Choosing a Front Door

Entrance door
Photo credit: Ken Doerr/Flickr Creative Commons

Whether your aesthetic style is formal, elegant, simple, practical or whimsical, the front door reflects your home’s personality. The main entrance to a house should definitely be welcoming, but there are other factors to consider. Choosing a front door for your home’s exterior is also about the right materials, durability, and functionality.


The three most popular materials for an entrance door are wood, fiberglass, and steel. A wood door has a traditional appearance that is organic. When they become worn, old or broken, wood doors can be painted or repaired. You can also change the hardware on a wood or composite wood door.

Fiberglass doors are very low maintenance. The fiberglass is molded onto a frame and can be textured to mimic the look of any type of wood including oak, walnut or beech. A fiberglass door is available with or without hardware.

A steel door combines security and durability. It is low maintenance; while a steel door is susceptible to denting, it can be repaired. Steel doors are typically constructed from a wood frame reinforced with steel and then covered by thin sheets of metal.


Residential exterior doors must withstand the effects of sun, wind, and rain. But durability does not solely depend on the type of material it’s made from. A combination of how it was manufactured (quality materials, type of finish, etc.) and how it’s maintained ultimately determines the lifespan of your entrance door.


Give some thought as to what you need from your front door. Is the hallway too dark? Let in more light with a door that has glass panels. Air refuses to circulate throughout the first floor in the summer? Pair a screen door with your new wood entrance door. Want to make a bold statement? Choose a decorative entry door in a primary colour to complement the siding. Do you want a traditional deadbolt or would you prefer keyless entry? Choose an entrance door for your home that meets your specific requirements.

Finishing Touches

Before deciding on hardware and decorative accents, take all the elements of your home’s exterior into consideration. For example, if you have brass carriage lights on either side of the entrance, ensure that the door handle and letter slot of your new door match the light fixtures.