Exterior Door Buying Guide: Shopping Tips

Shopping Tips

Before you shop for a new exterior door, ask yourself these questions. The answers will help you choose the perfect door for your home.

Door Types

  • What purpose will my door serve? Add beauty and architectural interest to my home's exterior? Boost energy efficiency? Increase security?
  • Do I prefer a flush or paneled door?
  • What type of door finish do I like? Will the door be painted or stained?
  • Do I want a slab or prehung door?
  • Do I need a door that swings inward, into the home? Or one that swings outward, away from the home? Do I need a right-handed or left-handed door?

Materials & Accessories

  • What construction material do I prefer? How much rain or sunshine will fall on the door? Will the door warp?
  • Do I want glass in the door? How about sidelights or transoms? What type of caming do I prefer? Do I want double-layered glass to reduce heat loss?
  • What hinges and hardware are needed? What kind of finish do I want for the hardware?

Insulation, Security, Light & Durability

  • How important is energy efficiency to me? How well insulated is the door?
  • Does the door have weather-stripping around the perimeter?
  • Does the door meet my home's security needs?
  • What maintenance does the door require?

Other Important Questions

  • What size door do I need?
  • What is the size of the rough opening?
  • What's my budget for the door? How will I finance the purchase?
  • How long does the warranty last? Exactly what does it cover?

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