Your front door is one of the most important parts of your home, creating that all-important first impression. A well-kept, elegant entry door makes your home look inviting and welcoming, as well as bringing a dash of style and elegance. Wood exterior doors are the traditional front door solution, an old stalwart that adds classic style while allowing you to add individuality, using paints, stains, and door hardware.
Of course, style is not the only consideration, because a front door must be secure and durable, reducing the chance of break-ins and standing firm against the elements. A high-quality and well-maintained wood exterior door will last for many years; a cheap, poorly kept wooden entry door will deteriorate rapidly.
The Elegance and Style of Wooden Exterior Doors
Out of all the various types of front entry door, there is little doubt that wooden doors are the most versatile. The vast number of options available can make choosing the best exterior door difficult, with no two doors exactly alike.
Apart from the choice between softwood and hardwood, you also have to find the perfect finish to augment your external theme, and add complementary door furniture to develop an individual touch. After you have an idea of the type of wooden door you prefer, you then have to look at budget, finding the best exterior door at a reasonable price.
What Type of Wood Exterior Doors Should I Choose?
Wooden front doors are available in a number of finishes, from the deep, rich tones of mahogany to the warm honey of pine. Most retailers offer you a choice, allowing you to buy a treated door or an unfinished front door, allowing you to choose the perfect stain or varnish to complement your home.
As an example, simple pine doors with a subtle shade are a great addition to modern homes, whereas a dark, hardwood entry door is perfect for a traditional or period home. You can carry this theme over into your door hardware, selecting door knockers, door knobs and address plaques to build a personal theme.
The Problem with Discount Doors
One of the most important factors in buying a wooden exterior door is budget, with prices ranging from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. If your budget is limited and you need to look for a discount wood exterior door, there are a few things to look out for, remembering that ‘cheap’ is not the same thing as ‘good value.’
A high-quality and well-maintained wood exterior door will last for many years; a cheap, poorly kept wooden entry door will deteriorate rapidly. It is fairly easy to find exterior wooden doors at a reasonable price although, as with many things, you cheap wooden doors can suffer from a host of problems.
Wooden doors are extremely vulnerable to adverse weather, and they are prone to rotting and cracking in damp climates. A poorly constructed door can swell and jam in the summer, and contract in the winter, leaving gaps for the cold of winter to enter and reduce the effectiveness of your central heating and insulation.
In extreme conditions, constant damp can cause the door to rot and crumble, and the damp often works its way underneath the paint and cause it to crack and peel. If you want your front door to enjoy a long and productive life, you should treat it frequently, holding the decay at bay.
If you cannot afford one of the hardwood options, look at softwood, which is a fraction of the price and, with a good quality varnish or stain, is just as elegant and timeless. With this option, you can still look for quality and buy a discount entry door that will last for many years.
One other option is to look for a used wooden door, which can cut down the price considerably and allow you to develop a traditional or rustic theme.
Customizing Your Wood Exterior Doors
Wood front doors are customizable, and you can select from a range of wood types, from the warm honey of pine to the dark elegance of teak, with decorative glass panels and inserts. This range can be augmented by stains, varnishes or paints, allowing you to match your door to your overall exterior design theme.
To this, you can add door hardware, choosing matching door knockers, door knobs and address plaques to build a wonderful theme, from the warmth of brass fittings to the rustic charm of iron, or the sleek, contemporary feel of chrome.
Many homeowners prefer to choose a door with glass panels, which are great for allowing more light into dark hallways and lobbies. There is a slight security issue with glass door panels, because they are a weak point for criminals to break in, although modern toughened glass largely negates this issue. With glass panels, is also the question of privacy; if your door opens directly onto the street, you may not like the idea of people seeing inside, so pick frosted glass to let in light without compromising privacy.
Wooden Entry Doors – Security and Insulation
Wooden doors are now better made than ever before, and most of them are secure enough to deter all but the most determined thieves. However, you should be wary of cheap, flimsy front doors which can be easily forced open or kicked in completely. As with any entry door, you should buy the strongest security features you can, for extra peace of mind. There is no point in spending a small fortune on a beautiful yet secure front door, then buying cheap door security features. Any door is only as secure as its weakest point, so try to avoid false economy.
In terms of insulation, wooden doors are reasonably good at keeping the heat in and the cold out, as long as it is maintained and reasonably thick, with any glass panels double glazed for extra insulation.
Versatile Wood Exterior Doors – The Best Front Door Solution
There is little doubt that wood exterior doors are the most versatile solution, and looking for quality ensures that the issues with security and deterioration will not be an issue. From a huge mahogany estate door to a simple pine front door, you can find a solution that balances the requirements of budget, aesthetics, and durability.
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