Have your exterior doors been exposed to the elements for too long and are looking a little worse for the wear? Or maybe you’re ready to do some renovations and replacing those old or outdated doors is the first thing on your list.
Whatever the case, there a few things to consider before you fall in love with and then buy with the first doors you see. Let’s start with one of the bigger questions.
Should Your Exterior Doors Match Your Windows?
Should they match? Well, they might match. But they certainly don’t have to.
So then it’s okay if they don’t? Absolutely.
What if I want them to completely match? Go for it. You might even consider replacing your windows too! Where design is concerned, personal preference is always going to come into play. And that’s a good thing!
So whether you’re going for a match or flying solo, one of the first things you’ll want to consider is what kind of exterior doors you want.
The Doors Used for Entering Your Home Can Vary Quite a Bit
There is the main front entry door, the back door and possibly even a side entry door. You might even have multiples of any or all of these.
As far as exterior doors go, they are usually one of the following:
- Flush door
- Paneled door
- Glass insert door
- French doors
- Patio door
Though French doors and patio doors are also considered exterior doors, they are rarely used as the front entry way door. They tend to be better suited to the back.
So what’s the difference between those doors?
A flush door is going to have a flat surface on each side and will most likely be covered with a wood veneer. If you’re seeking a minimalistic design with a straightforward door, a flush door has got you covered.
These doors have that classic look. They are built with panels that fit into grooves in the stiles and rails and those made from wood can be painted or stained.
You can also find doors that look paneled but are made of steel, fiberglass, or hardboard.
Glass Insert Doors
These are doors of any material that have windows built in.
Older wood doors often have glass inserts, though newer doors are also available with that same beveled edge glass that give it an older feel. There are also plenty of more modern and contemporary options.
So if you want your exterior doors to match your windows, getting a door with glass inserts that echo the style of your windows would make perfect sense.
French doors are usually hung in pairs. They have rectangular glass panes and open from the sides.
As stated earlier, these are far more frequently used as a back door that opens to a garden, patio or deck. They may even serve as a side door.
These sliding glass doors with one fixed pane of glass and one sliding one are great for letting in a lot of light and giving you a full view of the backyard. But from a design standpoint, they are purely utilitarian.
Which is a good thing to remember, because really all exterior doors are utilitarian. Their primary role is to keep the good stuff in and the bad stuff out.
So regardless of whether you want your doors to match your windows, once you know what kind of door you want, you’ll also need to consider the material.
Which Material Will Be Best for Your External Doors?
This will depend on a few things – such as what type of home you have and what the weather is like where you live.
In general, exterior doors are going to be 1 3/4 inches thick and constructed of either:
There might be some combination of these three materials. Particularly if you have a door custom designed.
Wood is probably the most versatile, in terms of matching styles. Wood doors offer a certain warmth and richness. But these features come at a price.
Wood is expensive and high-maintenance. Especially in climates where there’s a lot of moisture that could cause the door to warp and/or rot.
A solid-core wood-veneer door is much less expensive and doesn’t require the maintenance. But it won’t give you the same warmth as actual wood.
Wood is a great choice if you have a craftsman style home, as the entry doors are typically made from solid wood with a decorative glass or divided-light window on top.
Weather isn’t an issue with fiberglass. It’s flexible, durable and can be installed in any climate. It will not rot or warp.
Manufacturers of fiberglass doors are offering more design options so if you absolutely have to have something to match your windows, you may have luck with fiberglass.
If you have a Victorian home and would like to adhere to its design elements, a paneled fiberglass door with decorative embellishments will fall right in line with that style. Paint it a bold color to make it pop!
When you want complete practicality and something that’s going to REALLY last, steel is the best option.
You might envision a heavy gray door clicking shut with a cold thud. Steel doors aren’t like that. Like fiberglass, they are available in different designs.
Though that’s not to say that you couldn’t get one like that. Entryway doors for contemporary homes are often sleek and simple with metallic finishes, so if you’re wanting a more modern flair, this could be the way to go.
So, as we said, there are no rules that dictate that your exterior doors should match your windows. But they certainly can.
Whatever the case, just think of your doors as the introduction to your house.
While their main purpose is to provide security and energy efficiency to your home, how they look is certainly going to make a statement. So what do you want that statement to be?
It’s up to you!
And if you’ve already chosen the perfect exterior doors for your home, tell us about it! Feel free to share with us in the comments section below.