway to your home also means that this type of door can also be a conversation starter.
To add more to their look, Dutch doors can come in a large number of different sub-styles and colors to add even more uniqueness to the front of a home.
On a more practical level, a Dutch door can also be used to let more fresh air in while simultaneously keeping pets and children inside. This can work both ways too – effectively being a window that can move means that animals will have a hard time traversing the barrier of the bottom half.
Being able to open at the top also makes these entryways more easily interactable with delivery personnel while also doubling as a more attractive option for a baby gate.
The range of styles isn’t only the look of the door either, as these doors can come with a windowed or solid top. The solid being perfect for those that want a bit more privacy.
Nonetheless, despite all these advantages, a Dutch door has a few problems that should be mentioned more in full.
Disadvantages of Dutch Doors
As the name implies, Dutch doors originated from the Netherlands. While no doubt unique and beautiful in their own right, the design of this door reflects the weather that it came in.
If you live in a humid area with lots of insects, a Dutch door really won’t be ideal for you.
While screens can be installed to repel against bugs from entering your home, these devices are often extremely cumbersome to install. Even if you manage to get a good screen this only covers up the intrinsic problem.
The selling points of these doors are effectively moot if the environment outside is either extremely warm or cold. In the same way, you wouldn’t open your windows in an extreme environment, you also wouldn’t take advantage of the main selling point of a Dutch door.
Furthermore, Dutch doors do require a bit more upkeep than their more traditional counterparts. Every door, especially ones found on the outside of a home, will face a deal of maintenance as the forces of nature work to erode it. Because Dutch doors require more parts to work, such as hinges and handles, they’re much more susceptible to creaking or breaking over time.
There can also be additional problems with insulation – the warping of frames and the door itself with the changing of the seasons naturally causes gaps around the perimeter. Being dividable down the middle adds an extra set of weak points for this door.
Other Exterior Door Options
If a Dutch door seems much less attractive choice now than you’re going to want to consider other exterior door options. Thankfully, there’s a wide variety of what you can find here ranging from style to material.
Exterior door options range from simple to the more intricate, with different types recommended depending on your location.
When it comes to what these doors are made out of you can typically find them in three materials – wood, metal, and fiberglass. Wood is the oldest type and is very popular as it’s considered one of the most beautiful.
Doors made from wood that are from the tropic zone, have a natural insulation against the weather. Regardless, a wood door requires a bit more upkeep as it’s prone to warping and bugs, requiring owners to apply a level of stain every couple of years.
Metal doors are some of the hardiest material, but can they have an issue with insulation as it’s naturally reactive with the outside air. Fiberglass doors are also hardy and can have great insulating features.
In terms of style, you can find exterior doors usually come in one of five – carved, windowed, panel, storm, and sliding. As imagined, a carved door typically only comes in wood and is the most ornate of the styles.
Windowed doors are pretty popular and allow for a good deal of natural light to come into the home. The panel is by far the most common though and consists of a series of raised panels to create a fairly mundane style.
Storm doors are often put on the outside of other doors as an extra layer of protection. Finally, a sliding door can be found around patio enclosures and offer a much larger entryway compared to regular hinged doors.
While they’ve been around for centuries and originated in the Netherlands, Dutch doors are still a popular choice across the world. It’s not a wonder either as these doors have a unique look and a certain practicality that’s admirable.
Unhooking the top portion of this door can allow for interaction with the outside world while also serving as a comfortable barrier.
That being said, these doors are notorious for not being viable in environments with lots of bugs or more extreme weather found in the far North and South. These doors can also suffer from inferior insulation and have some issues related to their hardware.
The good news is that there are plenty of other options for exterior doors on the market that can fit your preference of material or style. Whatever door you pick make sure to follow proper maintenance procedures so you can get the most out of your door.
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