Door Design Guide: All Things to Consider When Choosing a Door for Your Home

Beautiful Doorway to Garden - Nice Door Design

Door design can be a daunting task.There’s a lot to think about in a front door, from functionality to the look. You don’t want a door that works great, but doesn’t go with the rest of your exterior. And you don’t want a door that looks amazing, but doesn’t work for you and your family. 

This door design guide is meant to help you think about the front door you’d like to see on your home — whether it’s an existing home or a new build. 

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Types of Front Doors
  • Choosing the Right Hardware
  • Checking Door Requirements

Types of Front Doors

Creating an entrance that looks good is the most important aspect to many. However, there are a number of other qualities to consider in the design. Sure, aesthetics are valuable toward things like comfort and resale value.

But if the door is poor quality — it will cause trouble while looking great.

We’ll quickly cover both the quality of the door material and the design/style of potential front doors.

Door Material

There are three primary materials used to make entrance doors:

  • Steel
  • Fiberglass
  • Wood

Steel vs. Fiberglass vs. Wood (Which is better?)

Steel Door Pros:

  • Incredibly strong and secure
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Long lasting quality
  • High resale value

Steel Door Cons:

  • Limited style options (although there are a number of good choices)
  • Can’t be painted
  • May rust, depending on exposure to elements

Fiberglass Door Pros:

  • Incredible amount of style choices, including size, design, colors and more
  • Easier maintenance
  • Long-lasting
  • Lightweight (a needed option for many elderly or disabled)

Fiberglass Door Cons:

  • Most expensive option
  • Considerably less secure

Wood Door Pros:

  • Widely available
  • Can be the least expensive option (although prices vary for intricately designed doors)
  • Secure (if using a solid, heavy wood)

Wood Door Cons:

  • Not as energy efficient as steel or fiberglass
  • Better wood choices are expensive

Door Design (Or Style of Front Door)

Picking the right door design is entirely subjective. Add this to the fact that there are 1,000’s of styles for front doors and there is no way to adequately help you figure out the best one for you in a single article. 

What we will do here is suggest methods to help you choose the right door design for your home:

  1. Start online: If you search the term “front door styles” in Google, be sure to click on the “Images” tab. Doing this will show you as many pictures of front doors as you can handle. You can also go to a visual site, like Pinterest, with the same search and see lots of door designs.
  2. Drive around your neighborhood (and others): Once you have things narrowed down, it’s time to hit the road in your neighborhood or one with similarly styled homes. This will allow you to see the door styles you like “in person” to see which is best.
  3. Go to home stores: Once you have an idea of the types of front doors you may want you can head to a home improvement store and try to find the best option. Or, you can order directly offline, but be careful about the measurements in either case.

Choosing the Right Door Hardware

Depending on your needs or the type of door you buy — hardware may mean additional choices to make. 

Here are a few pieces of hardware to think about when finding your ideal door design.

Door Handles

The wrong handle on the right door won’t create the look you want. That said, the function may need to come into play as well. For example, traditional doorknobs are difficult for children, the elderly and the disabled to operate. 

Having an easy-to-use handle is something to consider. Note: There are also considerations to make regarding the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Door Hinges

Hinges are the unsung hero of the door. Having the proper hinge makes: 

  • Heavy doors easy to operate
  • Secure doors are even safer
  • Doors last longer

Some hinges show. And that is a necessary consideration for style. There are also invisible hinges, which can help get the desired look and feel.

Door Locks

One of the most sought after qualities of a door (besides quality) is the amount of security it provides. All elements of the door add (or subtract) from the security a door offers. 

However, aside from the material of the door — the front door lock is the most important security feature.

Here are a few things to consider when choosing a door lock:

  • Style: Yes, the look is important, but may not be the most important thing.
  • Deadbolt: Most entrance doors have deadbolts, but not all.
  • Technology: Want to be able to open the door with an app? It’s something to consider.

Screen Doors and Storm Doors

While many homeowners don’t use storm doors or screen doors on their main entrance, some do. But this doesn’t mean you can’t see the beauty of the door you’ve worked so hard to choose!

There are a number of storm doors that are completely clear, leaving your door to be seen by all. A good storm door is also added security. Think about it, they offer:

Designing Your Ideal Front Door

Hopefully, this article acts as a guide toward choosing the best door design for your home. We’ve tried to make it as extensive as possible in a fairly concise post. And while much of the process is subjective, there are many options that need to be considered. 

Happy front door hunting!