on April 19 2013
Your front door
makes a strong statement about your home. In fact, it's one of the first features a visitor sees. A beautiful, top-quality door improves your home's appearance, makes visitors feel welcome and boosts your home's curb appeal. Besides making a good impression, your entry door must also work hard. It must be durable enough to function smoothly year after year, tough enough to withstand the elements and strong enough to keep your home safe and secure. When you buy an entry door, think about the purpose your door will serve. Do you want to add a new decorative element or architectural interest to your home's exterior? Do you want to block heat and cold? Or do you need additional security for your home? Then consider these factors:
Exterior Door Styles and Materials
Add instant curb appeal to your home with an exterior door from The Home Depot. Our team of store professionals will work with you to select an exterior door that accentuates your home's style, whether that style is Ranch, Colonial, Victorian, Split Level, Tudor or Cottage and Craftsman. Exterior Doors create a distinct impression and add value to your property and neighborhood. When selecting an exterior door look for one that will complement your home's architectural style, paying attention to siding and windows.
Generally heavier and more traditional in style, wood doors add an inviting presence to your home. Available in a variety of colors and styles, with or without glass, wood doors are usually made using frame and panel construction to counteract the effects of climatic or seasonal changes. The substantial weight of a wooden door adds a sense of security and sturdiness to your home.
Wood doors are most at home with traditional American styles, including Colonial, Cottage and Craftman, Ranch, Split Level and Victorian.
- Naturally warm and elegant
- Classic choice for historic or traditional homes
- Best used in entryways that are sheltered from the elements
- Available in premium-grade hardwoods and pine, with a wide choice of stains
- Durable finishes help maintain and preserve beauty
- Must be finished or painted on all six sides: front, back, top, bottom and sides
Fiberglass doors share many of the benefits that wood and steel doors offer with a special sense of durability. Energy efficient and practical for high-traffic entrances, fiberglass doors have wood grain texture molded into the door so that they give the appearance of a real wood door when painted or stained. Fiberglass undergoes little change because of weather.
Available in many styles and sizes, fiberglass doors are perfect for homeowners concerned with longevity, practicality and home security.
- Durable and easy to maintain - resists dents, cracks, rot, rust and warping
- Energy efficient: all fiberglass doors come with foam insulation and weather-stripping to help block heat and cold
- Available in a variety of finishes, including faux wood
- Can be stained or painted to match your home's exterior
More popular than wood doors, steel doors feature energy-efficient foam core insulation. These doors are fully weather-stripped, reducing chances of shrinking, swelling and warping. Because of their tough construction, steel doors will withstand years of extreme weather conditions with minimum maintenance. The doors can be purchased with predrilled doorknob and lockset holes, and most steel doors are packaged preprimed and ready to paint. Steel doors offer extremely durable and affordable solutions for your exterior door needs.
Available in many styles and sizes, steel doors are a perfect complement for most of today's home styles, including Split Level and Urban Contemporary.
- Outstanding strength and weather resistance
- Most cost effective materials for doors
- Energy efficient: all steel doors come with foam insulation and weather-stripping to help block heat and cold and stand up to harsh weather
- Stronger than wood and fiberglass doors
- An excellent choice when security is a concern
- Resists fire, warping and cracking
- Can be finished with a high-quality exterior paint
- Available with coatings that mimic the look of real wood
Exterior Door Insulation, Security, Light & Durability
Insulation & Energy Efficiency
- Exterior doors must withstand all types of weather. They must also insulate your home from heat, cold and noise, and boost energy efficiency.
- Fiberglass and steel doors generally insulate better than wood.
- Some doors have foam insulation within the door itself, which is particularly important for keeping a house warm in cold climates.
- Weather-stripping around a door helps prevent drafts.
To cut down on heat loss, consider features such as double-paned glass.
- Exterior doors are heavier than interior doors that close off rooms or closets, and they have three hinges for extra strength, compared to two hinges for interior doors.
- Steel doors offer the greatest security against forced entry.
- Always use a deadbolt lock on entry doors.
- To maximize security, add door chains or install an all-metal security door over your entry door.
- Decorative glass panels placed within a door enhance its beauty, let in natural light and allow for a view.
- Attractive sidelights or transoms (windows set over the door itself) 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.
- Fiberglass doors are virtually maintenance-free; they'll never rust and offer the longest life.
- Tough steel doors resist warping, rotting and cracking for years of life with little maintenance.
- High-quality finishes are available to help preserve the durability and beauty of wood doors.
Exterior Door Types
When it comes to entry doors, you have two choices: slab and prehung.
- Good choice if only the door needs to be replaced
- Framing not included
- Old door is taken off its hinges
- New door's lock and hinges are aligned properly by the installer
- Hardware (doorknobs, handlesets and locksets) sold separately
- Good choice if the door and framing must be replaced
- Door comes already attached to hinges and to door framing, which includes thresholds and weather-stripping
- Existing door and framing are removed, and the prehung unit is installed
- Hardware (doorknobs, handlesets and locksets) sold separately
Exterior Door Options and Accessories
Create a front entrance that's uniquely yours with a variety of options and accessories. The choices are endless. You'll find the right accessories to create just about any look.
Doors are available unfinished, primed, painted, stained or varnished. The Home Depot does not apply paint, stain or varnish to doors. To maintain your door's warranty, you should 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.
Glass Panels, Sidelights and Transoms
- Simple glass panels or decorative glass insets within a door add elegant style to your front entrance. If you have old sidelights and transoms (windows set above the door), replace them with sparkling new ones.
- Transoms come in different shapes, such as arches or boxes.
- Choose from a variety of glass shapes, designs, colors, textures and bevels.
- Glass comes in individual panes and in decorative insets made from divided glass sections connected with metal strips. If you choose this segmented glass, the joining strips (called "caming") come in various finishes, including brass, zinc or antique black.
- Remember, installing a transom or sidelights may require considerable modifications to your door frame.
Doorknobs, Handlesets and Locksets
Doorknobs and handlesets come in a wide variety of styles - from simple to luxurious - to suit any architectural style and décor. You also have a choice of finishes, including brass, bronze and nickel. For a coordinated look, choose the same finish for your doorknob, 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 one inch beyond the edge of the door.
Dress up your home's entryway with doorknockers, doorbells and house numbers. For a stylish, unified look, match the finish on these accessories to the one on your doorknob. Available finishes include brass, bronze and nickel.
Exterior Door Sizes
Stock entry doors come in several standard sizes:
- Height: 80 inches (6 feet, 8 inches)
- Thickness: 1 ¾ inches
- Width: 36 inches standard; 30 and 32 inch widths also in stock
Available by special order:
- 7 and 8 foot doors
- Double entry doors
- Custom-made doors (fabricated 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.
Additional Exterior Doors
Storm doors fit over your exterior entry doors. They beautify your home, and their glass panels help prolong the life of your door's outer surface by protecting it from rain, snow and other harsh weather. Storm doors also help insulate your home, and they provide an extra measure of security, especially if you opt for a deadbolt lock. Today's storm doors are not only practical, but attractive, too. They come in many models and colors to complement any home's style. You can buy decorative storm doors or full-view models with a large pane of glass. Full-view types won't obscure an attractive front door, and they allow for an unobstructed view. Some storm doors also have screens to provide ventilation in warm weather.
Patio doors create an easy flow of traffic from your house to an outside deck or patio. They come as gliding doors or hinged, swinging doors. The Home Depot stocks patio doors in different heights and widths, so you'll have a good selection of sizes to choose from. Patio doors have screens for ventilation and weather-stripping to keep out wind, rain and dust. Hardware comes in a variety of finishes - including brass, chrome, bronze, nickel and white - to match your décor. You can also select from a variety of options, such as tinted glass or special glass that blocks UV rays and improves insulation, and exterior key locks and auxiliary locks, which allow you to lock your patio door in a partially opened position.
Increase your safety and peace of mind with security doors. They resist forced entry with their welded steel construction and such tamper-resistant features 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.
Exterior Door 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.
- 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 and 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
Shop all Exterior Doors
- 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?