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Advice on How to Select a Front Door“Your front door makes a statement. Whether it’s bold, bright, or timeless, the style of your home’s entry door plays a pivotal role in the first impression of your house,” said Wendy Cline, owner of J&B Construction. “The wide array of front door selections available can seem overwhelming at first, but to keep things simple, the main factors to keep in mind are style, size, and material.”

Aesthetically speaking, your new front door should seamlessly align with the architecture of your home, but don’t feel that this limits your choices. You can still express yourself while complimenting the overall design of your home. “For instance, if you are fond of a more traditional style, the vintage six-panel door would be an ideal option,” she said. “Alternatively, if you consider yourself to be more unconventional, you may take a liking to an arched door decorated with stained glass. Or, perhaps you fall somewhere in between. Regardless, there is a door style out there to match your unique personality and your home.”

Size is an important component to evaluate, as front entry doors come in various sizes. For example, a typical standard size single door is 80 inches by 36 inches. The maximum width on a single door is 42 inches; anything exceeding this size would be classified as double doors. Also note that a front entryway can include more than the door itself. “Decorative pieces such as glazed transom or sidelites will need the appropriate framing for support purposes,” said Wendy.

A majority of front doors today are comprised of wood, fiberglass, or steel. “Little compares to the natural beauty of wood, however, wood tends to be susceptible to the sun’s rays and moisture. Therefore, yearly maintenance is recommended,” she said. Contemporary wood doors generally consist of layers of veneers surrounding a wood or steel core, not only to reduce the effects of warping, but also for economic reasons.

Less expensive and long-lasting, fiberglass composite doors stand tall against harsh weather conditions, and can last for years without requiring maintenance. Often times, a foam core exists within a fiberglass door that serves as an insulator.

Undoubtedly, doors made from steel are strong, so they are impervious to warping and fractures, but not dents. In the event of a minor dent, auto-body repair kits can fix the problem, although major damage may call for replacement. “Steel doors can also be highly energy efficient, depending on the type of core that is used,” she said. “Conversely, its performance may be hindered in extreme climates as steel conducts temperature well. In exchange for its slightly shorter lifespan, steel is one of the most affordable materials.”

To help navigate through the sea of front door choices, remember to carefully examine style, size, and the type of material to help narrow down your prospects. “A brand new front door that flawlessly matches your personality and your home not only leaves you content, but it will also win over your guests, and when it’s time to sell, your potential buyers,” Wendy said. “A positive first impression translates into added curb appeal. A front door may not seem like a major investment at first, but when you take into account the value it adds to a home and the statement it makes, it’s clear that it’s an invaluable asset.”