By Christine Cooney, Direct from the Designers™ Staff Writer
Your front door is not only the main entry to your home, but key in providing visitors with a glimpse into your style and personal taste. It should show your home's personality, whether formal and elegant, simple and practical or whimsical and colorful. Choosing the right size, material, style, finishes and accents can make a big difference in creating a warm, welcoming entrance.
A front door needs to be durable enough to withstand the elements and daily usage, as well as complement your home’s architectural style and design. So how do you choose the right front entry door for your new home?
Your first consideration should be functionality and aesthetics. They are the two most important elements in selecting the material for your new door. Wood, fiberglass and steel are the three most popular exterior door materials. Each material offers certain benefits depending on the climate where you are building. Consideration should be made for energy-efficiency, durability, maintenance and protection when deciding what material is right for your home.
While wood doors are luxurious and beautiful, they require a fair amount of upkeep. Wood is sensitive to moisture, which can cause the door to warp, crack and change shape. Direct exposure to sunlight can also wear a wood door down. If your door is protected from these elements by a covered porch or entryway, it's bound to last much longer.
Fiberglass doors are affordable, durable and almost maintenance free. These doors can last a very long time, and many companies offer warranties that are valid for as long as the buyer lives in the house.
Fiberglass composite doors are a great option for homes built in harsh and humid climates. The material lasts longer than wood or steel, and because of its foam core insulation it provides much greater energy savings than wooden doors.
Here are some helpful tips in choosing your next front door:
* Choosing a door with complementary architectural details will make your house look more cohesive and add to the overall curb appeal.
* Decide whether you want the fun and flexibility of a painted door or the timeless beauty and rich wood look of a stained door.
* Choose the right material for your home and especially your climate. If energy-efficiency is a priority look for fiberglass doors that are ENERGY STAR® rated. Therma-Tru’s® Classic-Craft entry door line are all ENERGY STAR® rated.
* You don’t need to pay extra money or wait extra time to have a custom door designed, with the amount of sizes, styles and options available from manufacturers of pre-made entry doors.
* The size of the entrance will determine whether you need a single or double door. It is easy to customize a large opening by enclosing an 8’ single door with extra wide framing and accents like transoms and sidelites. Of course, double doors offer an elegant design and allow for more natural light with double the glass options.
* Shop around! With so many lines of entry doors available from major manufacturers like Therma-Tru® you want to be sure you are getting the highest quality door for your budget. Don't forget to pick out your patio and secondary doors, you'll want them to match your architectural theme as well.