Choosing the right types of exterior doors for your home can be overwhelming. In this ultimate guide, we’ll provide a concise summary of entry, patio, and storm doors to help you make an informed decision.
Exterior doors are the first things someone goes through into your home. When done well, they provide security, curb appeal, and energy efficiency opportunities that can truly boost the value of your home. These doors come in a variety of forms, styles, and functionalities. Below, we’ll provide an overview of the primary types of exterior doors and their main features as well as some important considerations to keep in mind as you explore your options.
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3 Main Types Of Exterior Doors
Exterior doors are essential for accessing your home, but there are several types to consider. The most prevalent types of doors for homes are entry, patio, and storm doors. Entry and storm doors are usually located at the main entrance of a home, while patio doors tend to be wider and lead to an outdoor recreation area such as a deck or patio. It’s important to note that these door types have various materials and styles to choose from, which should be considered when making a selection.
Different Types Of Front Doors
A front door is one of the first things you and your guests will see when entering the home. While clearly a functional part of your home, good-looking exterior front door styles can help create an excellent first impression and improve your home’s overall curb appeal. These entry door types mix both aesthetics and durability, and the most common types of main entrance doors you’ll find include:
Both types of entrance doors follow a uniform size. The standard front door size is typically 80 inches tall, 36 inches wide, and 1.75 inches thick. While most front door styles will fit this description, you can also find variations in the standard exterior door size. Most commonly, the variation in front door types is a door width of 30 or 32 inches.
Fiberglass Entry Door
A top option for homeowners, fiberglass doors are cost-effective, scratch-resistant, energy-efficient, and low maintenance. There is a variety of different front door styles that you can choose from. Fiberglass styles of entry doors can have appealing textures and finishes that can mimic the look of a solid wood door. They can also allow for designs that incorporate decorative glass paneling or similar elements.
Steel Entry Door
Are you looking for a little additional security? Steel entry doors, while often used for commercial properties, are another popular type of entry door option. Home door types like this are incredibly sturdy and secure options with a variety of colors and styles to fit the look of your home. Most steel doors have a smooth finish or texture, though some wood grain styles are available.
Looking to compare entry door options? Start with Fiberglass vs. Steel Doors: Which Is Best for You?
Types Of Patio Doors
Unlike entryway doors, patio doors are a kind of door entrance that isn’t typically the primary entrance into your home. These large, stylish doors often lead to decks, patios, or pool areas. Patio doors are bigger – roughly double the width of a standard front door at a minimum – and have a few common styles that impact their look and functionality. Those styles include:
Sliding Glass Patio Door
Sliding glass patio doors are essentially two glass door panes that sit on a track that allows one or both panes to be slid open. Outside door styles like this are an excellent option for those with space constraints, as there is no need to account for the opening swing radius of a hinged door.
While your first thought might be of a relatively simple-looking pair of sliding door panels, these sliding glass patio doors do have some customization options available to ensure they match the look and feel of your home. The exterior door options include the type of glass used, the color of the framing elements, the style of the handles, and the style of grille or pattern used.
Sliding French Patio Door
A variation of the sliding patio door, sliding French patio doors maintain much of the traditional aesthetic of a hinged patio door. However, it pairs with the space-saving ability of a sliding track door. These types of outdoor doors typically feature handles in the center with doors that spread outward along the track when opened. This style provides a larger opening than sliding glass patio doors. Because of this, sliding French patio doors require a wider space for installation.
Like sliding patio doors, these doors offer customization options (color, hardware, grille, framing, etc.) to fit the look of your home best.
French Hinged Patio Door
French hinged patio doors provide an aesthetically pleasing, traditional option for your patio entryway. These doors are typically the width of two panels (like a patio sliding door) but feature doors that open on a hinge. This type of door can have both door panels open from the middle out or have a single hinged panel.
Keep in mind that a hinged patio door will require some additional space for the door to open, either inside of your home or outside. While this may require additional space, they’re a visually appealing option that you can also deadbolt lock for additional security. Another factor to keep in mind with hinged patio doors is the direction they open. Inward-opening doors will impede on your indoor space, while outward-opening doors may face challenges with snow or other objects blocking their path.
Find the right exterior door manufacturer for different types of exterior doors by checking out our best exterior door brands, materials, and features guide.
Storm doors are a type of residential door that fits over your exterior entry door. These doors are used to help protect your primary exterior door from the elements and nasty weather. They also have the benefit of providing an extra layer of insulation for your entryway–as well as an extra layer of security, as they typically have their own separate locking mechanism.
These doors use tempered glass and come in a variety of styles in finishes, ranging from minimalist looks that aim to highlight the beauty of your primary entry door to more ornate and elaborate options.
What To Consider Before Choosing An Exterior Door
Now that you know more about the types of exterior door styles and sizes available to you, you’ll need to weigh some important considerations before finalizing designs and making a purchase. Key factors you’ll want to weigh include:
- Door Size: While typically not an issue for standard entryway doors beyond the occasional variance in width, the physical space in your home for patio door varieties is an important factor to keep in mind. Sliding French patio doors are typically the widest option, while French hinged and contemporary sliding patio doors are smaller. Before purchasing, double-check all measurements and specifications to ensure the door you have in mind will fit.
- Design & Features: Aesthetic features like texture, patterns, and accompanying hardware are important to keep in mind when choosing a door. Additionally, security factors like the ability to deadbolt and materials used should be weighed. For patio doors, it’s also important to consider how your door will open and how it will work with your space.
- Brand: New entryway doors are an investment into your home, so it’s important to stick with a high-quality manufacturer like ProVia™ or Anderson®. These manufacturers use top-quality materials and offer warranties that can provide additional peace of mind.
In Western Wisconsin, Asher Has Your Door Replacement Solutions
Upgrading your entryway doors (or starting anew with a high-quality option) is a great way to boost your home’s curb appeal, security, and energy efficiency. Finding the perfect exterior door types for your home will take some careful consideration, with factors like size, cost, function, and aesthetics all coming into play. Now that you know more about the main types of residential exterior doors and the differences between entry, patio, and storm doors, you can confidently start exploring the door options available to you at Asher Lasting Exteriors.
Of course, entry door installation is no small matter, but the pros at Asher can help guide you. If you’re ready to take the next step in upgrading your entryways, book a free consultation today to get started.