Upgrade Your Front Door and Increase Your Home’s Exterior Curb Appeal
What first impression is your home making? As visitors approach, do they see rustic practicality? Upscale elegance? Modern minimalism? Historical charm? A home in need of a renovation and facelift?
Let’s do an experiment. Go outside and look at your house as if you are seeing it for the first time. What do you see? What do you feel about its exterior elements? What do you want to change? First impressions matter, especially if you want to impress potential homebuyers.
Siding, roofing, landscaping, windows, and doors come together to create the aesthetic appeal of your home. If tackling all these variables sounds daunting or if your home improvement budget doesn’t cover such extensive renovations, it’s okay. You can still make a lasting impact and create an amazing curb appeal by changing just a single item: your front door.
How Can a Front Door Reinvent the Curb Appeal of Your Home
A front door is a natural focal point for your home. If just a fresh coat of paint is not enough, think about replacing the door altogether. Make that focal point work for you by trading out your old, boring door for a statement piece.
There are so many materials and styles of doors to choose from and options for every door budget. Hire a professional and you can just focus on choosing the perfect door, not the nitty-gritty details of measuring, leveling, and installing.
Ready for some inspiration?
Choose Your Front Door Material
The material you choose impacts the cost, energy efficiency, durability, and security of the door. Common exterior door material options include:
Aluminum is lightweight and relatively resilient. Aluminum doors will last a long time without the need for much maintenance. They are also inexpensive and can be painted in your home’s color scheme.
However, despite its strength, aluminum may weaken under high temperatures, and it is a poor insulator. An aluminum front door may increase heating and cooling costs in areas prone to extreme temperatures.
Bamboo is more than just a well-known flooring and textile alternative. It is also making an appearance indoors. Composite doors constructed of a blend of bamboo and jute are water and termite resistant.
Bamboo’s biodegradable nature makes it a preferred choice for homeowners seeking an environmentally friendly material.
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Choose fiberglass doors for their durability and versatility. If you are looking for a lightweight, energy-efficient, sturdy door that will last a long time with minimal maintenance, fiberglass should be on the shortlist.
Since fiberglass is such a popular choice, these doors are readily available in many finishes and styles. Fiberglass doors can even be finished to imitate a wood grain at a fraction of the cost of real wood.
It may sound surprising, but glass front doors are also an option. Visually, they provide a stunning and unexpected look.
The trade-off with glass is the decreased durability, increased security risk, and heightened maintenance concerns. The hefty weight and substantial price are also deterrents for many homeowners.
Steel is a trendy new door material that feels very modern due to its cold, industrial vibe. Doors made from steel are durable and need little maintenance.
Improve your home’s level of security along with its style when you opt for a robust steel door. Keep in mind that the lower the gauge, the thicker and sturdier the steel will be.
Vinyl or PVC doors are formed from a lightweight, sturdy, resilient material. If your focus is on finding the most cost-effective option for a front door replacement, vinyl may be the winner.
With a vinyl door, you no longer need to worry about termites or moisture damaging your door.
The most historic choice for exterior doors is, of course, wood. Although wood doors are still used to lend a rustic or traditional feel to a home, solid wood is increasingly being adapted to have a place in modern luxury homes.
Wood feels warm and inviting. Its substantial weight makes a bold statement of strength and protection.
Find the Best Type of Front Door
A front door can create a significant first impression for visitors, adding to the overall aesthetic of your property. With so many types of front doors available today, it can be challenging to determine which one is best for your home.
Craftsman doors are a slight variation on a traditional solid-hinged door. Their straight, traditional lines reflect this style’s no-nonsense Quaker roots.
Not quite sure what a Craftsman door looks like? The signature style feature is the set of 1-3 windows on the top one-third of the door. The remaining two-thirds of the door on the bottom is solid.
A Craftsman-style front door is, of course, often found in Craftsman homes. It feels classic and timeless.
Dutch doors are, historically, a rustic choice. Dutch doors were originally designed to allow air and sunshine into farmhouses while keeping all the livestock out.
This door style is divided horizontally so that the top half may swing open while the bottom half remains closed.
Dutch doors are still primarily made from wood as they have been for centuries.
The signature of a modern-style door is its clean, unobtrusive lines accentuated by large, minimalistic hardware. Geometric patterns can add interest and are a simple way to make the exterior of an older home appear more contemporary.
Bamboo, steel, and glass are all popular material choices for modern doors.
In a world where so many elements are straight, square, and rectangular, an arched door adds a feeling of unexpected whimsy and historic nostalgia. Wondering where you may have seen an arched front door before? They are most common in Tudor-style homes.
If you fancy an arched door, be aware that their unique shape means they are usually custom ordered and built to fit rather than mass-produced to standard spec size. This raises their cost.
Choose Your Front Door Style
Choosing the right front door for your home is an important decision. Here are some of the most important factors to consider:
Firstly, consider the architectural style of your home when choosing a front door. A traditional home would look great with a classic wood panel or Dutch design, while a modern or contemporary home may benefit from clean lines and minimalist features such as frosted glass or metal accents.
Additionally, think about the amount of natural light that enters through your entryway – if you have little natural light inside your home consider using glass inserts in your door design or sidelights which will allow additional light into your space.
Next, think about the material of the door. Steel and fiberglass are two of the most popular materials used for front doors. Steel doors are sturdy and secure but tend to require regular maintenance. Fiberglass doors are more durable and require less maintenance, so they are a great option if you’re looking for a low-maintenance option.
Consider the paint color and finish of the door. Different colors and finishes can create different looks and can even affect the insulation of your home. Dark colors tend to absorb more heat, while lighter colors reflect it back outside.
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, you’ll need to decide between a door with a window or one without. A door with a window allows natural light to enter your home, which can help lower your energy costs. However, if you’re concerned about security, a door without a window is usually the safer choice.
What Do I Do Next?
You have a good idea of what material and style you would like for your new front door. So, in order to upgrade your front door, the next step is to contact a professional company, ask some final product questions, and get an estimate on the cost of the door and installation.
Take some before and after photos because this is a transformation that you will want to remember and share.
Post Update: The article was updated on March 15th, 2022, originally published on April 17th, 2019. It has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.