Eyes are said to be the mirror of the soul; similarity, in Feng Shui, the energy (or ch'i) of your home is centered around our doors and windows. One of the largest statements made by our home is our front door. It determines our home's overall feel and attractiveness and "curb appeal". Our front door plays a very vital role in Feng Shui but also in overall appearance but our front is also a major player in your home energy savings. In recent years, the opportunities for improvement with composite doors that are fiberglass with an insulating core have multiplied. The designs are numerous, the options for color, and even for realistic-looking stains are amazing. A close friend remodeling and I had to look very closely to see the beautiful wood grain would never fade or chip or peel because it was a fiberglass door! Journey with us as we review dozens of options from classic oak to walnut to rich mahogany. Review the options of a custom wood door or a vintage door or a fiberglass door. See the history of the door from Blue Ox and read about the new standards of excellence for fiberglass doors. Be sure to review the new screen options for your beautiful new entrance door too! The new technology in the screens allows the full view of the door with the full function of a screen. Enjoy the home improvement design journey.
“The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.”
Flora Whittemore quotes
"A door is a movable barrier used to cover an opening. Doors are widely used and are found in walls or partitions of a building, vehicles, and furniture such as cupboards, cages, and containers. A door can be opened to give access and closed more or less securely using a combination of latches and locks. (See article Door security). Doors are nearly universal in buildings of all kinds, allowing passage between the inside and outside, and between internal rooms. When open, they admit ventilation and light. The door is used to control the physical atmosphere within a space by enclosing it, excluding air drafts, so that interiors may be more effectively heated or cooled. Doors are significant in preventing the spread of fire. They act as a barrier to noise. (See article Door safety).
They are also used to screen areas of a building for aesthetics, keeping formal and utility areas separate. Doors also have an aesthetic role in creating an impression of what lies beyond. Doors are often symbolically endowed with ritual purposes, and the guarding or receiving of the keys to a door, or being granted access to a door can have special significance. Similarly, doors and doorways frequently appear in metaphorical or allegorical situations, literature, and the arts, often as a portent of change." wikipedia.com
Custom Doors by Emerald Doors
Oak Entrance Doors
Oak Door by Tudor Artisans
Oak Door by Bargain Outlet
Mahogany Front Entrance Doors
Entrance Door and Sidelights by Glenview Doors
Prairie Style Entrance Door with Sidelights and Transom
Entrance and Garage Doors by The Door Kings
Mortise and Tenon
A mortise (or mortice) and tenon joint connects two pieces of wood or of other material. Woodworkers around the world have used it for thousands of years to join pieces of wood, mainly when the adjoining pieces connect at right angles.
Types of Entrance Doors
The types of entrance doors have proliferated over recent years. For durability and price, the fiberglass composite is a great blend offer both beauty and variety with nominal maintenance. Most fiberglass doors nowadays need a close eye to determine where it is freshly stained wood or maintenance-free fiberglass. The types and choices range from:
- Wood Custom
- Wood Vintage or Reclaimed or Salvage
- Metal - encompassing Steel, Iron, and Aluminum
- Fiberglass Overlay (Wood core)
- Fiberglass Composite (with Insulation)
Colors/Wood Types and Stain
- Flat and Raised Panel Doors
- Mahogany Doors
- Pine Doors
- Oak Doors
- Spanish Cedar Doors
- Walnut Doors
- Decorative Glass Doors
- And many more!
Sources of Entrance Doors
The sources for entrance doors are almost as endless as the variety of doors now available. From building centers to custom manufacturers to even reclaimed doors or salvaged doors. Your choices are endless and then you have the wood choice and color of the stain and so forth. There are over 200 manufacturers of entrance doors. Here we provide a handful of the major manufacturers along with a handful of the custom builders. At the very end, we will also provide just a handful of salvage sources too! Whatever you choose, the universe is both wide and diverse.
Legacy Doors at Home Depot
Large selection of Legacy Doors.
Great Door Buys
"We feature two major hardwood categories in our solid selection: mahogany and knotty alder.
Mahogany has a somewhat tight grain structure, usually consistent, although some variations will add interest and charm to the warmth that mahogany, and species in the mahogany family offer. We use predominantly Indonesian mahogany, which is specifically red meranti. This timber comes from government-regulated forests to ensure future availability. Red meranti accepts stains wonderfully, and good control over depth of color can be attained. All woods have some color variations, not only from tree to tree but even within a tree depending if the wood is coming from the heartwood or the sapwood.
Knotty alder is a perfect wood species to use in achieving a rustic old world look. It has an informal character due to the knots and has a warmth and honey-like appearance when stained to a lighter color keeping close to its original raw colorations. All of our knotty alder doors come with clavos installed in the V-groove selection, and some even come with speakeasy doors guarded by wrought-iron grills." www.greatdoorbuys.com
Allegheny Wood Work's Exterior Doors
"Allegheny Wood Work's exterior doors will enrich the beauty of your home. We combine today's technology with yesterday's craftsmanship to bring you a quality built, durable, beautiful exterior wood doors at affordable prices. Our multitude of species and design options allow you to find entry doors that will compliment your home or office and enhance your décor.
Our solid wood exterior doors are available in raised panel, flat panel, and solid flush doors. Choose one of our many designs, modify a design, or send us your unique style. See our Custom Wood Door page.
Exterior Construction: To withstand the climatic conditions associated with exterior applications, we incorporate several features to ensure long-lasting durability.
- Wider and thicker stiles to provide an additional bearing surface for hardware.
- Two-layer "floating" panels to permit inner and outer panels to expand and contract independently having a total panel thickness of 1-1/2 inches on raised panel doors, and 1-1/4 inch thick on mission doors.
- Glue specifically formulated for outdoor applications.
- A unique high-quality V-shaped compression type weather-strip that is pressed into a groove that is machined into the jamb boards."
"Vintage Doors handcrafts each door from 100% furniture grade solid wood. Every door is custom made to your exact size and preferences. Screen doors, Dutch doors, French doors, Solid Wood Panel doors, Glass Panel doors, and Louver doors, as well as Side Lights, Transoms, Entrance Units, Double Dutch Doors, and more. Vintage Doors makes the solid wood doors your home deserves!!"
Southern Duval and Construction
"- Handcrafted -Cabinets ▪ Doors ▪ Windows ▪ Mantels ▪ Vanities ▪ Wet Bars Gun Cabinets ▪ Wildlife Displays and Much More!
We Build to Suit Your Lifestyle!
Contemporary, Rustic or Western"
"Mora Door has been providing homeowners with quality
doors and materials since 1995. With over 40 years of
the experience we are committed to providing exceptional
and quality products at an affordable price.
Nothing enhances your home's appearance like beautifully designed interior and exterior doors. Whether you select
Douglas Fir, Mahogany, Oak, Birch, Masonite, Fiberglass or
Steel, Mora Door is here to help you add style and grace
to your home."
Precision Glass and Aluminum
Precision Glass and Aluminum is a locally owned company and has been providing service to Pocatello, Idaho, and the surrounding communities since 1982. Precision Glass carries Therma-Tru.
Therma-Tru Entry Door Systems
"Therma-Tru entry door systems are the brand that most builders and remodelers prefer (learn more). Every line of doors we offer comes with a package of performance that is unrivaled in the industry. With a front door by Therma-Tru, not only will you see an increase in comfort, energy efficiency, and performance, you will also see an increase in curb appeal. You can increase the perceived value of your home just by adding a Thema-Tru entry door system (learn more).
Fiberglass doors simply outperform wood doors and steel doors. View our comparison chart."
Therma-Tru - offers a variety of quality entry doors including the Fiber-Classic®, Classic-Craft® American Style, Classic-Craft® Mahogany, Classic-Craft® Rustic, Classic-Craft® Oak, Smooth-Star®, as well as fire doors and steel doors.
Bargain Door Outlet
"We dare you...try to find a lower price...if you can, WE’LL BEAT IT BY 20% & GIVE YOU A FREE GIFT!
- The Items must be ‘Apples to Apples’...same brand, size, quality, model, style, weight. etc.
- You must bring in the printed advertisement from any local retail competitor that has the item in stock.
- The Total 20% discount not to exceed $500.
- We reserve the right to limit quantities.
- We can’t match prices against store liquidations, going out of business sales or internet sites, special orders, etc."
Blue Ox Custom Wood Doors
"An elaborate, well-made door is the crowning piece to any building. At Blue Ox, we joint all our wood doors with 4-inch tenons. The mortise and tenon joint is the strongest, most reliable, and visually pleasing joint we have come across and has been used since the times of the ancient Egyptians. From the lightest summer-time screen door to the heaviest fortress-style solid oak entrance door; from mahogany French doors to old-world redwood pocket doors; each is made to withstand a lifetime of use while maintaining its accurate angles, solidity, and beauty." www.blueoxmill.com
Want even more choices, check out this long list with over 200 door manufacturers and growing!
Fiberblass Walnut Entrance Doors
Decorative Glass Doors
New Standard of Excellent for the Fiberglass Door
Fiberglass is available in almost all woods - including the classic oak of course but also the exotic Spanish cedar! The choices are truly endless.
The quality of the fiberglass directly mirrors a high-quality solid wood door often in every possible detail - even the 45-degree angles to make the 90-degree angle where the two pieces of trim meet. Add the intricate wood grain right in the maintenance-free fiberglass and then on top of that, you have your stain of choice. After the stain, add a clear finishing coat as you would with your wood base. The color absorption will be different.
Why are composite fiberglass doors better than real solid wood? Fiberglass will not warp, twist, or bow. The foam on the interior is an excellent insulator. And any hardware for a wood door will work with the fiberglass door. Often the fiberglass composite is priced higher than the fiberglass over wood (which warps and which you wish to avoid). Check not just the price also the quality of the construction. Years of use will pay dividends for your dollars and your time spent researching and comparing.
Fiberglass Key Benefits
- Will not warp or bow
- Will not rot. retain mold
- Minimizes outside noise
- Energy efficient
- Reduces condensation
- Low maintenance
- Boundless color choices
Add in the Sidelights and Transoms to Your Entrance Door
The fiberglass doors come with a complete line of optional sidelights and transoms. Add the glass and let the light in! Your front door will shine - both inward and outward too!
Doors by Builders Direct Outlet
Spanish Cedar Door
Fiberglass Door Sources
"Fiberglass Entry Doors are an alternative to wood and steel entry doors. Fiberglass doors do not absorb water, and therefore are resistant to warping and rot. Most are foam-filled and make effective insulators. Fiberglass doors can be painted and stained just like wood doors. Customizable to fit any entry door application, fiberglass entry doors provide security and bring aesthetic accent to the exterior of a home. The Entry Doors - Fiberglass category on build lists fiberglass entry doors for the home."
"Homeowners, remodelers, architects, and builders rely on Masonite for a comprehensive line of beautiful and durable entry systems that add value to any home. Our extensive line of products includes fiberglass doors and steel doors, which come in a range of panel designs and glass configurations that are sure to enhance any architectural style or design need."
Offering wood, fiberglass, and steel door options:
"Our privately held company emphasizes cooperation among our employees, facilities, suppliers, and customers. By working together we can continue to transform our dream of serving a worldwide market into a reality.
JELD-WEN is a comprehensive source for reliable wood, vinyl, and aluminum windows and patio doors; wood and molded wood fiber interior doors; wood, steel, fiberglass exterior doors; and garage doors. Since 2003 the company has marketed its 27 former window and door brands under the JELD-WEN brand, and its reputation for reliable products and customer service is spreading through marketing, advertising, and satisfied customers."
Custom Door by Blue Ox Millwork
Blue Ox custom wood doors open whole new worlds of possibility
An elaborate, well-made door is the crowning piece to any building. At Blue Ox, we joint all our wood doors with 4-inch tenons. The mortise and tenon joint is the strongest, most reliable, and visually pleasing joint we have come across and has been used since the times of the ancient Egyptians. From the lightest summer-time screen door to the heaviest fortress-style solid oak entrance door; from mahogany French doors to old-world redwood pocket doors; each is made to withstand a lifetime of use while maintaining its accurate angles, solidity, and beauty.
because any door (except for a pocket door) is hung from hinges on only one side, gravity is constantly pulling down on the structure, fighting to turn rectangular doors into parallelograms. Throughout history, man and door have fought a tireless battle against the forces of nature.
(At right): These beautiful specialty redwood doors with burl panels were custom-built for a Victorian-style home on Portero Hill in San Francisco. The homeowner came to Blue Ox after her three previous restoration attempts fell somewhat flat. Eric took her on a three-day tour of Victorian homes and in the end, she had him design and build all the exterior work on her house.
Evolution of Doors by Dan Brett's Tales From the Blue Ox
Dan Brett on Medieval Doors of Distinction
Dan Brett, author of the book "Dan Brett's book Tales of the Blue Ox" details the craftsmanship of medieval Europe and the innovation of the entrance door. From the Z brace to the mortise and tenon innovations in wood doors laid the foundation for the same beautiful doors that we have available to us today. Mr. Brett is the owner and operator of the Blue Ox Mill - a custom door manufacturer.
"Wood Doors of Medieval Europe...
The craftsmen of medieval Europe tried to solve this expansion problem by making doors from two layers of planking, one horizontal and one vertical. To answer the loose nail problem they used extra long nails and clinched or “deadened” them. Extra-long hinges were used to control sag.
(At right): A pen and ink diagram from Dan Brett's book Tales of the Blue Ox. Note that the hinges extend to cover more than half of the width of the door. These longer hinges are still available today from various specialty shops and can add a medieval feel to your entryway, as well as helping to reduce sag.
The fortress style door...
All this effort paid off, it made a very solid “fortress type” door that held up longer than any of its predecessors but it had a few major flaws. (1) It was extremely heavy, giving gravity even more to work on and, (2) water was trapped between the two layers making a perfect environment for rot.
(At [right]): This large fortress style door was constructed by Blue Ox for Gary Barker and the Dogwood Estates Winery. It is 83 inches tall, 51 inches wide and is made out of clear all heart vertical grain old-growth redwood. The wood was salvaged from an old water tank that had been on the winery property for generations.
The Z braced door...
The next big advancement came with the introduction of Z bracing. Z bracing throws the effects of gravity through the diagonal back to the hinges, finally producing a door that wouldn’t sag yet was light. The nails were still deadened. This type of door has been in service for hundreds of years
(At right): A pen and ink diagram from Dan Brett's book Tales of the Blue Ox. The Z braced wood door is generally very simple and affordable and can still be found around the world, especially in barns and sheds.
Most importantly, it used the oldest wood joint in history, the mortise and tenon. This joint, found in ancient Mesopotamia, eliminated the need for nails and was very versatile in the beauty department.
(At [right]): A pen and ink diagram by Dan Brett. Though the stile and rail door can come in many designs, all utilize the same principle. The panels may be glass or wood, there could be four of them, or thirty-five, but they all rely upon the same construction principles."
From storybook entrance doors in Medieval Europe to modern-day wonder of a storybook screen for your front entrance door. More on below:
Stow A Way Screens by Five Star Screens
Storybook Screen Too - Invisible!
Just as the fiberglass composite doors have transformed our options, so too, has a new product called "Stow Away Retractable Screen Door". This inventive screen door mimics the function and beauty of the fiberglass door by being functional in providing a screen to keep pesky insects out but also provides a complete visual both when the screen is extended across the door and when the screen is conveniently stowed away.
Gone are the days of winterizing and taking the big screen door window off the front door - convenience and beauty are now right at your fingertips.
"A Stow Away™ Retractable Screen Door is Custom-made and Installed for You.
A certified installer measures your door to exact dimensions. You choose the door color and screen type. Your Stow Away™ is produced to your specifications at our USA plant. The certified installer installs it and makes any adjustments for smooth operation.
You will instantly see the benefits and feel the difference between a solid, quiet, and smooth operation."
"A Dutch door (American English) or stable door (British English) or half door (Hiberno English) is a door divided horizontally in such a fashion that the bottom half may remain shut while the top half opens. The initial purpose of this door was to keep animals out of farmhouses while allowing light and air to filter through the open top. Later modifications included doors where both halves can be closed or opened together. Mr. Ed's door from the show of the same name is an example.
Dutch doors are often used in North-American passenger train cars to allow crewmen to safely interact with other employees not aboard their trains (or simply to visually inspect their train) without risking falling from the train. Recent operating rules changes in Canada have rendered the dutch-doors obsolete, although legacy rolling stock retains the doors." wikipedia.com
Salvaged Doors and Transomes
Pine Entrance Doors - Salvaged
Salvage Sources for Entrance Doors
A salvage source is more than a great place to reclaim a vintage door. It is also a lot of fun to review the various designs from yesteryear. From the mansion to row houses and the details range from massive stone pillars to simply great and grand entrance doors. Just stop into the nearest salvage store near you - it offers a world of fun and great ideas too!
Allison's Adam and Eve
LARGEST Architectural Salvage Company
in the southeastern United States.
Allison’s Adam & Eve
528 16th Street
West Palm Beach, FL 33407
Today the fourth generation continues the traditions inherited from our ancestors who managed with integrity, respect, and loyalty. We continually strive to improve so the unique, the significant, the distinctive, and the traditional find their place in the contemporary world. Visit www.amighini.com
Old House Web
"Find doors salvage in French designs, expensive materials, or unique styles for your home improvement project. Search our directory for the gently used and like-new doors you need without the expense of buying a new product. Stand out from the crowd with vintage and antique doors that offer a focal point to any room."
Salvage One - Chicago, Illinois
"We Recycle. We Salvage. We save architectural elements from the wrecking ball. We work to preserve and pass on our history. We have been helping our customers breathe new life into salvaged materials for nearly 30 years. We aim to take salvage further by working with you to add creativity and style to your space.
Our store is over 60,000 square feet full of materials and design ideas on four floors. We have a full workshop to do custom work, and a yard full of garden and landscaping ideas."
While they offer a variety of services, "[r]ecycling is at the core of what we do. Being green ain’t easy, but we can help with that. If you are a designer, architect, builder, or tinkerer – we can help make your project environmentally responsible by using salvaged materials in unique and creative ways.
Our store is located at 1840 W Hubbard St in the West Town Neighborhood, near the intersection of Damen and Grand Avenue. More specifically, we are right in between Wood and Wolcott."
Design Your Door - Choose Your Entrance Door
As the opening quote detailed, "the doors we choose to open determines our lives", similarly, with our home, we set the overall tone and appearance with our entrance door.
Choose wisely and compliment your home architecture, help your home's energy conservation, and bump up your curb appeal and resale value.
- Replacing a Front Door
AsktheBuilder.com: Front entry doors can be replaced easily enough as replacement exterior doors are usually the same size.
Home Entryways on Amazon
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© 2010 Ken Kline
Ken Kline (author) from Chicago, Illinois on February 09, 2015:
You are most welcome. Adding curb appeal is an investment that will pay dividends when you are ready to sell you home.
Chyna on February 01, 2015:
Haulalljeh! I needed this-you're my savior.
Kelly Kline Burnett from Madison, Wisconsin on February 24, 2011:
Double Glazing Cheltenham,
My husband loves wood but I love durability - you make a great point - the composite doors are better but with all the great beauty of wood - perhaps even better because they don't mandate frequent staining. Thank you for your contribution and expertise - greatly appreciated.
Double Glazing Cheltenham on February 20, 2011:
Front doors should be welcoming and strong as well. You don't want your house to be broken i because of weak front doors. Always look for composite doors whether it be for installation or replacement.
Kelly Kline Burnett from Madison, Wisconsin on November 23, 2010:
I love all the designs from modern to vintage to traditional. I hope the hard work of the hunt is helpful to those seeking to update their front door.
jessica_alias on November 23, 2010:
You have posted some very nice designs. Thanks!
Kelly Kline Burnett from Madison, Wisconsin on September 26, 2010:
H P Roychoudhury,
Hub Pages does add beauty to every aspect of our lives - we learn, we grow, we change. The sharing of the beauty, from literature to front doors changes our signs and broadens our horizon.
Thank you for your continued loyalty and sharing with us your wisdom, my friend a continent away and yet a few words here on Hub Pages are you are sharing together - putting the world front and center - the humanity that forever binds us - centered around the vehicle of Hub Pages.
You are absolutely correct, the calling card of a home is its front door.
H P Roychoudhury from Guwahati, India on September 25, 2010:
A befitting front door increases the beauty and dignity of the house. Similarly everything in front demands attention. A book is loved by a buyer by its title in front; a celebrity show gets its popularity by the display of front show and so on. The hub justifying the art of beautifying the front door has induced an art of skill to beautify the every activity of life like the beauty of front door.