Your front door is the first impression. It sets the tone for your home and signals to guests what is to come as they walk inside. It is also an opportunity to add personality to your space. The front door provides the ultimate combination of function, security, and style.
“Your front door should match the façade and flavor of your home,” said Heather Wood, owner and designer at Mountainwood Homes. “It should have some thread of similarity to complement the style of your home.”
Many homeowners decide to update their front door as part of a home remodeling project. The update not only boosts the curb appeal from the outside, but the update affects the interior too! There are a lot of details to consider when it comes to selecting a new front door. Here are some elements to consider.
Reasons to Update Your Front Door
There are two main reasons why homeowners change out their front door. First, they are tired of the look and want a change. Second, the door is worn out and no longer functions properly. “Doors can get leaky and the weatherstrip gets shot,” said Robert Wood, owner and president of Mountainwood Homes. “The hardware may not work, and the jambs can wear out,” he added. “If a stained door was not maintained, it can go downhill fast.”
Front Door Types
Do you want a single door or double door? Is there room for sidelights? Are you trying to work within the existing space or are you overhauling what is there to create something new?
Position of the Front Door
The position of the front door is especially important when designing a custom home or when you have a blank slate to start with. Which way should the house face for sunlight? Which way does the door swing? What do you see when you open the door? “You want to open to the pretty part of the house and see something cool,” Robert said.
The elements can give the front door a beating so it’s important to consider the position as well as the overhang dimensions.
It is important to calculate the appropriate overhang to protect your door from the elements and make it last longer. As a rule of thumb, the overhang should be half the height of the bottom of the door to the base of the overhang. For areas with more severe weather climates, a larger overhang may be necessary to keep the area protected.
There are various collections of exterior doors from craftsmen, classic, contemporary to traditional.
Whether you’re looking to make a bold statement or keep it classic, there are so many choices. The good news is that you only need to select your favorite. Bonus! Door manufacturers add new styles all the time.
The various door materials offer different benefits and weaknesses. The most common materials are fiberglass and wood.
“Fiberglass doors are low-maintenance,” Robert added. “It’s an extremely stable material so it’s virtually bulletproof. They hold up to dings and can be painted or stained.”
Do you want a full-glass door? There are many considerations to make. While It’s nice to have natural light, you need to think about the level of privacy it offers. If your home is in a secluded area, privacy may not be a concern. But it may not be ideal if you’re located in a highly populated neighborhood. Glass doors are less insulated so they will be colder.
Sidelights & Transoms
Sidelights are the vertical pieces of glass on one or both sides of the entry door to add more natural light. Smaller panes of glass offer more privacy but less light. Sidelights can complement your entry door if you have the space.
Transoms are generally rectangular, placed horizontally above the door, and add more natural light.
Color & Finish
Do you like a bold or natural color? Do you want to add a pop with your paint color or keep things monochromatic and stick to a single-color palette? How does the door color go with the exterior paint and trim color? If you’re painting the entire house, it’s the perfect time to select a whole new color palette.
Front Door Hardware
In addition to the door style, adding new hardware will complete the look. Many homeowners are upgrading to smart, keyless door locks. These locks allow you to enter a code or use your fingerprint to lock and unlock the door. Most of these locks allow you to program many different users’ fingerprints so the whole family can get set up. The door locks use the home’s WIFI network and allows you to manage your door from anywhere in the world. You can set schedules for customized access if you want to allow someone into your home at a specific time such as a babysitter, dog walker, or houseguest.
Try It Out
On many door manufacturer websites, such as Simpson, you can use their digital tools to upload a photo of your home and try out different door styles. This is a fun (and free) way to experiment and find inspiration for your exact home.
Talk the Talk
Doors are measured by feet and inches. A standard door measures 36 inches wide by 80 inches high by 1 3/4 inches thick. It’s also called a 3/0 by 6/8 which means 3 feet, 0 inches by 6 feet, 8 inches. Typical exterior doors are 1 3/4 inches thick.
Help Every Step of the Way
Overwhelmed with the options? Don’t worry! Our Mountainwood Designers will guide you to make informed decisions, but even they need to call in the pros. We rely on our door and millwork trade partners to help us figure out all the details to ensure the door looks beautiful and functions properly. Reach out to discuss your project with our team.