How To Choose Exterior Doors

Keep your home beautiful with a new front door and add curb appeal

A beautiful, quality front door boosts your home’s appearance and curb appeal while keeping your family safe and secure. This guide will help you choose which door is best for you.

Pre-Hung vs. Slab Doors

Prehung doors include both the door and the frame that supports the door, while slab doors include just the door alone.

Tip: If your slab door is more than 25 years old, it’s best to go with a pre-hung door to ensure a sealed frame.  

Slab doors - Choose Exterior Doors

Slab Doors

• Good choice if only the door needs to be replaced
• Replaces the old door on its hinges
• Hardware (door knobs, handlesets and door locks) sold separately

Pre hung - Choose Exterior Doors

Pre-Hung Doors

• Door comes already attached to hinges and to door framing, which includes thresholds and weather-stripping
• Existing door and framing must be removed before pre-hung unit is installed
• Hardware (door knobs, handlesets and door locks) sold separately

Wood, Steel & Fiberglass Exterior Doors

Choose the material for your door based on energy efficiency, security concerns and the style of your home.

Tip: To maximize security, add door chains or install an all-metal security door over your entry door.  

Material Structure Ideal For:

Wood

  • Heavier doors; come with or without glass
  • Available in premium-grade hardwoods & pine
  • Usually made using frame & panel construction to counteract the effects of seasonal changes
  • Must be finished or painted on front and back and all four sides to preserve durability and appearance
  • Historic or traditional homes
  • Entryways sheltered from elements

Steel

  • Energy-efficient foam core insulation with coating that mimics look of real wood
  • Stronger than wood & fiberglass doors
  • Fully weather-stripped, reducing chances of shrinking, swelling & warping
  • Most cost effective
  • Areas with heightened security concerns
  • Severe weather

Fiberglass

  • Wood grain texture molded into the door
  • Durable and weather resistant
  • Energy efficient: foam insulation and weather-stripping help block heat and cold
  • Can be stained or painted to match your home’s exterior
  • High-traffic entrances

Exterior Door Measurements

Most entry doors are the same industry-wide standard size, while different sizes can be special ordered.

Standard entry door measurements: 

• Height: 80 inches (6 feet, 8 inches)
• Thickness: 1 ¾ inches
• Width: 36 inches standard; 30 and 32 inches also available

Available by special order:

• 7- and 8-foot-tall doors
• Double entry doors
• Custom-made doors (made to your specifications; extra charge applies)

Take your measurements to a Home Depot store near you, and an associate will help you choose the right door for your home.

Appearance

Customize your front door with different finishes, glass panels and hardware.

Glass - Choose Exterior Doors

Glass

• Decorative glass panels can be placed within a door to enhance its beauty, let in natural light, and allow for a view.
• Sidelights (windows on both sides of the door) or transoms (windows set over the door) create a custom look.
• Some models include low-emissivity (low-e) coatings to help filter harmful UV rays that can fade your upholstery or flooring.
• Options include tempered, impact-resistant glass; glass that limits UV rays; and glass that helps muffle sound.

Finishes

Tip: The Home Depot does not apply paint, stain or varnish to doors. Seal and finish all six sides of your door (top, bottom, front back and sides) immediately after installation. Waiting to seal your door may void your product warranty.

Doors are available unfinished, primed, painted, stained or varnished.

Door Knobs, Handlesets and Door Locks

Tip: For a coordinated look, choose the same finish for your door knobs, hinges, threshold, handleset, mailbox and house numbers.

All exterior doors should have a deadbolt lock to increase security. A good deadbolt lock extends at least 1 inch beyond the edge of the door.

Storm, Patio & Security Doors

Storm, patio and security doors are exterior doors designed to meet your specific needs. Each comes in a variety of finishes to match of your home.  

Storm security doors - Choose Exterior Doors

Storm doors

Storm doors fit over your exterior entry doors and provide a glass panel of protection to help prolong the life of your door's outer surface. They also help insulate your home and provide an extra measure of security. Storm doors are available with full-view models with a large pane of glass, or with screens to provide ventilation in warm weather.

Patio doors

Patio doors are available as gliding or hinged doors. They offer screens for ventilation and weather-stripping to keep out wind, rain and dust. On some models, auxiliary locks allow you to keep your patio door in a partially opened position.

Security doors

Security doors resist forced entry with welded steel construction and tamper-resistant features such as one-way, non-removable screws and welded steel butt hinges. The Home Depot carries security doors with varying degrees of strength and resistance to forced entry. Security doors also have corrosion-resistant, galvanized metal screens.