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Like wood floors, choosing doors for a home requires careful attention

October 22, 2013

Hardwood FloorsA front door is the gateway into someone's home and should be in sync with the architectural style of the house. The wide selection on today's market allows homeowners to select doors for style as well as practicality. Choosing the right door should be done with the same attention to detail as selecting wood floors like those in Anderson's Brevard collection.

While they may not get as much attention as the front entrance, side doors and those leading to a backyard patio or deck also need to have continuity in design. It's important, for instance, that a back door allows in natural light, presents a good view of the outdoors from within and coordinates well with a home's interior.

Current home design trends favor taller and wider doors that include decorative glass panels alongside the doors or above them. Many are inspired by particular architectural styles, while others come in customized colors for a contemporary look. A door choice should be in step with decor of the the foyer or the room closest to the entry and with the accessories - light lanterns, door fixtures and stair railings - chosen for the outdoor entrance.

Consider the weather
Some doors are best suited to certain weather conditions. While new doors are better insulated for energy efficiency than older models, hinged doors that swing out work well in colder climates. In areas with high winds and inclement weather, the wind pushes against the jamb, ensuring a tighter seal, according to The House Designers.

Today's doors are frequently a mix of materials, including wood frames surrounding fiberglass or steel doors and manmade doors that have wood components. According to This Old House, the surface material is what determines appearance, durability, security and price. Doors that are a mix of wood veneer skins and engineered wood cores minimize the expansion and contraction that causes warping.

Like hardwood flooring, wood doors come in many natural wood tones. Durable stains and clear finishes provide good protection for wood doors. When painting a door, high-gloss paint provides the best protection against the elements. To prevent a door from absorbing moisture and swelling, the top and bottom edges should be finished for a good seal.

Low-maintenance fiberglass doors are attractive, durable and sometimes replicate the look of wood. Steel doors are the best choices for durability and security because they are the strongest. They're also an economical choice because they don't crack or warp.