How to Choose Front Doors

How to Choose a Front Door


Choosing a front door is one of the most fun and important home-improvement decisions you’ll make this year. The front door system you choose is an outward expression of your unique decorative taste and creative flair. Working with a spouse or friend to choose the front door configuration, design and options that best reflect your style can be a memorable, rewarding and even pleasurable experience!

But a front entry door is also an investment. Choosing a system that integrates with and complements your home’s architecture can enhance its aesthetic and possibly your home’s value.  Reliability is also important because the longer your system lasts, the greater your return.

Some entry door materials offer clear advantages over others (see fiberglass vs. wood doors), including greater energy efficiency, weather resistance and warranty coverage. Unfortunately, depot-store sales staff and “handyman” contractors are usually unaware or misinformed about these benefits and differences.  Most also lack the highly specialized knowledge held by trusted door system experts like Today’s Entry Doors. As our name suggests, we are solely and completely focused on front entry doors.  So you can trust us to deliver a compete, turnkey solution that matches your personal style and deliver real returns on your home-improvement investment.

How to Choose a Front Entry Door in 5 Easy Steps

Drawing on 25-plus years of door systems design and installation experience, Today’s Entry Doors has put together this handy, 5-step guide to help you choose a new front entry door.  These expert, easy to follow recommendations will help you select exactly the right front door system, at just the right price, with a warranty and satisfaction guarantee that you’ll feel confident about for years to come.

How to choose your perfect door

Step 1: How to Choose a Front Door

Step 2: How to Choose Front Door Glass Inserts

Step 3: How to Choose a Front Door Color

Step 4: How to Choose Front Door Hardware

Step 5: How to Choose a Screen Door

Step 1: How to Choose a Front Door

Without some expert guidance, choosing a new front entry door can be daunting. But it really doesn’t have to be.  In fact, following these few simple steps will not only save you time, it will make the process more fun and creative by revealing some contemporary design options you may not have been aware of.  Step 1 takes you through some preliminary considerations, like size, style and material, while Steps 2-5 help you select the perfect decorative, hardware and security features.

So what do you say? Let’s get started!

Entry Door Sizes

The term “door size” refers to the width of your front entry door and is usually expressed in inches or feet. The 36-inch entry door is the most common, followed others of less conventional sizes. Many people also have a 42 inch Entry Door or 5-foot double entry doors, which are just two 30-inch entry doors paired up to provide a larger opening that facilitates easier wheelchair access and furniture moving.  Regardless of your entry door size, Today’s Entry Doors offers a wide range of color, glass and hardware options to choose from, so you get exactly the look you want at a price that fits your budget.

Front Door Configuration

“Configuration” simply means choosing between a single front door or double front door, and whether you want decorative sidelights or an overhead transom. Sidelights are panels that flank and accentuate your front entry door. They are usually crafted from glass, wood or fiberglass, and can be opaque for privacy or not. Entry doors with sidelights are very popular right now, mainly because of how they transform an ordinary entry into one looks richer and more fashionable. A transom is made from decorative glass inserts that are installed above the door to fill your entryway with inviting natural light.

“Configuration” simply means choosing between a single front door or double front door, and whether you want decorative sidelights or an overhead transom.

Entry Door Material

When it’s time to replace an entry door, most people reflexively think of wood. But given certain performance issues inherent to wood (weather resistance, termites, etc.) many homeowners are delighted to learn that Today’s Entry Doors offers a different and more durable choice: fiberglass.
Research shows that fiberglass is superior to wood in the areas value-minded homeowners care about most, including durability, and usually, warranty coverage.

Yes, but how does fiberglass look?  In a word, great!

The latest advances in materials science have made the appearance and finish of some fiberglass models virtually indistinguishable from those of wood. More importantly for those who care about return on investment, fiberglass is more energy efficient that wood, and resists damage and deterioration from sun, moisture and termites far better.  Fiberglass models often come with a more comprehensive guarantee.


Fiberglass vs Wood Doors

Fiberglass vs Wood Doors, Only One Prevails

Resists weather. Lasts longer. Even saves energy. See for yourself why fiberglass is superior.

Flush or Paneled?

Simply put, a “flush” front entry door’s surface is flat from top to bottom. A “paneled” door is one that has molded patterns that can take the shape of squares, rectangles or arches. These molded patterns are usually removed when glass is inserted into the door. The enhancements can give the paneled door–and your entire entryway–a more elegant, refined and sophisticated look.

Surface Type

Front entry doors typically come in two surface types: smooth and textured. This is true for wooden doors as well as the more durable fiberglass models from Today’s Entry Doors. The guideline for both is simple: if you want to paint the entry door, choose one with a smooth surface. Painting lets you accent or highlight the door with bright bold colors or the softer, more subdued tones that are currently in vogue. If you want a more natural look that brings out the grain or lines, choose a textured entry door that you can stain. When Today’s Entry Door customers ask “can I paint or stain my fiberglass entry door?” We say “yes!” Because the versatile, high-quality products we sell allow you to do either, easily and affordably.

Entry Door Style

Choosing an entry door “style” can seem confusing at first because the term means different things to different people. To make choosing easier, door manufacturers have identified six main front door “styles,” all of which are available at Today’s Entry Doors. Click the links below to preview some examples.

Fiberglass Dutch Doors

“Dutch” refers to a door that is split horizontally, so that the top and bottom halves can swing open and shut independently. Dutch doors first appeared in the U.S. in 17th century and continue to be popular with homeowners today.

Contemporary Entry Doors

With their smooth, flush surface and simple unpretentious design, Contemporary Entry Doors feel like a fabulous ‘50s throwback–stylish, trendy and oh-so expressive! Contemporary Entry Doors don’t have panels and are typically painted in an eye-catching color or hue.

Craftsman Style Front Doors

Usually one piece and characterized by square edges, sharp lines and a fine vertical grain, Craftsman Style Front Doors often feature an elegant ornamental shelf called a “dentil” that’s missing from most other door styles.

Decorative Doors

What makes an entry door “decorative” is the addition of ornamental metal grilles, beautiful glass panels–or both–which combine to give your door an alluring, sophisticated look and an extra measure of security.

Classic Doors

Warm, welcoming and familiar, classic style entry doors are a huge favorite of homeowners in older, more well-established neighborhoods, and anyone who wants to refresh (but not drastically change) their entryway’s aesthetic.

Rustic Entry Doors

With their distinctive, handcrafted-by-artisans look, rustic style front doors give your entryway an air of old-world charm that best complements Tuscan, Southwestern or European-country architecture.

Fiberglass Entry Door Brands

Today’s Entry Doors is not a fiberglass entry door manufacturer but rather a designer, distributor and installer of the world’s finest fiberglass entry door brands.  Every homeowner’s goals, tastes and budget are unique.

That’s why Today’s Entry Doors has partnered only with selected, world-class fiberglass door makers.
We chose the companies below because, collectively, their quality, selection and service enable us to fulfill virtually any request for a fiberglass entry door system. These partners stand behind us by standing behind their products, a commitment that ultimately helps ensure your satisfaction and delight with any Today’s Entry Doors solution.

Today’s Entry Doors is not a fiberglass entry door manufacturer but rather a designer, distributor and installer of the world’s finest fiberglass entry door brands.


Here is a brief overview of our door fiberglass door manufacturing partners:

JELD WEN Entry Doors

Jeld-Wen LogoJELD WEN is a leading global manufacturer that operates 90 facilities in more than 18 countries. Its products have earned numerous awards and endorsements for dependability, innovation and excellence. An ENERGY STAR® Partner since 1998, JELD-WEN’s product line includes numerous highly energy efficient offerings.

Therma-Tru Entry Doors

Thema-Tru LogoTherma-Tru was founded in 1962 and is credited by many with pioneering the fiberglass entry door industry. Today, Therma-Tru offers a comprehensive portfolio of entry and patio door system solutions, which include decorative glass doorlites, sidelites and transoms, and other door components.

Plastpro Entry Doors

Plastpro LogoSince 1994, Los Angeles-based Plastpro Inc. has been a leading U.S. manufacturer of fiberglass entry doors. Over the past 10 years, the company has introduced numerous product enhancements, including Hydroshield Technology®, which protects its doors against water infiltration to help eliminate the threat of warp, rot, delamination and mildew.

Front Door Advice – Whom to listen?

Download your Entry Door buying guide.If you’re considering purchasing a new front door for your Orange County home, you may be wondering, How to decide on a New Front Door and who can help me make the best decision? As with most choices in life, you make the best ones when you are fully informed. But how are you to get informed? There are all kinds of information – and misinformation – on the internet. How do you know who’s credible and who’s not?

Well, first off, if you want to purchase a fiberglass entry door, you wouldn’t go to a company that specializes in windows. You would seek out a company that specializes in fiberglass entry doors, right? Similarly, a big depot type retailer is NOT a company that specializes in fiberglass entry doors.

Getting a professional entry door design & installation specialist to install your door is the best way to move forward.

A specialist entry door company will have superior knowledge and experience of the entry door industry. They will have relationships with manufacturers and distributors, will understand warranties and advocate for their customers to get the longest warranty possible, and will be capable of delivering precisely what you need and expect. They will share their knowledge and empower you to make a thoughtful and informed decision. They will have professional installers who know exactly what to do and who warranty their work. Ultimately, they will help you choose a door that is not only beautiful and elegant, but that provides the security and functionality your family needs.

Turnkey Entry Door Installation

“Turnkey” simply means all-inclusive. A turnkey fiberglass entry door system from Today’s Entry Doors includes everything that’s needed to refresh and beautify your home’s entry, including:

  • The new fiberglass entry door with options of your choice (hardware, glass, decorative grille, etc.)
  • A new door frame and inner/outer trim that come factory painted or stained
  • Brand new hinges, lockset, threshold and energy-efficient weather-stripping
  • Free removal and disposal of your old door and door system components
  • A factory warranty and the Today’s Entry Door satisfaction guarantee

What Your Turnkey Installation Doesn’t Include

Today’s Entry Doors is a professional, distributor-recognized door system designer and installer. When you buy from us, we can reconfigure your door and frame, within reasonable limits, to fit your entryway perfectly. The result is a beautiful new premium-quality door system that’s as stylish and unique as its owners!

Please note that our installation does not include modifying the entryway into which your new door is placed. To do so would be so cost prohibitive that we couldn’t keep our prices competitive. Have other questions about our turnkey door installations? Feel free to give us a call.

Don’t Forget About the Side Doors

Many times, when homeowners get a new front entry door system, they also want to replace their side entry doors.  Why not?
It’s the perfect time to do it, and replacing doors simultaneously minimizes the disruption to your daily routine.  Our entry door system designers will work with you to select side (or rear) entry doors that integrate seamlessly into your overall home design and color scheme.

Leave the Hard Stuff to the Experts

There’s a lot more to choosing a front entry door system than grabbing one from the depot store and slapping it up yourself.  Like many home improvement projects, installing doors is best left to experts like Today’s Entry Doors. If you have questions about door systems, including why fiberglass is a better choice for most homeowners, please give us a call.

Need help taking measurements? We have some helpful tips.  In fact, with a reputation for excellence that spans more than 30 years, Today’s Entry Doors is your one-stop resource for anything and everything related to front entry doors. So call today! We’d love to help.

Step 2: Choose Front Door Glass Inserts