Best Types of Doors: Weatherproof Options for Security, Style and Energy Efficiency

There are many things that are integral to a home or building, but one of the most important parts is the door. Doors allow you entry into the home or into a room inside. They also let you have privacy, security, and protection from the elements. But with so many different types of doors that you can use in your home, which offer the best combination of beauty, security and energy efficiency?

Whether you need an exterior front door or a small pocket door to your bathroom, there are many options to consider. From material to style, the type of door you choose will have a big impact on the way your home looks and functions.

Single Doors

types of doors

Single doors are probably one of the most types of doors installed. They can be interior or exterior, made of wood, fiberglass, steel, glass, or some kind of combination. They can be solid or hollow, and come in many different designs. The type of single door you choose for your home will be largely dictated by several factors.

Function and Cost

Is this an interior door or an exterior door? Exterior doors are more likely to be heavy, solid, and secure. For that reason, you’re more likely to find an exterior door that’s made of steel or solid wood, rather than fiberglass, glass, or a hollow core. Because of their heavy nature, an exterior door is likely to cost between $500 and $2,000. The cost is primarily based on style; a steel door with a decorative glass insert will cost more than a plain steel door, for example.

Interior doors may be a lighter weight than an exterior door. It may have a hollow core, be made of wood or MDF, or it may be solid or glass. Typically, the more secure you want the area to be, the heavier the door is likely to be. For example, closet doors are more likely to be hollow than bathroom or bedroom doors. Since interior doors are lighter and not designed to offer security, they typically cost between $75 and $125. In this case, hollow MDF doors are on the lowest end of the spectrum, while solid wood interior doors are on the higher end.

Architecture and Style

The architecture of your home will play a large role in the type of door, its style, and its material. For example, if you have an Arts and Crafts, or a Craftsman style home, your front door will be made of wood, and will likely have some inset glass panels at the top. On the other hand, if you have a Colonial, then paneled doors are the most common style, with solid wood or steel doors used on the exterior and wood or MDF doors used inside.

To best determine what types of doors will look good in your home, identify your architectural style, then look up the popular door styles for when it was built.

Double Doors

Double doors are an interesting and very specific door style that is mostly seen in certain architectural styles. Double doors may also be interior or exterior and made of many different materials, as well as having many different styles.

What makes this type of door different, is that the two doors may both be working doors, or you may have a one “dummy” door and one working door. In this case, only one door actually opens and functions, but it gives you the illusion of a larger doorway. Like single doors, the type of double door you may get may depend on several other factors.

Function and Cost

With many types of doors, cost varies widely.  Double doors are less common than single doors, but you can often find them in both interior and exterior locations. For the exterior of the home, it’s most common to find the double door in two places; the front door in a large entryway, and a French-style double door for to open out onto patios or outdoor living areas. When it comes to the exterior, you’ll likely find that the front doors are more likely to be wood, and if you are using a double door, it’s more common to choose a highly decorative style. Leading to the patio or backyard, a double door is more likely to be made of glass.

The cost of an exterior double door is largely driven by material at this point. For example, a double steel door will cost around $2,500, while a double wood door will cost around $1,500. Adding glass to either door will raise the cost again by half, so around $3,750 for a steel double door with glass and around $2,750 for a wooden double door made of glass on average. Costs can go much higher if you add other decorative elements, and for certain types of security doors.

A double glass door, such as French doors has a different price point, at around $1,200. Keep in mind these are not as secure.

On the interior of the home, you’ll actually find that double doors can be used nearly anywhere that you have a wide space. For example, double doors on the interior of a home are most commonly found leading to dining rooms, master bedrooms, home offices, and home libraries.

Like exterior doors, interior double doors may be made of wood or they may be glass “French” doors. In both cases, it’s common to see a very elaborate double door, as the space the doors take up is larger, which leads to more area for decoration.

For this area, the cost of glass doors is around the same – $1,200. For wooden interior doors, costs start around $500, and go up from there the more decorative they become.

The most common architectural style to feature a double door is the Victorian. Nearly all Victorian style homes feature double doors in some way. This includes both the front door and interior doors as well.

Sliding Doors

Many homes today also feature sliding doors. Sliding doors are ideal for spaces that have a lot of width, but not a lot of room for a door to swing.

Function and Cost

In many cases, sliding doors are most commonly installed as an exterior door leading to a deck, patio, porch, or other outdoor living space. These doors are usually made of glass and are designed to give you a large, unimpeded view of the exterior, while at the same time providing you with an easy to access area. A basic sliding glass door will run around $300, but can increase to $700 or $900 if you opt for a full wall of glass, or special features like internal blinds.

Sliding types of doors can also be used inside, however. There are a few different types of interior sliding doors, and ways that you may use them. The most common is the decorative sliding door. Usually a double door and either decorative or paneled, these doors will slide along the walls, effectively turning one large room into two smaller areas when the doors are shut. These doors are most likely to be wood, but in areas where weight is an issue, they may also be made of fiberglass. These doors start at around $500 and go up to about $1,000 for most styles.

Architecture and Style

The Barn door, a specific style of sliding door, is becoming increasingly popular as interior options, particularly in rustic-style homes. These doors may be reclaimed barnwood or new, and they have a rustic modern style that’s very appealing in some settings. The hardware for these doors is usually left exposed while more traditional sliding doors will have their hardware hidden.

For Victorian homes, you may find more ornate sliding doors with heavier panels and decorative carvings.

Pocket Doors

A subset of the sliding door is the pocket door. This type of door is designed to slide into the wall when not in use, so that it can no longer be seen when open.

Function and Cost

Pocket doors are best suited to small areas that cannot accommodate a door swing, such as Jack and Jill bathrooms that connect to bedrooms.

Pocket doors may be made of any material including wood, fiberglass, MDF, hollow core, or metal. Because they are designed to slide into the wall when not in use, they’re usually plainer in style than other types of sliding doors. Pocket doors are often plain in appearance, but because of the difficulty in install, you can expect to pay around $700 to have a pocket door put in your home.

Architecture and Style

You’ll primarily find pocket doors in smaller homes, such as Bungalows. Rather than being part of the style, since the doors are often hidden, they rely more on function and operation within the space.

Picking the Perfect Types of Doors for Your Home

The right type of door for a home will ultimately come down to many things. Style, architecture, location, material, and personal preference. Keep in mind that the cost to install doors does vary depending on style, as well as size and type, as does the cost of the doors themselves. The right door can be perfect finishing touch to any home exterior or interior, so be sure to find the right type of door for your project to get the look and function you’re after.



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