Every home begins with the front door. A new front entry door is very important to the aesthetics and overall design of your home as it is commonly the focal point. An entry door that complements a home’s color scheme can create desirable curb appeal (instantly raising your home’s value and desirability). As with many home improvement products, there are a variety of choices. There are basic economy models to extravagant combination double doors with remarkable artistic glass.
Sizing & Design
Most entry doors fall into a set of common standard size widths (3’ or 36” is the most common; 32” is the next most common sizes followed by combination sizes via sidelights or double doors). The standard height is 7’ 8” or 80”. Custom sized doors can be manufactured and will be typically be more expensive.
Entry doors are available in a number of different styles, including but not limited to, full view glass doors, half view glass doors, full view oval doors, semi-circle glass doors, decorative leaded glass doors, etc. The options and combinations are virtually endless.
The door itself can be manufactured from wood, steel or fiberglass. Wood is the most common and least expensive but it is the most susceptive to rot and is not nearly as durable and maintenance free as steel or fiberglass. Steel doors are known for their unbelievable strength and durability. Fiberglass doors usually feature a superior polyurethane core that gives it the best energy efficiency. Steel and fiberglass are also available with choice of wood grain finishes, most consumers can’t tell the difference between real wood that is stained and the simulated wood grain finish. The wood grain finish gives the appearance of wood, but without the maintenance.
Energy Efficiency & Safety
Size and design should definitely not be only consideration when selecting a door. Over time, a well designed entry door should pay for itself with energy savings. When considering purchasing an exterior entry door for your home in Northern climates (predominately heated climates such as Ohio), you want to keep in mind several things. First, you want the door to be very resistant to snow and ice. The exterior of the door will be subject to the harshest of conditions. Poorly engineered doors will rot, rust and corrode through only a couple of years. The guts of the door are something that many consumers overlook. The door construction, operating components (hinges, deadbolts, handle) and the weather sealing components (weather stripping, threshold, sweeps, bulb seals, dust box) basically make up the door. Many manufacturers will cut costs and quality by using less expensive components. The best quality door use the best components that will last longer and give your door a better seal and be more efficient.
Security and safety is also a big consideration. The best doors will feature a security plate to reinforce the lock and deadbolt area. While this makes the door much safer, it also makes the door more comfortable and durable to use because it is reinforced. Steel doors are not all created equal, because the door can be made cheaper with much thinner steel (this is usually the case at many big box retailers with bottom dollar prices for stock size doors).
Customization & You
Entry doors can be customized for each homeowner to the highest standards in the residential market place. For many, extras such as sidelights or transoms to match the doors can create that certain look. Designer glass and extraordinary handles with matching accessories can give any door a unique appeal unlike any other. The entry door is generally the focal point of the entire home.
An entry door system is also a reflection of you and your style. You have the freedom to design a door just the way you want it, complementing your home and your personality. With the numerous choices in hardware, glass and design, the possibilities are infinite.
Learn more about energy efficient entry doors at: http://www.joycefactorydirect.com/doors.php