One thing I can say about living in London Ontario: everyone has nice houses, but terrible, terrible entry doors. Imagine wearing a nice suit paired with sneakers. Such small details of an overall look can make a big impact. As such, I’m writing this blog to help out my fellow Londoners. Please, have a better entry door. I have a friend who produces amazing entry doors who is located in Toronto. A beautiful entry door lets guests know that they’re welcome. It also lets people know that someone lives in the home and is taking care of it. These people can include not only the mailman but potential burglars. On the other hand, a broken down door is off-putting to guests and may tempt a burglar.
Anatomy of a Door
Basically, entry doors can be glazed, which means that they’re built with glass elements or they’re unglazed, which means there are no glass elements. Most wood flush doors are rectangles that are made out of stiles, which are the vertical elements, rails, which are the horizontal elements and panels which can be filled with wood or glass. However, some doors are arched and have a batten face. Many doors have both solid panels and glazing. Doors also have knobs or handles slightly more than halfway down the right or left stile.
Unglazed doors look solid, but they’re not. Wooden doors have a face veneer of high quality wood on either side and a couple of layers of veneer beneath. Between the veneers of a solid core door are wood blocks or particle board. A hollow core door usually has corrugated cardboard or foam insulation. The door is hung in a casing made out of a head jamb, a hinge jamb, a latch jamb and a stop.
Other doors can be made out of steel or fiberglass and have foam insulation in the core. Steel doors tend to be inexpensive, provide a lot of security and can protect against inclement weather. However, they don’t withstand weather as well as fiberglass or even well-installed wood doors.
Fiberglas doors can be made to look like wood and are sturdier than steel doors. They’re a bit more expensive but not that much more expensive than steel. They can be painted and don’t need much maintenance.
Doors can come in all manner of styles, but some styles are more appropriate for different styles of homes than others. For example, an unglazed steel door might not be the best choice for an otherwise opulent Victorian mansion. Taller doors also look better in a home with high ceilings.
Another tip is to buy a prehung door that already comes in a frame and with its own weatherstripping. Embellishments can include glass panels, sidelights or transoms, which are windows placed above the door. Some transoms are fixed while others can be opened and closed. Glass can also be wonderfully decorative. It can be leaded, etched, frosted, stained or pebbled.
Handle sets and locks also don’t have to be purely functional. They too should be picked to complement the door and the overall decor of the house. Brass and bronze locksets can be tarnish free and give the door a lovely pop of brightness.
Though wooden doors are the most popular for entry doors, steel and fiberglass doors with foam insulation are more energy efficient. Many of them come with magnetized strips that help the door close firmly. These kinds of doors don’t need weatherstripping. They’re even more energy efficient when a caulk made out of expanding foam is applied around the doorframe before the door is hung.