Front Doors: Wood, Steel and Fiberglass

Create an inviting entryway with these tips for choosing a front door.
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Photo courtesy of Clopay

Photo courtesy of Clopay

By: Peter Walsh

Add interest to your entryway with a front door that works well, fits your home and is energy efficient.

20 Stunning Entryways and Front Door Designs

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Welcoming Entryway

A nicely finished front door tells visitors that the inside of your home is well kept and comfortable. The brown accent wall and glass door showcases the interior artwork upon entry. Design by Kenneth Brown

Elegant Details

Custom ceiling design, a lavish chandelier and an iron front door evokes an Old World feel. With little maintenance, a high-quality metal door can stay beautiful for a lifetime. Design by Lori Dennis

Eye-Catching Architecture

Add interest to your entryway with stunning architectural details and a door that reflects your home style. Photo courtesy of Clopay

Spirited Curb Appeal

A front door with prairie grills adds charm and pays homage to the innovation of Frank Lloyd Wright. Photo courtesy of Clopay

Photo By: Clopay Door

Sophisticated Entrance

An entryway should be hospitable to you and your guests and reflect your personality. Light trim work pops against this mocha doorway for an elegant touch. Design by Joseph Pubillones

Photo By: unknown

Lively Combination

Color can add energy to a Craftsman entryway. A vibrant red door paired with blue siding and white trim offers a friendly, high-contrast aesthetic. Photo courtesy of Clopay

Reliable Wood

Handcrafted and built of natural materials, this sturdy wooden door embodies design from the Arts and Crafts era. A high-quality, wood door will last for many years with minimal maintenance of painting and staining. Design by Merrill & Associates

Custom Considerations

Carved design is an elaborate wood door option that makes a stylish statement. Carved doors feature classic raised panel, board and batten, stacked panel or a custom design. Design by Ashley Astleford

Highlighting Features

Grand columns and iron details accentuate this rustic red door and add Southwestern style. Design by Meritage Homes

Emphasizing Elements

The height of these custom front doors are emphasized through additional molding design found above head and frosted floor-to-ceiling windows. Design by Brian Patrick Flynn

Grand Door Design

Prominent stone columns and an intricate, hand-carved door make this Tuscan entryway a neighborhood focal point. Design by Thom Oppelt

Modern Entry

Designer Notes: Create drama in small spaces with tile. Cool gray walls and stainless trim transforms this ordinary entryway into a spectular arrival point. Design by Lori Dennis

Shielding Archway

Wood doors are naturally warm and inviting. Best used in a covered area such as a house with a portico or porch, or in combination with a storm door that will protect it from the elements. Design by Bassenian Lagoni Architects

Symmetrical Accents

Framing a front door with a pair of lanterns and tall potted plants takes your curb appeal to the next level. Photo courtesy of Anderson Windows

Contemporary Opennings

Flush doors are plain, wood veneered doors with either a hollow or solid core. They work well in contemporary homes where their simple, sleek design compliments modern furnishings. Design by David Hertz

Distinctive Doorway

Designer Notes: A creative blend of materials creates a distinguishing overhang that adds a sense of scale and purpose. Keep curb appeal year round by using seasonal potted plants at the entry. Design by Jennifer Reiner

Photo By: Photographer: Christina Wedge

Appealing Steel

A modern front door welcomes guests as they enter HGTV's 2010 Dream Home. Steel doors are available in any style, from traditional to contemporary, and they do not warp like wood doors.

Striking Gold

Greek-inspired arches and weathered stairs enhance the gold doorway, creating a Mediterranean motif. Design by Jane Ellison

From: Jane Ellison

Photo By: Jay Graham, Graham Photography

Durable Doorway

Wood doors have a warm, natural look and come in a variety of species to coordinate with your furnishings. Wooden Dutch doors have the weight you can't find in solid core or hollow core fiberglass doors. Photo courtesy of Jeld Wen

Geometric Aesthetic

Symmetrical arrangements of frosted glass squares give this front door a mid-century vibe. Design by Kerrie Kelly

Photo By: (C)2012 BRIAN KELLOGG PHOTOGRAPHY

Entry doors come in wood, metal and fiberglass. The larger the door and more elaborate the design, the more it will cost.

Good Wood

Wood doors are naturally warm and inviting. Best used in a covered area such as a house with a portico or porch, or in combination with a storm door that will protect it from the elements, a wood door will last for many years with minimal maintenance of painting and staining.

Door makers have stepped up their offerings with thicker panels, better weather stripping and energy-efficient glass inserts in a wide variety of designs to suit any decor. Woods include oak, mahogany, maple, teak, black locust, fir and pine.

The enemy of a wood door is moisture that causes rot. Water from rain can seep into joints, loosening them and allowing air to enter or exit, making them less energy efficient. Look for doors that combat this problem with proper water-barrier construction that allows rain to run off the door without entering joints.

Wood doors scratch, peel, bubble and warp if not protected. Off-the-shelf replacement doors are the least expensive, while custom wood doors are the most costly. Wood doors are usually the most expensive option for an entry.

Cost: $150 to $1,000

What's the Appeal of Steel?

Steel entry doors are made of a wood frame that holds insulation to make them energy efficient. Doors, including the frame, are clad in epoxy-coated galvanized steel. The steel has a baked enamel finish that can be painted in the color of your choice. The energy-efficient core helps lower heating and cooling costs.

Steel doors are available in any style, from traditional to contemporary. A high-quality steel door can last a lifetime with little maintenance and they will not warp like wood doors.

The downside? They can dent, paint can chip, and un-repaired scratches can lead to rust. Yet they are the most secure. Prices vary, but they are typically less expensive than wood doors.

Cost: $120 to $650

The Scoop on Fiberglass

Fiberglass is the latest in front door options. They are made of composite materials clad in a fiberglass panel, with a grainy pattern to resemble wood. They also come in smooth finishes that can be painted or stained in your choice of color.

Pre-Framed Front Doors 03:37

Use pre-framed doors for an easier, less time-consuming installation.

They have an energy-efficient core to help lower heating and cooling costs and are low maintenance as they don't rot, rust, warp or deteriorate over time.

Fiberglass can scratch and dent but generally less than wood or steel doors. Prices vary depending on the size and options you want, such as glass inserts and finishes. Fiberglass doors in standard sizes will help keep costs down, but custom versions will cost more.

Cost: $250 to $3,900

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Find a secure, stylish door that gives you access to your backyard or patio.

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