More often than not, when people refer to an exterior door, they’re referring to a front entry door. This is the case for several reasons. First, patio doors, which are exterior doors, have their own category. Second, doors like garage doors and back doors are often designed to meet different requirements, such as being fire-resistant, or are not required to have the same level of aesthetic appeal as a front entry door. Thus, the term exterior door often (though not exclusively) refers to front doors on homes.
Front doors are often more than just a means of entering a structure. The Front door is the focal point of your home. It is the first thing anyone sees when they pull up in front of your house. It is more responsible for curb appeal than any other item on the front of your house and for that reason has among the best returns on investment of any home remodeling project.
Fortunately for homeowners, options are almost limitless when it comes to front entry doors. Doors can be purchased off of the shelf or customized from scratch to meet exacting design specifications. They can also be constructed of a variety of materials, including wood, fiberglass, steel, vinyl, aluminum, and a number of composites. Door hardware options abound as well.
The level of personalization required of a front door will dictate two things, construction material and cost. The greater the level of customization, the pricier a door will be. Mass-produced front doors tend to cost only a few hundred dollars whereas fully custom doors may cost upwards of several hundred to several thousand dollars.
Wood is the material most often associated with custom doors, and with good reason. It is the only material that if fully customizable in terms of size and with the different types of wood species available offers the most options. But fiberglass is an increasingly popular choice in the custom entry door category because of it’s durability and its superior resistance to weather. With all of the different glass and hardware options available, a semi custom door suddenly feels very customizable.
Exterior Door Manufacturers
Buyers looking for custom doors will find an array of options from builders like
- Simpson, (one of the few manufacturers offering impact-resistant wood doors)
- VT Industries
- Rogue Valley
- Old World
Buyers interested in off-the-shelf and semi-custom options can purchase from
Several of these companies produce a variety of wood, steel, fiberglass, vinyl clad, and aluminum clad doors to choose from.