Exterior Door Buying Guide

Chastity Fabry

White exterior door from inside with transom.

Remember that your door can make a powerful statement. There are many elements — including door design, material and hardware — that all work together to create a personal look to reflect your style.

Deadbolt: A deadbolt lock provides added entry security.

Door Knocker: These give a handsome look to the door. Options include brass, bronze and satin nickel that look good when personalized with a last name.

Door Viewer: Install an entry door viewer at a height all members of the family can reach.

Doorbell: Choose from a simple button style to a wireless, eight-note version with decorative interior chimes.

Front Door With Sidelites:
Available for all types of doors, a sidelite can be placed on one or either side of the door.

Glass Styles and Shapes:
Any door can be made to include decorative glass. While most front doors have insulated glass for energy efficiency, others may have beveled, silk-screened or stained glass. Glass comes in several shapes. It may be one large lite or it could have a grille that separates the glass into several lites.

Handleset: A handleset, often bought as a package for either the exterior or the interior, includes the lock cylinder; latch; strike plate; and the handle, lever or knob.

In-Glass Blinds: Adjustable blinds put inside the glass pane of a door.

Kick Plate: A metal kick plate attached to the bottom of the door protects its finish from shoe scuff marks and gives a polished appearance.

Panel: A recessed panel conveys traditional style. The six-panel design is classic.

Transom: Available for all door types, this decorative accent placed above the door comes in three shapes: arch, ellipse and box.

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