Your front door does more than simply letting people in and out of your home. It is a statement about your sense of style, giving visitors a contemporary, traditional, rustic, or formal vibe before they even step into your house. In order to find a new front door that will complement your home's aesthetic, you should start by learning about the many available front door styles. Once you know what type of door best suits your home's style and your personal taste, you can choose an entryway door for your home that will instantly up your home's curb appeal.
1. Traditional Entry Doors
When most people envision a front door, they imagine a traditional door, which are most typically characterized by the two to 12 raised panels. Traditional doors may be made of any common door material, including wood, metal, and fiberglass, but many also have glass panes inset in the door. Others have one or two windows on the sides of the door frame — known as sidelights — or they may have a window above the doorway, known as a transom window. Traditional doors are easy to find in any home improvement store and may come prehung, meaning they are already secured to the frame by hinges, which can make installation much simpler.
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Traditional doors can complement just about any home style, and while the word "traditional" can sometimes ward off people who mistakenly believe it is synonymous with "generic," these doors would be better described as versatile since they can have such a wide variety of appearances. They may be painted any color, they can have a high number of panel and window patterns, and they may be customized in many ways.
In fact, if you want something that's anything but generic, you may enjoy the ornate detailing on Victorian doors, which are a subset of traditional doors. They have intricate detailing, such as custom carvings or colorful stained glass inserts. Aside from Victorian homes, these doors are also well suited to colonial designs.
2. Craftsman-Style Front Doors
With a timeless, attractive, and understated look, craftsman doors should look like finely crafted wooden doors with straight lines and between one and three large windows on the upper third of the door. While they always appear to be made from solid wood, they may also be made from fiberglass. This handmade appearance complements many home styles, especially cottages, bungalows, cabins, farmhouses, and, of course, craftsman-style homes.
Because the windows are located on the top third of the window, these wood doors let in a lot of natural light without sacrificing too much privacy, but for homeowners who don't feel comfortable exposing any part of their private life or possessions to the outside world, frosted or stained glass options are also available. It's worth noting that while a glass front door may sometimes present a security risk since burglars can simply break through the glass to unlock the door, the distance between the glass and the lock on these doors negates this risk.
3. Modern Front Door Designs
Whereas some traditional and craftsman doors can feature a lot of intricate detailing, modern front doors are designed to be clean and minimalist and are often paired with door handles made of straight, sleek lines. They come in a variety of bright and bold colors, are typically larger in size than other front door styles, and are made from materials such as bamboo, wood, steel, and fiberglass. Another unique detail is that they frequently sit flush with the home's exterior. Modern doors are well suited to contemporary and midcentury modern homes, but their minimalist design can add a modern touch to many other home styles as well, even cabin, cottage, or farmhouse homes.
One concern about modern doors is that large windows are often set right in the middle of the door. While this is great for allowing in natural light, these windows can limit the privacy of the residents unless frosted glass is used, and the windows can also present a security risk if they are within reach of the lock because criminals can break the windows and unlock the door to gain access. Purchasing a door with double-paned glass windows can increase the door's security and energy efficiency.
4. Farmhouse-Style Front Doors
With simple lines similar to those seen in a craftsman door, a farmhouse door has a casual, relaxed look that pairs well with a wide variety of home styles — not just the farmhouse style for which they are named. In fact, they look good with many homes that have a historic or rustic look, including cottage, bungalow, colonial, craftsman, Cape Cod, and Victorian designs. While they can be painted any color, farmhouse doors are most commonly seen with natural wood finish or in shades of black, white, gray, or blue. They are most commonly made from wood or fiberglass, though they can also be made from metal as well.
Most farmhouse doors feature windows, whether it's a handful near the top or multiple large window panels. Unlike other styles of front doors, the windows in farmhouse doors are typically not frosted or colored and are simply clear glass. It's important to keep in mind that these windows may reduce the privacy and security of the home, particularly if the door has larger windows near the center of the door. That being said, many people are willing to trade their privacy and security for increased natural light and the unique beauty of a farmhouse door with massive windows.
Price: Simple metal farmhouse doors can be found for around $250, but wooden models may cost as much as $4,500.
5. Arched Front Doors
In a world of rectangles, arched doors make a dramatic impact on a home's appearance. While they are most commonly used in Tudor homes and certainly don't work with all styles, an arched front door can look excellent on any home that has either Old World charm or a touch of romantic whimsy, from Spanish colonial mansions to small forest cottages. Arched doors are particularly well suited to homes with archways along the front porch. However, large arched doors, particularly double doors, can look overly formal and imposing on some homes. Small houses as well as those with a more casual or rustic style typically look better with a single arched door in a standard size.
Before considering an arched exterior door, keep in mind that most arched front doors are custom ordered, and even pre-hung doors ordered through major manufacturers still cost more to install due to the more complicated installation process.
Price: Because of their novelty and rarity, arched front doors cost more than most other door styles. Expect to pay $2,000 minimum and up to $7,500 for a pre-hung door but remember that most arched doors are custom made and cost significantly more than this.
6. Rustic Front Doors
If you like the wood appearance of a craftsman door but want something with more privacy, a more old-fashioned aesthetic, and a sturdier appearance, you may prefer the bold look of a rustic front door. These doors often feature heavy-duty iron hardware, may be arched or rectangular, are frequently distressed to create an aged appearance, and typically have no windows or one small window that can be used to view visitors to your home.
While rustic doors don't work well on all homes, they do add an air of old-fashioned elegance to houses with stone, wood, or brick exteriors as well as homes with Spanish or Mediterranean styling.
Price: You can find rustic doors starting in the $1,200 range, but specialized designs, such as double doors with arches, may need to be custom ordered and can cost dramatically more.
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