Front doors: design ideas, inspiration & pictures

  1. Need help with your home project?
    Need help with your home project?
  2. Need help with your home project?
    Need help with your home project?

Front Doors

People are built for first impressions. In our relationships, we try our best to make a good first impression because we know that a bad one is difficult to reverse, and the same thing can be said of our homes. The front door to your house says a lot about who you are as a homeowner, whether old and rustic, or chic and modern. How we choose to make that first impressions of our own space says something about who we are.

Front Door design and types 

Single doors: Quite simply put, are exactly as they sound. Single doors are the most common type of front door. These are usually hinged on one side by 2 or more hinges, and can be made of most materials used by door manufacturers. 

Single door with matching sidelight: These door types refer to a single door with thin, vertical windows, which are to one or both sides of the door. These are often a favorite in contemporary architecture.  

Double doors: Double Doors are quite common in larger homes, and are comprised of 2 large doors which open from the center. They are often arched at the top. Doors such as French doors fall into this category, and are most commonly used as interior doors.

Single door matching sidelites and half round transom: A transom is essentially a semicircular or elliptically shaped window which stands just above the mull cover (above the door). Doors of this type have both a half circle window at the top and sidelights on either side, with all 3 windows having a matching design feature. 

Single door TDL sidelites and elliptical transom: TDL (True divided light) is a type of glass divider, which has been used in windows for some time. Sidelights of this kind are divided into smaller panes. A door in this style will have a very short semicircular window on the top with sub-divided sidelights. 

Single door TDL sidelites and half round transom: Has a half circle transom, with sidelights which join it at the mull cover. It is essentially the same as the single door matching sidelights and half round transom, without a coherent design or pattern showing throughout the windows.

Different Materials to consider 

Steel entry doors: Strong, very sturdy, and resistant to certain weather, steel doors are a great insulators, making them a fantastic choice for energy efficiency. Due to their strength they also make great security doors, and are perfect for that added touch of safety at home. 

Fiberglass doors: Fiberglass is very cheap, can be used in any environment and because it’s easy to colour and shape, can be made to look just about any way you choose. They are resistant to expanding and contracting more than any other material, making them perfect candidates for people living in climates which change quickly. 

Wood exterior doors: Home owners love wood doors because they are beautiful and have an ability to be customised like no other material does. Wooden doors can be easily insulated, and help make effective energy savings, as well as reduce noise.

Can I replace or install my own front door?

Door installation is a moderately complex business, and can take up to a week to do properly. We recommend that you seek professional assistance when doing this, to speed up the process and also ensure everything runs smoothly, however, should you choose to DIY, here’s the list of things you need to know.

Make an installation overview:.Research the type of door you want to install, and the tools and materials needed for installing one of it’s type. 

Measure your old door: If you’re replacing an old door, you’ll want one that's the same size as the one you are going to replace, unless you choose to alter the entire entrance to your home. Restyling the entrance requires you to make measurements for a new frame as well as the door you choose, so take this into account. Also, don’t forget to take into account the way which the door is going to open, and factor in the correct amount of space for it to do so. 

Tear out your old door: Don’t remove the old door until you have the new one on hand, this is of course, purely for security reasons. Have your screwdrivers and some household oil on hand to oil up old hinges unless you are replacing them. 

Prepare the sill: Put the door in place and check for any tight areas. You may have to sand the frame, jamb or sill if you find these. Keep checking until the door fits snugly, but be careful not to sand down to far, since this will lead to unwanted airflow through the opening. 

Set the door in the opening, Once you know that the door is fitted into the frame properly, measure accurately where your hinges will be placed, and fit the door into it’s place for a final time. If you’ve gone through this process thoroughly, then your door should fit snugly, with no problem areas. 

Insulate and install the trim: The final touches come right here. Once your door is placed, and you have tested it, you will want to make sure that weather changes don’t affect the work you’ve put in. Insulation types vary, so do your research on which one is best for your door type.

 What about an increase in security?

Firstly, a deadbolt lock is a great security addition to a door, so do some research into the types available and see which one suits your needs. You need to assess what thickness your door is, and decide which lock would be best for you. We recommend finding a specialist for door locks in this regard, as they will know what security measures are best suited to your door. Remember, that the type of material is also going to define what kind of security is needed.

What price am I looking at for a new door?

The current national standard for installing a new door is aroun $900.00. This includes having a crew come out and install the door for you. You can save by installing your own, but be aware that this could take some time, and a professional crew will normally have it done in under 4 hours depending on the complexity of the installation and the type of door you’re installing.