A new front entry door can greatly enhance the curb appeal of your home. It is one of the most cost-effective ways to make a dramatic impact on a viewer’s first impression of your home. This guide reviews what to look for in new entry doors and highlights recent trends in the industry.
The Latest Trends in Entry Doors
Exterior home accessories change over the years much like any other fashion. New developments in materials emerge as well as changes in aesthetic preferences. Here are some of the current trends taking shape in the industry:
Let the light shine in
More glass is the biggest trend today. Over the last few years we’ve seen more and more of our home-owners choose a ¾ lite panel or full lite panel of glass in their entry doors. More glass allows more light into the home and greatly improves curb appeal.
From an aesthetic perspective, glass provides homeowners with a new canvas to express themselves. New glass panel shapes, designs and configurations can be created in almost limitless combinations.
Bring on the colour
Similar to the concept of an accent wall inside your home, a popular trend for the outside of your home is to use your entry door as a stand-alone accent. Almost any conceivable colour is possible and for some – the bolder, the better.
This is a drastic change from recent history when most homeowners chose a more subdued colour, typically to match the colour of their garage, shutters, or trim.
Clean lines and simple styles are taking over more traditional door designs. Shaker style doors, flat panels, flush surfaces, and simple geometrics are dominating new modern entry door design. Glass panels are following suit with simple geometric shapes and textures.
That said, the traditional door design with raised or inset panel features and more intricate glass treatments are also still in demand.
Larger doors make your entranceway feel bigger and has a greater influence on the overall look of your home. They also allow more light in, and with the trend for more glass in doors, larger doors mean even more sunshine in your entranceway.
Traditionally, the average door width was either 32”, 34”, or 36”. A larger entry space, particularly in width, also makes it easier to maneuver furniture in and out of your home.
Embrace imbalance and asymmetry. Recent trends include doors with rails and stiles that are not the same width. Glass is not placed in the center of the door, and the door glass itself contains its own unique geometry and character.
While traditional door designs typically incorporate a visual balance created by uniform spacing and equal weight to all design elements, today we’re seeing homeowners opt for more unusual and interesting designs.
Door Material Choices
The material you choose for your entry door can make a significant different in both aesthetic appeal and security. Advancements in material and fabrication technology have led to popularity in fibreglass and steel doors, largely due to their durability. Traditional wooden doors, however, allow for more customized, unique styles and are still considered a great option.
Wooden doors have been around for thousands of years and present a natural beauty that is hard to match. Unfortunately, that beauty comes at a cost. Wood can be more expensive than other options but ranges in price between inexpensive composite materials and high-end exotics and hardwoods.
Wooden doors require regular maintenance to prevent stripping and fading because they are made from natural materials. Wooden doors are also more prone to splitting and cracking over time as well as being susceptible to mold and mites.
Fortunately, improved fabrication techniques make most wooden doors today far more resistant to warping from humidity and temperature changes than in the past.
Fibreglass doors provide flexibility and durability over wood. They can easily be fabricated into a wide variety of both shapes and textures making them a great choice for new design treatments. Fibreglass can also be created to mimic wood grain and is built with an energy efficient polyurethane solid core interior that adds insulation value unlike real wood.
Fibreglass entry doors are ideal for our extremely cold climates and they won’t split or delaminate. In fact, they require little to no maintenance. Fibreglass doors are more scratch and dent resistant than steel doors. Keep in mind, however, it is possible for them to crack if significant force is applied to the face of the door.
Steel doors are the strongest, most durable and most cost-efficient door material used for entry doors, and therefore also is the most common. They are made from heavy gauge galvanized steel and are resistant to shrinking, swelling, and warping. They’re coated with zinc to prevent rusting and built with a solid polyurethane foam core to provide superior insulation qualities.
New fabrication techniques for embossing and metal stamping give you the option of a variety of stamped shapes and patterns. There are even choices that attempt to duplicate a woodgrain pattern.
The one downside to steel, even though it’s extremely durable and very strong, it is more vulnerable to scratches and dents than fibreglass.
Choose Your Door in 5 Easy Steps
There are thousands of combinations to choose from when selecting a new entry door that include variations in style, configuration, glass, colour, size and hardware.
Follow these guidelines for a simplified process to select the perfect door for your home. Here are the important things to consider when choosing your new entry door:
Do you want to replace your current entryway door with something similar in size and style, or do you want to try a new look and give your home a facelift?
Depending on the size of the door opening there are many options available. You may have enough room to add a sidelight or a transom. You could reconfigure your double doors to a wider single door with two sidelights, or vice versa. Your door consultant will be able to provide you with the all the options available for your home. Enlarging the door opening area is also a consideration if the structure of your home supports it. Still not convinced about the advantages of transom windows? The article "Transom Windows: Where You Should Use Them and Why" from House Tipster might help you make a decision.
Narrow your options by deciding if you want to stick with the traditional look or upgrade to a more modern design. The sooner you make this decision, the easier your selection process will be. This step provides valuable context to move your decision-making forward.
This is typically the most fun and interesting part of the door selection process. Given the door style you have chosen, what size and configuration of glass are you looking to add?
Your experienced door expert can provide a tremendous amount of value here by advising you on which door styles and types of glass work well together. He or she can also let you know what others are buying and what considerations to think about for each different combination. There are hundreds of styles, sizes, and types of glass to choose from!
This decision used to be the easiest to make –light beige, dark beige or brown? Today, picking door colours is as challenging as picking accent colours for your interior walls. There is no wrong colour, it’s simply a matter of your personal preference. Be bold!
Hardware sometimes gets overlooked or chosen quickly as an afterthought, but it can have a dramatic effect on the aesthetics of your new door. We suggest you put as much thought into it as you do the door itself.
Door locks and handsets are chosen to compliment the design of your door. If you’ve selected a modern look then you’ll want a contemporary style lock and handset to match. There are many colours, shapes and finishes available for door hardware. Your door expert will help you make the right choice.
Let us show you the possibilities.
Contact us to schedule your free in-home consultation!
Top Tips for buyers
Proper Installation is key to energy efficiency and longevity
To operate at maximum efficiency, your new door must be installed properly. Even new doors that have high Energy Star ratings will only provide small energy savings if they’re installed poorly. A high-quality door installation should include:
- A thorough inspection of the structural opening prior to installation
- Factory-trained career installers (not temps or general contractors) performing the installation
- Use of only top quality, factory-approved installation materials and supplies such as specialized caulking, low E foam, latex, trim, and fasteners.
All door frames are not created equal
To ensure a properly functioning entry door, a solid, properly built and installed door frame is critical. You may not easily be able to identify these requirements, and some of them are not industry standard, so ask your installer about them. These are some of the main areas where door frame construction makes a big difference:
- Solid door sills are far superior, but not standard. Hollow chamber door sills will allow water infiltration that could damage your door over time.
- All door hinges should be anchored to a steel plate on the exterior of the frame. This gives the door more strength. This is also not industry standard.
- Your door should contain multiple air seals – not just one – to ensure maximum performance.
- Thicker wood frames (i.e. 1 ½ or 1 ¾ inch wood frames) will perform much better than the industry standard of ¾ inch or 1-inch frames)
Review your warranty carefully.
Be sure that it guarantees the following:
- The quality of the installation (not just the door itself)
- Your door will function properly for an extended time period
- Any maintenance or service that might be needed over that same period
Keep in mind, “claims” about quality or service are just claims. They won’t help you if something goes wrong in a few years. Make sure you get a written warranty, which is a guarantee, and that’s what really matters.
A good warranty will guarantee all parts, installation, and service for the reasonable life of your door (at least 25 years).
In addition to having a strong warranty in place to cover any issues that may arise, it’s important to have a local company that can immediately service your door. In the event or an urgent repair, this is a necessity. Check on the company’s history of service in your region as well. Plus, you will be supporting your local economy!