Exterior Door Style

So, do you need front door curb appeal or an ordinary passage to the side or back of your home? We all know one thing doors have in common: they’re rectangular. After that, there’s quite a variety of choices for your exterior door style.


Curb appeal: Exterior door style

The first impression of your home is when people are driving to your residence. Do you want the “wow” factor? Depending on the style of your house, you can create a dazzling front entrance using a decorative glass door with sidelites. Or would you prefer a subtle entrance? Then you’ll probably choose a panel door for a more traditional appearance.


Front entrances that will impress

Decorative glass are very popular front entry doors commonly found in fiberglass, steel, mahogany and other choices. The glass comes in a wide variety of panels, shapes, textures and designs. Decorative glass doors are a perfect choice for a dark foyer as it will allow natural light to enter and brighten the area.

The glass usually carries a rating which will give a homeowner an idea of privacy. As a rule, a low number has moderately clear glass allowing a good deal of light, but not much privacy. A high rating permits light to pass through, but the glass has more texture and the view is blurred.

exterior door style

(l-r): Oval, half glass, rectangular glass with sidelites & Craftsman style decorative doors

Design styles include oval, half, rectangular, full glass, Craftsman and fanlite. Caming is the metal strip between the glass pieces which holds the design in place. It’s commonly shown in zinc, but can also be black patina or brass. Sidelites are narrow windows (about 12” wide) placed on either side of a door. Depending on the size of the entrance, one or two sidelites can be used with a door.


Keeping it simple: front or back entrances

The traditional 6 panel style is among the top choices for doors. It’s a simple design in fiberglass or steel and will complement most homes. There are no glass panels, so privacy is certain. For a similar style, but one including glass panes, consider the 2-lite, 4-lite, or fanlite doors. These styles have small glass panels near the top of the door, allowing some natural light to enter.

For homeowners wanting an exterior door style with a glass size of approximately half the door, selections include 9-lite, half glass with or without mini blinds, venting, or twin lite. For a full glass door, the 15-lite is very popular as an entrance to a backyard deck.

exterior door style

(l-r): 6 panel, fanlite, 9-lite & 15-lite double door


This is another post in our series of blogs about terms or products used in remodeling and home improvement. Visit any Builders Surplus location in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts to speak with an associate about doors or your home project.