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?
Try something: Go outside, stand on the curb and look at your house as if you are seeing it for the first time. What do you see? What do you feel? What do you want to change?
Siding, roofing, landscaping, windows and doors come together to create the curb appeal of your home. If tackling all those 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 by changing just a single item: your front door.
A front door is a natural focal point for your home. 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 budget. Hire a professional and you can focus on the fun of choosing the perfect door, not the nitty gritty details of measuring, leveling, and installing.
Ready for some inspiration?
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.
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 temperature extremes.
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.
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 short list.
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 indeed 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 with 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, 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, this material 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.
Congratulations – you have chosen the material for your front door. Now, what do you envision that door looking like? What style speaks to you?
If you are still figuring it out, here are some ideas to get you started:
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 set 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 style of door 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 accented 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 rectangle, 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 that they are usually custom ordered and built to fit rather than mass-produced to a standard spec size. This raises their cost.
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.