Entry Door Features That Add Functionality

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for Direct from the Designers™

Who doesn’t love when something offers more than you first expect? In some cases, you wouldn’t want to go back to the old way! While you may think that a door is just a door, they actually give you a lot to think about beyond style and efficiency—the two aspects most consumers are primarily concerned about. Doors can offer extra conveniences and even make the house more comfortable, so here are some things to look out for!

Therma-Tru Smooth-Star with Internal Blinds

Internal blinds offer simple operation with a single handle that both raises and lowers the blinds and tilts the slats using a gear pulley operating system. Built-in privacy bars block the view between the edge of the slats and the glass. The Smooth-Star® door shown here is also impact-rated, so it’s a great choice for storm zones.

Control for Light & Privacy

Some people insist on a door with glass to brighten the foyer or mudroom, but others have privacy concerns when it comes to doorlites. If you want the best of both worlds, consider internal blinds! This option allows you to completely open, close off, and adjust the view through the door, all from a single operator handle on a track. The blinds are sandwiched between two panes of tempered glass and there’s no cord or tilt wand—everything is neatly packaged into or flush against the door itself.

Beyond just easy operation, internal blinds are more attractive than their external counterparts in terms of safety and convenience. Without the typical pull cord and with the blinds safely packaged in the doorlite, you don’t have to worry about young children or pets getting tangled in anything. This arrangement is also much easier to keep clean because the slats are protected from dust—just wipe the glass down like a window and you’re done! If a doorlite with blinds answers your needs, investing in internal blinds will definitely pay off.

Therma-Tru Fiber-Classic Oak Collection with Vented Sidelites

This Fiber-Classic® Oak Collection entry with Saratoga™ decorative glass features vented sidelites to let in plenty of fresh air whenever you want it. Built-in removable screens are included to keep bugs out, but the mesh is so fine you might not notice them. Bet you never thought you’d find this kind of function in a decorative element!

Ventilation Capabilities

You don’t usually think of doors when you think of ventilation, but you probably do use them for that purpose sometimes. So, if you’ve ever opened a door to create a cross-breeze, you might be interested in vented sidelites instead. These look like regular sidelites from the outside, but they swing in like very narrow doors to allow air flow. Homeowners are drawn to this option for a number of reasons, but the main one is that it allows them to do away with screen doors—that means no more struggling through two doors to get inside or having to prop the main door open so it doesn’t move in the wind. You can use the main entry normally and leave it to the sidelites to supply the fresh air.

Vented sidelites are made to address everyday concerns, too. They have a multi-point locking mechanism for security and energy efficiency, so you don’t have to worry that they’ll create drafts around the entry when closed. You’ll find screens included to keep bugs and debris from coming inside. Perhaps best of all, your design options aren’t limited when you opt for this feature—you’re free to choose whichever glass suits your aesthetic or practical needs. Your entry can be as beautiful and functional as you want!

Therma-Tru Fiber-Classic Mahogany Collection with Privacy Glass

A door can let in plenty of light without leaving the interior exposed if you choose privacy glass. This Fiber-Classic® Mahogany Collection™ entry features Granite glass and can be made to impact-rated standards, which might be required by code depending on where you live. Laminated glass and a 24-gauge steel plate lining will help such a door stand up to the challenges of a hurricane!

Features for Safety & Comfort

No matter where you live, you likely have some unique challenges to contend with. And while many environmental challenges can be overcome by a standard entry door, some areas and conditions call for more. So, be sure to bring it up when you shop to ensure you find the best solution! The professionals will be able to point you in the right direction for your circumstances.

If you live in a wind-borne debris region (WBDR) or a high-velocity hurricane zone (HVHZ), you definitely need to look into impact-rated doors; you can learn more about them in our article, Protect Your Home with Impact-Rated and Weatherized Doors. You’ll find plenty of options available—including privacy and decorative glass, and even internal blinds—so don’t think you’ll be limited if you live in a storm zone. If you live in an area that experiences wildfires, solid panel fire-rated doors can provide some peace of mind; they’re rated to withstand flames for different amounts of time to help keep people and property safe. If you live in a busy area and loud sounds from outside are a major concern, look into noise-reducing doors that can make your interior more quiet and peaceful. There is a great wide world of door possibilities out there—use it to your advantage!

Whatever sort of door you need, the selection at Therma-Tru® Doors will help you outfit your home to perfection. Along with plenty of functional features, you’ll find style variety to complement every sort of architecture. Connect with a local dealer who can help you with the selection process!

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