choosing front doors

All different types of Front Doors

More than just an entrance, exterior doors offer visitors a first impression of your home by making a statement. This statement is created through the synchronization of the door’s colour, material, and design. When deciding on an exterior door, there are many considerations. To ensure satisfaction, the door configuration, door style, use of glass, material choice, and door finish all must be well-thought-out. Decorative and useful, the exterior door reflects the architectural design of a home, as well as the personality of the home owner, and is an important feature that should never be overlooked.

Choosing front doors

Door Configuration:

When it comes time to choose the desirable configuration of the door, the essential factors to consider are the inward/outward swing and left/right handedness. Typically, single exterior doors swing inward and can be right or left handed. To determine the swing and handedness look at the outside of the door. If the hinges are on the right, it is right handed and will swing right. Alternatively, if the hinges are on the left, it is left handed and will swing left.

Glass Designs:

Most exterior doors, especially front entries, feature glass designs. These designs can be purely aesthetic or can simply offer a view to the outside world. Doors can have one large lite (pane of glass) or instead they can have grills to give the appearance of divided lites. Grills can be constructed from plastic, wood or metal and are used to separate the glass into several lites.


Common accessories for exterior doors are sidelites, transoms, and in-glass blinds. Sidelites go on one or both sides of the door and are often fixed windows that cannot be opened. Transoms, on the other hand, are fixed windows installed above the exterior door, and they are available in three shapes: arch, ellipse, or box. The most functional accessory is the in-glass blinds. These blinds are adjustable inside the pane for added convenience.

Energy Efficient:

Today, many exterior doors are Energy Star® certified. The first steps toward this certification are to add a resilient PVC door sweep and to custom fit the core with polystyrene. This polystyrene core is important in cold climate such as Canada because it protects the door against frost forming on the inside. Double and triple paned glass is usually glazed with a low-e (low emission) coating and filled with argon gas to protect against heat lost.


Typically, exterior doors are constructed from wood, fibreglass, or steel, and it is normal for doors to be hybrids of all three materials. It is not unusual for doors to have a wooden inside frame and a polyurethane core coated in steel. Since the benefits of each material vary, Kent offers a wide range of doors to suit every need and taste.


Traditionally used on exterior doors, wooden doors are now rarer than in the past and are typically seen on older homes. Although wood is a natural insulator, the design has improved in recent years. Today’s wooden doors have an improved construction that resists warping from humidity and temperature changes. Most doors have insulation injected between wood veneer panels to offer increased energy efficiency. This energy efficiency is improved upon with the use of interlocking weather-stripping to offer adequate air tightness. As one can imagine, solid core doors offer better energy efficiency, security, soundproofing and fire resistance than their hollow core counterparts making them a better choice. With wooden doors, consistent maintenance is required to keep up its appearance. This maintenance includes painting, staining, or varnishing to seal the grain and repel moisture. Matching the wooden door with exterior design is simplified because there are many species from which to choose including: oak, pine, walnut, and more.


Doors made from heavy gauge galvanized steel will definitely give you a secure feeling. Stronger than wood or fibreglass, steel doors are low maintenance and offer years of performance. Since steel is so tough, it is resistant to shrinking, swelling, and warping, as well as being energy efficient. Energy efficiency is achieved by its insulated core and weather-stripping. Fully weather-stripped by the manufacturer, air tight steel doors have magnetic weather stripping at the top and around the lock, flexible weather stripping around the hinges, and the bottom has an interlocking threshold. As for its look, steel doors can have a vinyl or polyester coating with embossed skins that match traditional wood door styles. If the factory paint colours do not match your style, steel doors can be purchased pre-primed and ready to paint. Available in a variety of panel and glass design options, these doors can be bought with predrilled doorknob and lockset holes to facilitate installation.


Easily installed, fibreglass doors are ideal for entrances exposed to high traffic or extreme weather conditions. Since the fibreglass is moulded around a polyurethane core, these doors are known for their rigidity, durability and energy efficiency. This high quality composite construction means the doors are resistant to denting, rotting, warping, and scratches to give the door a long life with very little maintenance. Fortunately, the only maintenance required is to periodically check the weather-stripping. Available in a variety of panel and glass design options, fibreglass moulding techniques and the use of finishes or wood stains give these doors the appearance of a smooth or wood grain finish to match a variety of décors.

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