If you are considering putting in a new front door, there are several factors other than simply the door material, that are worth considering. For most people there are three main things that an exterior door provides: security, weather protection and style.
A good quality door will certainly act as a deterrent against burglars and home invasions. Criminals learn to identify the easiest point of entry. You may want to upgrade the locks and strike plates on your front door. A lock with a 1 inch deadbolt and a reinforced metal box strike can make forced entry more difficult. Don’t forget about the door that leads from your garage to your house as this is a notoriously easy way to access your home.
The type of door you choose needs to withstand the harshest weather in your area. You will have different considerations depending on whether your winters are long and cold, you live near the ocean or sun is beating down on the door throughout the year. Do some research on the best door type for your climate.
Entry doors are also known as door systems since they frequently come pre-hung within a frame with pre-drilled holes for the hardware of your choice. If you are replacing an old front door and plan to install the new one yourself, you may want to choose one the same size as the old one. It is vital that a front door fits well so you may be better advised to engage a professional. You will almost certainly need a door contractor if you are enlarging the door, or redoing the frame or adding side window panels.
An adjustable threshold will help your door remain weathertight over time and avoid the need to add a new sweep to the bottom to seal out rain and drafts.
Front door style is very personal. Don’t fall in love with a front door without considering whether it goes with the style of your home. Wooden paneled doors add interest and depth and look particularly good in a more traditional setting. Even a plain front door can be elevated by using high quality hardware for the knob, letter slot and street numbers. If you have a more contemporary home, clean modern lines will work well. Glass inserts can be in the door itself or in panels down the side. Side window panels are an excellent way to brighten up a dark hallway. Since glass inserts cut down the insulating value of the door, consider double or triple panel glass if you live in a cold area. The reinforced glass is also more resilient so a burglar cannot simply break the glass and reach in to open the door.