There’s a lot to consider when selecting an exterior door, whether it’s for new construction or a remodeling project. It’s easy to get “tunnel vision” and focus too much on the entryway itself, to the detriment of the façade as a whole. Read below for a few tips from Builders FirstSource on how to select the best exterior door for your project, and avoid the dreaded “McMansion” appellation.



The color of an entry door is always going to be the first thing that homeowners, visitors, and passers-by notice about an entryway. There’s a literal rainbow of colors to choose from, so how do you begin to narrow down your options? First thing’s first; think about the overall visual effect you want the door to have on the exterior of the house

Matching the color of a front door to shutters, planters, or trim yields a cohesive, balanced effect. Picking up on the undertones of façade brick and masonry is, likewise, a great way to create a harmonious color palette.
Want to make a statement that can be seen from the curb? Adding a bright, unexpected splash of color to an otherwise neutral façade is an excellent way to draw the eye center-stage. This style is most effective in small- to mid-size homes; it can easily look unbalanced in large houses.
Woods and woodtones are basically guaranteed to never go out of style, and harmonize well with just about any color palette. Natural wood or wood-like fiberglass allows the door’s profile to do all the talking. It’s a perfect choice for homes with traditional style, and an excellent way to show off decorative glass.



The quickest way to “break” the look of a well-designed exterior is to select an entry door that simply doesn’t mesh with the home’s architecture. We’re big fans of Craftsman-style doors – but if they’re not in context with other Arts & Crafts-inspired motifs like square columns or board-and-batten shutters, the door can look awkward and out-of-place. A bit like displaying a signed Nirvana poster in a formal foyer; both are beautiful things in their own right, but mashing them together is a disservice to both.

Homes with architecture inspired by Old World styles such as Tuscan or Queen Anne benefit from entry doors that exude charm and sophistication.
Cutting-edge architecture needs an entry door that matches the cool, graphic look of the whole house.
When designing for that quintessential American Transitional style, the classics just can’t be beat.
  • Wrought iron hardware
  • Arched top
  • Wood or wood-look fiberglass
  • LOOK FOR...
  • Sleek decorative glass
  • Smooth surface
  • Bold colors
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  • Square panels
  • Classic colors
  • Traditional glass designs


    While not as visually obvious as color or profile, it’s equally important to consider the material of the entry door for your project. The 3 most common materials used for entry doors are steel, fiberglass, and wood, and each has its own unique set of pros and cons.

    When home security is the top priority, steel is far and away the most dependable front door material choice. Steel doors are available in a wide variety of popular profiles. While extremely strong, any dents that a steel door suffers will be very difficult to conceal or remove, and may necessitate the replacement of the slab.
    Fiberglass is one of the more expensive material options for your new entry door, but it’s hard to argue with the long-term energy savings offered by a fiberglass door. Many fiberglass doors can be stained to closely mimic the look of genuine wood, or painted in an array of colors to suit any palette. Fiberglass doors are more resilient to dents and scratches than wood, while offering superior insulation properties. The energy efficiency of fiberglass make it the best exterior door for cold weather climates.
    While stained fiberglass provides a close imitation, sometimes you just can’t beat the timeless charm and appeal of a solid wood door. Wood doors are more vulnerable to the elements than steel or fiberglass. On the other hand, wood doors allow for almost limitless custom options like unusual shapes and unique glass configurations.

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