Building a new house, whether it’s a full-size residential or a cozy ADU, means picking a new front door. But you can’t actually just order a new front door and have it done with. Exterior doors are made of advanced materials with a variety of designs and finishes which means that each new front door is not just a selection from a catalog, it’s a design experience.
This will require a series of style and function decisions that will subtly influence your home experience for decades. Our checklist is here to help you discover how to design your front door, the options to consider, and the kind of door you’ll be delighted to leave from and enter each day.
The most important decision you can make is the kind of door you have installed. The material determines everything from strength against intrusion to how the material will age and withstand the local Oahu weather.
Solid timber doors are popular but you might prefer something lighter or less prone to swelling in humid conditions. These include aluminum or the advanced fiberglass design.
Weigh the pros and cons of each door material before deciding what is the right choice for your home.
Door and Window Design
Once you know what you want your door to be made of, you can look at the style options available. Most of the popular old-fashioned door designs, complete with convincing wood textures, are available in every material with unique designs available for each material as well.
You can choose a modern door with no window or a stylish arrangement of geometric windows to stray from the norm. Or, go for an unusually elegant door with a beautiful abundance of windows.
Just make sure the windows are each sealed and Energy Star approved to avoid leaks.
Your final decision about designing your new front door should be the color.
The color, in essence, highlights the personality you want to show the neighborhood. Red doors are festive and in some cultures represent good luck or prosperity. There is another tradition in which homeowners paint their doors red after paying off the mortgage.
Bright blue sends a more playful message. Green can be used to enhance the beauty and importance of your front garden.
Yet, most importantly, your front door color should be one that makes you happy to come home to. You can even paint the inside of the door one color and the outside another.
Door Handle and Lock
Once you know the color, you can choose the metal fixtures. The handle, latch, and deadbolt should all be in a flattering metallic color.
Meaning, somewhere between the black of wrought iron to the cheery orange of polished copper.
When it comes to the style of handle, make sure to consider who will be coming through the door and how full or capable their hands will be.
You see, lever and thumb-press handles are easier for busy, young, and old people (and some clever pets). Yet knobs often require both grip and strength. You can even use a deadbolt and bar handle combination for heavier doors.
Knockers and Peepholes
Depending on the style of your new door, it may or may not be practical to install a nice loud knocker or a privacy peephole.
Windows in your door can usually serve a double-purpose as a peephole unless they’re completely frosted. Likewise, too many windows may take up the room where a knocker might go.
However, if you have the room, a knocker can be the ideal way to ensure that guests are noticed. Of course, this is particularly useful if your doorbell is temporarily out of order.
Peepholes give you the opportunity to investigate visitors before they see you. Many people simply prefer to have one.
At this point, you should be set to hang and install your door with one final concern. While trimming the door is an important part of fitting it into the frame, that space still needs to be covered with weather stripping to ensure that the weather stays out and your conditioned air stays inside.
Make sure to line your door with fresh weather stripping according to the instructions before declaring the door hanging complete.
Curtains or Frosting
For those of you who like windows in a door, it’s important to remember that the sun can come just as brightly through door windows as those mounted in your house.
The usual solution to this, and the privacy issue, is frosting the glass, often in lovely patterns with flowers or snowflakes in them if that’s your style.
You can also hang curtains right on your door with the correct mounting equipment creating an unusually cozy effect. Or, consider installing adjustable blinds or shades as window treatment alternatives on the door itself.
Letter Slot or Pet Door
Finally, you’ll want to decide if a hole in the front door is worth the slight loss of security and weather protection for features like a letter slot or a pet door.
For some, the front door is the only place a pet door can go. In these cases, we advise something weather-stripped, magnetized, and locking.
Remember that these features will need to be cut into the door but can also be installed later on if you get a pet or decide you simply must have a trendy letter slot.
Design Your Front Door with Personality and Pizzazz
There are a lot of decisions involved in putting together a perfect front door. From the material to the hardware, with the right design, you’ll delight at leaving for work and coming home every single day.
For more tips and tricks for designing a perfect custom home, contact us today!