Best Exterior Doors for Your Home
A beautiful, quality front door boosts your home's appearance and curb appeal while keeping your family safe and secure. This guide breaks down the difference between fiberglass versus wood doors, outlines steel and iron options, and reviews standard door sizes, so you can choose which types of doors are best for your home. Once you've discovered the best types of exterior doors for your home, install them yourself or take advantage of the professional exterior door installation services available at The Home Depot.
When selecting a door, you'll need to know the "handedness" of the door. An easy way to do this is to simply open the door. Stand in the doorframe with your back along the hinges. If the hand by the doorknob is your right, it's a right-handed door. If it's by your left, you have a left-handed door.
Pre-hung doors include both the door and the frame that supports the door, while slab doors include just the door alone.
Measuring for a pre-hung exterior door can be tricky. Follow this video for specific steps.
Tip: If your slab door is more than 25 years old, use a pre-hung door to ensure a sealed frame.
Pre-hung doors ensure a smooth, easy installation with a precise fit.
- A pre-hung door comes already attached to hinges and door framing.
- Door frame includes thresholds and weather-stripping.
- Full unit includes a prepped door, hinged and assembled to your specifications.
- Existing door and framing must be removed before a pre-hung unit is installed.
- Hardware (door knobs, handles and door locks) is sold separately.
Slab doors are the ideal choice if only the door needs to be replaced.
- A slab door is only the door with no framing and is not pre-hung.
- Replaces the old door on its hinges.
- Hardware (door knobs, handles and door locks) is sold separately.
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.
Wood doors are a beautiful option for traditional homes with entryways sheltered from the elements.
- Heavier doors.
- Available in a range of woods, including premium hardwood and pine.
- Secure and dent-resistant.
- Available with or without glass insets.
- Usually made using frame and panel construction.
- Require regular maintenance, including repainting to preserve the look.
- A wood door can't be used with a storm door or it will void the warranty.
- Requires an adequate overhang to protect the door.
Fiberglass doors are a versatile option best suited for high-traffic entrances.
- Wood grain texture molded into the door.
- Durable and weather-resistant.
- Energy efficient; foam insulation and weather-stripping help block heat and cold.
- Available in different wood grains as well as with a smooth surface.
- Much more dent resistant than steel.
- Can be stained or painted to match your home’s exterior.
Steel doors are ideal for residences with heightened security concerns or severe weather.
- Energy-efficient foam core insulation with coating that mimics look of real wood.
- Stronger than wood and fiberglass doors.
- Fully weather-stripped, reducing chances of shrinking, swelling and warping.
- Most cost-effective.
- Secure, durable, affordable, low-maintenance and weather-resistant.
- Can be dented easily, so not a good choice for doors you use often.
Iron doors are a striking combination of beauty and durability.
- Built to last, secure and durable.
- Can be ornate or minimal in design.
- Will not rot, warp or splinter.
- More durable and secure than wood doors.
- Many are designed to let in more light than average doors while still providing high security.
When measuring your door, first familiarize yourself with some basic door terminology. Most entry doors are the same industry-wide standard size, while different sizes can be special ordered. See this illustration and table for reference.
- Rough opening: The required dimensions to fit a pre-hung door (including frame and slab).
- Jamb size: Should be the depth of the frame, not the width, covering the sheeting or siding and wall stud.
- Net frame dimension: The full width of the frame.
- Masonry opening: The space between the bricks on the front of your home as they surround the door (if applicable).
Standard entry door measurements:
- Height: 80 inches (6 feet 8 inches)
- Thickness: 1 3/4 inches
- Width: 36 inches standard (30 and 32inches also available)
If your door opening is an unusual size, simply take your measurements to a Home Depot store near you and an associate will help you choose the right door for your home.
Door measurements available by special order:
- 7 and 8-foot tall doors
- Double entry doors
- Custom-made doors (made to your specifications; extra charge applies). See the bottom of this guide for more information.
- 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.
Doors are available unfinished, primed, painted, stained or varnished.
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.
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.
Tip: For a coordinated look, choose the same finish for your doorknobs, hinges, threshold, handle set, mailbox and house numbers.
Storm doors, patio doors, security doors and screen doors are all designed to meet your specific needs. Each of these types of exterior doors comes in a variety of finishes to match your home.
Some The Home Depot locations have folding patio doors on display. These stack on the left, right or on both sides and operate like an accordion.
- 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 as full-view models with a large pane of glass or with screens to provide ventilation in warm weather.
Screen doors offer screens for ventilation and weather-stripping to keep out wind, rain and dust.
They are available as gliding or hinged doors.
On some models, auxiliary locks allow you to keep your patio door in a partially open position.
- 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.
- They also have corrosion-resistant, galvanized metal screens.
- The Home Depot carries security doors with varying degrees of strength and resistance to forced entry.
- Patio doors are typically two side-by-side doors that open out onto your patio or porch.
- They are available as French doors or center-hinged doors that swing open to one side from center hinges or sliding or gliding doors.
- Dutch doors are horizontally divided doors that allow the top half to open while the bottom half remains closed.
- The split style allows in more light and fresh air than a standard door.
- They're safer when you are interacting with delivery personnel since pets and small children won't be able to get past the closed bottom door.
- They add character to the exterior.
If your door isn't a standard size, you'll have to custom order it. The Home Depot makes this process easy. Click through to any of the videos listed below for more details on each step of the process.
Whether you're moving into a new home or replacing old doors, The Home Depot offers door sizes and styles to suit any exterior along with professional measurement and door installation options.