The Ultimate and Complete Guide to Front Door Designs
From Palm Beach Front Door Designs to your hometown
The Front Door – A Centerpiece of Arrival
The front door is the visual centerpiece of your home. It is a key element of the sense of arrival and defines your personal style. Changing your home’s exterior doors including your front door can significantly change the style.
There are many considerations to consider when selecting a new front door. Here I’ll give you a good overview of the “types of front doors” and what elements to consider when choosing.
Front Door Materials
What materials are front doors and entry doors made of?
If you live within a hundred miles of a coastline where hurricane season and tropical storms can do significant damage to your home impact doors should be a primary choice.
There are Glass Impact Doors, Fiberglass Impact Doors, Wood Impact Doors and Front Doors made from Aluminum and Steel or even Wood & Glass materials that can provide strong protection from hurricanes and give your home a great Curb Appeal.
Whether you live in Miami, Palm Beach, Hilton Head, or Long Island or LA it’s likely standard doors won’t achieve the design desired.
That’s when you want to know what Hardwoods and Exotic Woods are available for your wooden front door design.
Here is a Comprehensive list of Woods for your Wooden Front Doors:
Hardwoods and choices like Solid Honduras Mahogany Front Doors, Knotty Cypress Front Doors, Honduras Rosewood Doors would be a popular consideration. Brazilian Kingwood also referred to as Brazilian Rosewood is another rare and premium choice. And Finally, there are East Indian Rosewood, Amazon Rosewood, Black Cherry, European Cherry, Black Walnut, European Walnut and Teak Doors.
A bit less expensive yet still premium wood doors may be made from Brown Alder which is a member of the Birch Family and can be quite knotty or selected with little to no knots. Pecan which is one of the strongest woods available may be a good choice.
Slightly less expensive are Solid Oak Front Doors, and Doors made from woods like Narra, also referred to as East Indian Mahogany, Dark Red Meranti, Beech and Ash. Many of these woods are more readily available and make for excellent front doors.
In some cases, a Custom Front Door may include a veneer overlay on a security or fire door to give it a natural wood look. Also, you may choose to have wooden front doors made from Reclaimed Exotic Woods which takes additional time to procure.
Custom Glass Doors – Front Doors with glass are popular in today’s modern homes. Glass Doors come in a variety of design styles and materials. You can also have ironwork or other stylized metalwork inlaid or overlaid onto your custom glass doors creating a unique entry unit.
Custom Steel Doors can be fashioned to matches almost any architectural style. Steel Doors are a natural choice when you’re looking for hurricane impact resistance and great durability.
Fiberglass Entry Doors are a go to material when you’re looking for doors for sale at an economical price point. Whether your improving your home’s curb appeal with new double entry doors or a single door with sidelights a fiberglass entry door can provide years of impact protection and durability. Fiberglass Impact Doors are the most commonly chosen entry doors for garage entry doors and other exterior doors around the home.
Many Entry Doors and Double Entry Doors are made from combinations of materials such as wood and glass or include wrought iron, cast iron, Copper, Bronze or Brass.
Glass that is used in front doors with glass design may be Clear, Chemical Etched Pattern, Frosted Glass, Granite, Grey Glass, New Diamond, Rainstorm, Sandblast, Stained Glass, Tea Glass, Water Cubic, or Water Ripple.
What makes it an Impact Resistant Front Door?
What makes a front door impact resistant you ask. Companies like Thermatru, Jeld-Wen ImpactGard, CGI and PGT manufacture impact-rated doors. These doors must pass a large missile impact test to prove they’re impact-rated and meet local building codes.
Impact Resistant Glass Front Doors or Sections use laminated glass technology which includes a layer of glass, a vinyl interlayer and another layer of glass. Some window designs include this three-layer laminated glass plus glazing layers, the additional spacing in between the layers of glass with inert gasses and another final interior layer of annealed or tempered glass. Learn more about Low-E Glass.
Impact-Resistant Doors and Windows also provide Forced-entry resistance to improve security. These Hurricane Windows and Hurricane Doors also provide UV protection and noise reduction for comfort and quiet like never before.
Front Door Dimensions
Single / Arch / Double
Sizes range from 24 inches to 70 inches wide and 78 inches 98 inches tall with some Custom Doors being even wider or taller. Standard entry door measurements are 80” (6 feet, 8 inches) with a standard thickness of 1 3/4 inches. The standard width door is 36 inches with 30 and 32 inches being commonly available as well.
Front Door Design – Guide to Panel Door Design
Panel Doors are most commonly found with 4-, 6- or 8-panel designs and are also referred to as stile-and-rail doors. Smooth framed sections of the door surround embossed panels which may also be a glass window insert or inserts referred to as a lite.
Here is a Front Door Design Diagram
Photo by Doornmore Doors
Dutch Doors include an upper section which can be opened independently allowing air and light in while the lower section can remain closed and was designed to keep farm animals out.
French also known as casement doors, are popular openings near outdoor living areas and feature a frame around multiple window panels.
Panel Doors come in Multi-Panel, Vertical Panels, Single Panel and Custom Panel Doors.
Exterior Door – Front Door Swing Preference
Inward vs. Outward swing Front Door is a common question. While inswing exterior doors are the common occurrence in residential home building there are some good reasons to consider outswing front doors.
Which is more airtight and durable?
Inswing front doors rely on a sweep gasket to seal and reduce drafts. This gasket often wears out or gets damaged more easily when it runs back and forth against sand and debris. Also in a wind and rain storm, the impending forces of water can much more easily enter the home with a sweep gasket.
By contrast, Outswing front doors are often more airtight because the threshold has a positive stop like the jamb. This means water does not enter so easily and less water under the door improves the durability of the door itself.
Isn’t an inswing door more secure?
The biggest concern of most people is the thought that out facing hinge pins are a vulnerability to break in. In the old days, this may have been a legitimate concern but today’s modern hinge leaves have integrated tabs and studs as some having custom threaded pins that require a special tool to remove making pin removal unlikely.
Inswing doors are more vulnerable to being defeated by kick in even when deep-screwed strike plates are used with deadbolts, whereas outswing doors are nearly impossible to kick in.
Right Door Handle Placement vs Left Door Handle Placement
This is primarily a matter of functional appropriateness and possibly your preference. Commonly a single door swings toward the nearest wall to create a natural flow. But when a door is centered between two walls or a wall is not nearby then preference becomes the consideration.
How much does it cost to replace a front door? Front Door Pricing Guide
Economy can be found with Home Depot Doors or Lowes Doors and similar big box retailers.
- These Home Depot exterior doors or Lowes exterior doors are provided by brands such as Therma-Tru Benchmark Doors or Pella Craftsman series and start at prices ranging from $320 to about $1,800 for a single door. Or for Entry Units that include Front Door with Sidelights (Sidelites) expect to pay around $1,500 to $3,000. Entry Door Units with Transom Windows will add $500 – $1,500 to the total expense.
Premium Custom Wood Front Doors and Custom Wood and Decorative Glass are available thru Jeld-Wen, Signature Door, Inc., WinDoor, and Pella with styles like Traditional, Craftsman, Classic, and Old World European.
- Premium Entry Doors and Entry Units will cost approximately $3,000 – $15,000 depending on the selection of wood, door hardware, and complexity of the design.
Fully Custom Wood and Exotic Wood Front Doors are available from Custom Millwork shops like Palm City Millwork and others. These Millwork shops can help you bring any combination of woods, glass, metals together to make your vision a reality.
- Fully Custom Entry Units using exotic woods and materials can cost $30,000 to over $75,000.