For most people, exterior doors provide three things: security, weather
protection, and style. There are many different styles to choose from that will
allow all three things. You can get paneled, flush, or glass in front entry
doors, back doors, French doors, sliding doors, and patio doors.
Types of Doors
are designed to exhibit style while still giving the doors
quality. They have raised inserts framed and fitted to allow the wood to expand
and contract with the changes in weather so they will not damage over time.
are covered with veneer that can range from inexpensive pine
to costly exotic wood. The veneer provides smooth unbroken exterior covering on
insert doors can range from small windowpanes in entry doors to
full door-size panes in patio doors. When multi-panes of glass are inserted into
a door, they are referred to as lights. The doors are then identified by how
many "lights" it has. Lights are most commonly found in French doors. Full
single panes of glass are considered as atrium or patio doors.
Exterior Door Materials
Exterior doors are constructed from wood, steel, fiberglass, aluminum or a
combination of these materials. The standard exterior entry door is three feet
wide and six feet, eight inches tall.
is still considered the most popular material used in exterior
doors. The types of wood used often include oak, fir, and pine. Vertical rails
made from separate pieces of wood and laminated together lengthwise are used to
construct the doors to prevent warping in dampness. This process causes warping
in opposite directions to avoid bowing of the door.
doors have become very popular due to the security that they
provide. Most commonly, they are sheathed with 24-gauge steel. This can be
chosen in paneled or flushed styles in a variety of colors. If you have
fluctuating weather, you should purchase a weather-resistant steel door with
vinyl coating. Steel creates great security, but can be easily dented and will
bow and chip easily if exposed to continuous sunlight.
doors are ideal for humid areas. They are resistant to warping
and bowing. They require the least maintenance of the door materials available.
These doors can be purchased in flush or paneled. There are a variety of colors
available to give the doors a natural wood look with faux wood stains and
doors are usually custom made to fit the opening you have. It is
a good choice for unique shapes of openings. You can get aluminum in finishes
like the fiberglass doors that have a natural wood appearance. Aluminum doors
will not rust and usually have a longer warranty, but are lightweight and will