Exterior Doors: What You’ll Need to Know Before Buying

front of a homeYour exterior doors are very important features on your house. They provide crucial benefits that are often overlooked by homeowners. That is why it’s important to make an informed decision when buying an exterior door. Don’t worry because we’ve put together a guide that will make it easier to choose.

Things to Consider Before Purchasing an Exterior Door

Before looking at new exterior doors, there are a few things you’ll want to consider.

First, you’ll need to know the size of your entryway. You can’t start picking a door willy-nilly without knowing whether or not it will fit in your home. Imagine falling in love with a beautiful door only to find out it’s too large or small for your entry way. That would be incredibly deflating. Before going out to look for a new exterior door, measure your entryway.

Also, you’ll need to know how you will pay for your exterior door. One thing to consider is whether or not the company you are purchasing your door from has financing options.

The style of your home will play a vital role in what kind of door you will want. You want your door to accent your home and work together to improve your curb appeal.

There are several options for materials to consider as well. Wood, fiberglass and steel all have their benefits that we will discuss further below, but it is important for the homeowner to know what function they want their door to perform and which material is best for performance.

What Type of Exterior Door Interests You?

The term “exterior door” could be any door that gains entry into your home. There are a  couple options that fall into this category.

Front and Center: Entry Doors

Entry doors are often the most visible and are typically front and center of your home. That means it has to be beautiful and durable to handle the amount of attention and traffic that will occur. Your entry doors are also responsible for adding curb appeal to your home.


Beautiful Patio Doors are a Conversation Piece

Patio doors allow access to your deck, backyard, patio or sun room. Many of these locations are where you will host outdoor parties or get-togethers. A beautiful door would complete the experience and be a great conversation piece.

a patio door in the living room

There Are Many Material Options for an Exterior Door

When buying a new exterior door, it’s important to be aware of its material. Different materials have benefits and disadvantages. You’ll need to determine what material best suits your needs.

Keeping with Tradition with Wood Doors

wood doorWood exterior doors are the traditional option. The added weight of wood gives the impression of better security and sturdiness.

Wood doors are also aesthetically pleasing. It will add curb appeal and increase the value of your home. This is extremely important when it comes to selling.

The issue is that wood doors will wear down quicker in the elements. It’s important to keep this type of entry door in an entryway that is shielded from rain, snow and ice. If your door is exposed to the elements, you could consider adding a  storm door.

Nothing Gets Through Steel Doors

Steel exterior doors are a great options for security and maintenance. They are resistant to fire, weather, warping and cracking. Being able to withstand all of that makes them extremely durable.

They are also extremely secure. Many steel doors use 24-gauge steel so they can’t be kicked in and are very hard to bend or dent.

In addition, steel doors are energy efficient. They are optimal foam filled for the highest level of energy efficiency, saving you a considerable amount of money on your heating and cooling bills.

When Worlds Collide: Fiberglass Doors

Why not get the best of both worlds? Fiberglass exterior doors have the aesthetic appeal of wood and the security and energy efficiency of a steel door.

Much like the steel doors, fiberglass exterior doors come with weather-stripping which is perfect for the harsh conditions of winter in the Midwest. In addition, they have a foam insulation to further protect your home from extreme temperatures.

The extensive amount of finishes and colors offer many different options when purchasing an exterior door. Fiberglass doors have the ability to add curb appeal similar to wood doors.

Keep Your Bills Down with an Energy Efficient Door

The more energy efficient your door is, the more money you can save. This is because less heat and air will be escaping your home. Your heating and cooling systems won’t have to work as hard to get to your desired temperature. In turn, your bills will decrease.

Keeping Your Family and Home Safe

Safety should always be top of your mind. It’s no different when buying exterior doors. Keeping your family and home safe should be a key factor when making your decision. Each option has its security benefits so you should think long and hard before coming to a decision.

Add-On Options Will Make Your Exterior Door Stand Out

Exterior doors come with several features you may choose to add. These will help your door stand out from your neighbors and are a great way to increase curb appeal.

Glass Will Increase the Amount of Light Into Your Home

Adding glass to your door is a great way to allow light into your home. It adds a level of elegance and sophistication to your door. With the many different designs of glass for exterior doors, you’re sure to find one that you’ll love. Glass is great way to make a lasting first impression.

Sidelights Are An Interesting Option to Increase Curb Appeal

a door with sidelites and transomIf you have the space in your entry way, sidelights are another way to add curb appeal. They are long panels found on either side of your door. These panels have windows that vary in size. This will add more dimension to your door.

Sidelights are also a great way to allow more light into your home. If your entry door doesn’t have a window, your entry can become dark and dreary but sidelights fix this issue by having a panel of windows on the left and right side of your door.

Transoms are Unique Additions to Your Exterior Doors

a gray door with a transomA transom works like a sidelight by improving the curb appeal of your home. Transoms are panels found on the top of your door; they act as a large built-in window. They come in many shapes and window designs so you can get creative.

In-Glass Blinds Will Add Privacy

A common addition to doors with windows are blinds. In-glass blinds are a great way to control the amount of light you let in and who can see into your home from outside.

Accessories to Keep in Mind When You Purchase an Exterior Door

After purchasing your exterior door, it’s important to keep in mind that there are accessories you can add to increase security or curb appeal. We have written a more in depth article on front door hardware but we’ll list a couple of options here.

More Locks for Better Security

As we mentioned above, safety is crucial when choosing your exterior doors. It’s recommended that you carefully choose locks to further increase the security of your door, especially if it’s in the front of your home. Grade 2 deadbolts are generally a good idea for a front door.

Knobs and Levers and Handles. Oh My!

Your exterior doors are on display for everyone to see. Why not dress them up with unique opening hardware. Knobs, handles and levers each have their benefits and different styles that will enhance any door. Each piece of hardware comes in a variety of material choices such a nickel, bronze and brass.

Every Exterior Door Could Use a Friend: Storm Doors

duraguard storm door with a dogBy purchasing a storm door, you will increase the life expectancy of your exterior door. We’ve already mentioned how your doors have to face the abuse of the elements, but this can be prevented with storm doors. They act as a barrier between the outside and your exterior door. The storm door will shield them from any harm Mother Nature throws their way.

In addition to being a protector, storm doors increase your insulation. The two doors work together to prevent any freezing cold or excruciatingly hot weather from getting into your home.

Now You Know It All

You are now an expert on exterior doors! Having the knowledge of the security benefits, energy efficiency and curb appeal will go a long way in making an informed decision. Buying your next exterior door will be a breeze!

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