Guide to Exterior Doors


Exterior doors are an essential component of every home. These doors are one of the first things visitors will see, making them an important focal point for your house. External doors are positioned in a variety of areas around your home, from front and back entrances to your patio. Your exterior door selection can impact your house’s curb appeal, energy efficiency and security.

Your style and material choices impact the door’s function and appearance. With so many exterior door types available, choosing one can seem overwhelming. Learning about external door styles can help you make the best selection for your home.

If you want to install a new exterior door but aren’t sure where to start, our exterior door guide can help.

What Are the Different Exterior Door Styles?

Exterior doors are available in a variety of styles. Your choice can impact the door’s functionality and aesthetic appearance. Here are five of the significant door styles:

1. Paneled Entry Doors

Paneled doors are a popular choice for entryways and other external doors. This door type consists of square or rectangular panels instead of a single material piece. Each panel fits together to create a finalized door. A frequent combination involves six panels arranged in three rows of two panels. 

Paneled doors are available in a couple of material types, including:

  • Steel: Steel is a durable option for your door, as it can withstand harsh weather conditions. A steel-paneled door will last many years and doesn’t need much maintenance. However, a notable disadvantage of steel is a lack of customization. They usually consist of one neutral color, and most steel bases don’t respond well to paint or stains.
  • Fiberglass: Fiberglass is another popular option for door material. This material consists of reinforced plastic that resides in a resin matrix. It’s a durable, secure and versatile option for doorways. Fiberglass is also more customizable than steel — you can choose from a wide range of styles or paint over it to find the perfect design.

2. Entry Doors With Glass

Next, you can also choose windowed doors for your home’s exterior. These doors feature glass panels that offer a look into your home or outside. Windows can run the entire length of your door or be a smaller shape, like a square. Windowed doors add aesthetic appeal to your home’s exterior.

You can select a variety of materials for your windowed door, such as:

  • Steel: Steel offers many benefits for a windowed exterior door. Its strong outer shell provides maximum protection from weather and outdoor elements. Many steel doors are also fireproof, adding protection to your home. However, some cons of steel are the limited customization opportunities and the challenges of fixing dents.
  • Fiberglass: Fiberglass doors consist of compression-molded fiberglass. The compacted material creates a durable and visually appealing door for your exterior. You can customize fiberglass to match your home’s style. Another benefit is its low maintenance needs. One significant con of fiberglass is that it can sometimes cost more than other material types.

3. Sliding Doors

Homeowners often use sliding doors for decks, porches and backyard access points. These functional doors are simple to use and open with an easy slide. They operate on a set of tracks that allow for easy opening and closing. Sliding doors also provide beautiful views of your yard or neighborhood.

This door type features a large glass window and is made from vinyl. Vinyl is a low-maintenance and cost-effective material, which allows you to maintain a high-quality appearance for many years. 

The only drawback of sliding doors is that they can only open half as wide as the total door size. In other words, you can only enter or exit your home through half of the door when you pull it open.

4. French and Hinged Patio Doors


French-style doors are another popular choice for your exterior. These doors consist mostly of glass, either separated into panels or in one large sheet. They have two sections that can open inward and outward, both pivoting on hinges. French doors provide immense amounts of natural light. Many homeowners choose French doors for their patios, balconies or porches. Their elegant appearance and customizability make them popular in many homes.

You can personalize your French door with choices like:

  • Material type: Like other door styles, you can select different materials for your French door. For instance, you could choose fiberglass or vinyl. You can also tailor the entryway to meet an architectural style, like contemporary or colonial.
  • Functionality: You can design your French door so that both doors open or just one or the other. In addition, you could choose for the doors to open inwardly, outwardly or in both directions.

5. Storm Doors

Storm doors are an important type of exterior door. You install them in front of standard doors for more protection against weather elements. They can also provide additional ventilation for your home. Storm doors are typically available in glass and screen panel options. You can use screen fronts to let in warm air or increase ventilation. Then, the glass panels can shield your home from weather elements.

A common storm door material is aluminum. Aluminum creates a sturdy structure and provides thermal insulation for your home. The material also has many designs and customization options.


Contact Sunshine Contracting Today

An exterior door is an investment in your home that you should not overlook. These doors add visual appeal to your home and have important functions, from entranceways to storm protection. 

If you’re ready to install a new exterior door, choose Sunshine Contracting today. We provide high-quality and professional door installations that can enhance your home’s curb appeal and longevity. Our competitive prices, dedicated customer service and comprehensive certifications set us apart from competitors. We can help you select the best exterior door for your needs and install it with expert techniques.

To get started with Sunshine Contracting, schedule your free quote today.

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