Gone are the days when you simply call up the local handyman and say, “Can you put in a new front door?” As a statement piece, your front door decision requires attention to more than just cost.
Choosing the right door for your home starts with setting a budget and then choosing your:
- Color / Paint
Most homeowners choose steel insulated, fiberglass or wood. Each has its own pros and cons.
While steel insulated doors are the most economical option, they retain heat and cannot be easily stained. We typically use these doors for garage service entries.
Fiberglass is, by far, the most common choice on the market today and comes in a range of price points. It’s gained popularity due to the ease of staining or painting, and the variety of visual effects it can provide.
Wood is high maintenance. However, some clients still opt for high-end all-wood doors that require regular TLC to preserve their beauty.
There are many options available, so identifying what you want, is a good starting point. We recommend asking yourself a series of questions to help you narrow things down. Start by deciding if you want glass in the door. If so, do you want half-glass, 2/3 glass, full view glass? Next, determine the number of panels you’d like to have. Most doors have six, but doors with one or two are gaining in popularity. Lastly, do you want a single or double door entry?
These separate, fixed glass units reside next to one or both sides of your front door. When choosing your sidelight options, first decide if you like your current sidelight(s) or want an upgrade. If you don’t have one, do you want one? Consider how large or small you’d like them to be and whether or not you want glass in them (hint: most people answer yes). Once you’ve answered these questions, it’s time to choose from half-glass, 2/3 glass, ¾ glass or full-view sidelights.
Many of our clients choose to have a solid door with full-view glass accents in their sidelights.
A transom is the window, or glass, accent you see above many front doors. This element often creates the most complexity when replacing a front door, particularly if it is surrounded by brick or stone. Larger entries are on-trend, so a lot of clients opt to remove their transom and add an 8-foot door instead. If you keep it, do you want to maintain its current design? Elliptical and custom glass designs are attractive, but replacement can be tricky.
A major design decision revolves around the use of glass in the door itself. Do you want glass in your front door? The main thing to think about when choosing your glass elements is whether you want clear, privacy or decorative glass. Obviously, decorative glass, while intriguing, adds to the overall project cost. We commonly see half-glass, 2/3 and ¾ glass doors, with full-view glass ranking last in popularity. You can also go with the multilight look, which visually divides the glass into panes via mullions, or grids, that are placed within or on the glass.
Last, but certainly not least, you must decide on the color! If you’re deciding between painting and staining your door, keep in mind that many door systems can be finished at the manufacturer, prior to delivery. Pre-finishing provides a longer lasting finish but reduces your color options. If a specific color is critical to you, you can always choose to have your door finished on site, where the painter can complete the finish with your custom color.
If you’re considering transforming your home with the addition of a new front door, hiring a professional to properly measure and install your door ensures that it will maintain its desired look and remain secure years to come.
While many contractors simply install a door and walk away, we enjoy making sure all the small details, like interior trim, insulation, caulking and patching in the base trim and quarter round, are taken care of. We’ll also help you anticipate project costs through transparent, upfront pricing that takes into account any modifications to your exterior trim, siding and brick or stone work that may be created by the door and decorative options you select.
Contact us today to learn more about the process and or schedule a time to meet with us at our showroom!