How to Choose the Perfect Craftsman Exterior Door: A Comprehensive Guide

1. Introduction

In this guide, we will review all of the ways that you can customize your craftsman exterior door so that it is perfect for your home. We’ll also address some frequently asked questions regarding craftsman doors. Then, we’ll help you determine where to buy your new door. Finally, we’ll give you a step-by-step process of how to install your new craftsman door, if you choose to go the DIY route.

Doors can say a lot about a home. They can be welcoming, stately, and even a bit mysterious. A craftsman exterior door can encompass all of those qualities while adding a sense of unique style to your home. Before you choose your new door, however, there are many elements to consider. From materials to size to color, the options can seem overwhelming. That’s where we come in. We’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to help you through the process and make it as stress-free as possible.

1.1. Significance of Choosing the Right Exterior Door

For many houses, the front door is often the most visible and emphasized part of the exterior. It is the most direct reflection of a home’s interior style and the best chance to make a good first impression. Because of these factors, and the following additional reasons, selecting a front entry door is an important decision and key factor in maintaining and increasing a home’s curb appeal. First, among the various styles of front doors available, the craftsman-style door is a classic and attractive choice that complements a variety of different house styles. Second, because it is relatively easy to find a craftsman door at building supply stores, it is a cost-effective option. Third, the craftsman style offers a mixture of elegance, simplicity, and symmetry that work together to create a stylish look.

The exterior door of your house is not just an entry point. It acts as a protector and the first point of defense against weather, intruders, and more. Choosing the right door that combines aesthetics with function is, therefore, incredibly important. After all, it’s a long-term investment. Craftsman exterior doors are known for their sturdy construction, minimalistic design, and quality materials. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the perfect craftsman exterior door for your house. In this guide, we shall first understand the significance of choosing the right exterior door. There are three main reasons to consider a craftsman-style front entry door when looking to replace your exterior entry door.

2. Understanding Craftsman Style

In addition to the distinctive look, Craftsman homes have a warm and inviting feel that is garnered, in part, from the emphasis on the front entrance as the focal point of the home. Providing a sense of welcome and security, the front door of a Craftsman home is an important element and choosing the perfect Craftsman exterior door for your home requires a bit of understanding about the style and a bit of planning. With a wide selection of doors available, you are sure to find the perfect one for your home.

A cornerstone of American architecture and design, Craftsman-style homes were first built in the early 20th century. Inspired by the “Arts and Crafts” movement in England, renowned architect Gustav Stickley, in collaboration with other designers like Henry and Charles Greene, created a new style of home that emphasized high-quality handiwork, natural materials, and simplicity of design. Craftsman homes are known for their unique and recognizable style, which usually includes the following features: a covered front porch, exposed roof rafters, low-pitched rooflines, decorative beams and braces under the gables, wood siding, and custom woodwork throughout the interior and exterior of the home.

2.1. Key Characteristics of Craftsman Doors

A decorative glass window pane is one of the most iconic elements of a Craftsman door. These windows typically feature geometric patterns such as squares, rectangles, or diamonds, and are often in earth tones like amber, green, or brown. Glass window panes are often divided into smaller sections by muntins or metal caming, resulting in a prairie style grid. Another characteristic of Craftsman doors is minimal embellishment. While there may be some simple carving or straight vertical lines, you will not find the intricate floral or scrollwork patterns that are common on other style doors. The overall look is clean and uncluttered. The materials used are also an important characteristic of Craftsman doors. Wood is the most popular material and is often stained to allow its natural beauty to shine through. However, you may also find doors made of steel or fiberglass, both of which can mimic the look of wood quite nicely.

Because Craftsman doors hold significant cultural and historical importance, it is crucial to consider the key elements that make a door Craftsman in style. By doing so, you will be able to identify the perfect Craftsman exterior door, whether it is authentic or a modern recreation, for your home.

3. Factors to Consider

The size of your Craftsman exterior door is an important factor to consider because it needs to fit the opening of your entryway. If you are replacing an existing door, you can measure the width, height, and thickness of the door to determine the size of the new door. If you are building a new entryway, make sure to follow the standard building codes for door size. Keep in mind that the size of the door will also affect the amount of natural light that enters your home, as well as the overall look of your home’s exterior.

Craftsman exterior doors come in a variety of materials, with wood being the most popular. Natural wood doors offer a beautiful, classic look and can be stained or painted to match your home’s exterior. Wood also has insulating properties and can help regulate the temperature inside your home. However, wood doors require more maintenance and can be more expensive. If you want the look of wood without the maintenance, you can opt for a fiberglass door that is designed to mimic the look of real wood. Fiberglass doors are more durable and energy-efficient than wood doors but may not offer the same level of insulation. Other options include steel doors, which are the most secure but can rust over time, and iron doors, which are expensive but offer a unique and elegant look.

Buying a Craftsman exterior door is a major decision because it sets the overall aesthetic for your home’s facade. However, there is more to choosing a door than just its design and look. Here are the major factors you need to consider:

3.1. Material Selection

When selecting a material, consider your budget, desired maintenance level, climate, and the overall aesthetic of your home. The material you choose will have a significant impact on your door’s style, cost, and durability.

1. Wood: Wood is the most traditional and customizable material. It is available in various species such as cherry, mahogany, alder, pine, and Douglas fir. Wood doors can be stained or painted to match your home’s exterior. 2. Steel: Steel doors are strong and relatively low maintenance. They can be designed to mimic the look of a wood door but are typically more cost-effective. 3. Fiberglass: Fiberglass doors can be designed to look like wood and have the added benefit of energy efficiency. They are more durable than steel and won’t warp, dent, or rust. 4. Iron: Iron doors are luxurious and offer unmatched beauty and security. They are, however, the most expensive option.

The first decision you will need to make when seeking the perfect craftsman front door is the material type. There are 4 main material types, each with its own pros and cons:

3.2. Design and Aesthetics

When it comes to choosing a craftsman exterior door, there are a few key factors to consider. First, decide on the material. Craftsman doors are typically made of wood, fiberglass, or steel. Wood doors are the most traditional and are a good choice if you want an authentic craftsman look. Fiberglass doors are a more affordable option and can be designed to look like wood. Steel doors are the most budget-friendly option but may not offer the same level of style and elegance as wood or fiberglass. Choose a material that fits your budget and your aesthetic preferences. Next, consider the glass. One of the most distinctive features of a craftsman door is the use of glass. Craftsman doors often have one or more large glass panels, which may be clear or beveled.

Craftsman doors are available in a wide range of materials, including wood, fiberglass, and steel. Wood doors are the most traditional and are a good choice if you want an authentic craftsman look. Wood doors can be expensive and require regular maintenance to keep them looking their best. Fiberglass doors are a more affordable option and can be designed to look like wood. Fiberglass doors are also very durable and require little maintenance. Steel doors are the most budget-friendly option but may not offer the same level of style and elegance as wood or fiberglass. Choose a material that fits your budget and your aesthetic preferences.

Craftsman doors are known for their simple, elegant design that can enhance the beauty of any home. They typically feature a square or rectangular shape, with vertical or horizontal panels. One of the most distinctive features of a craftsman door is the use of glass. Craftsman doors often have one or more large glass panels, which may be clear or beveled. The glass is usually inset into the door and is framed by wood. When choosing a craftsman exterior door, consider the design and aesthetics. Make sure that the door complements the style of your home and that it will enhance its curb appeal.

4. Measuring and Installation

The manufacturer should adequately prepare and ship the door. Make sure to inspect it for damage that may have occurred during transport. The door should have a finish on all sides that is free of any cuts or scrapes, as moisture can seep into an unfinished area and cause the wood to warp. Do not allow any significant delays between receiving the door and installing it, especially if it is unfinished; prolonged exposure to the elements can cause the door to warp. If you are replacing an old door, check the condition of the existing threshold. A damaged or rotted threshold should be replaced to provide proper support for the new door. If the door did not come with a pre-hung frame, set the manufacturer’s installation instructions.

To avoid the cost and inconvenience of a non-fitting door, it is very important to properly measure the dimensions of the door frame. Measure the width of the frame in three places: across the top, across the bottom, and in the middle. Use the narrowest measurement as the reference for the width of the door. To measure the height of the door, again take three measurements: from the top of the door frame to the bottom on the right side, in the center, and on the left side. Use the shortest of the three as the reference for the height of the door. Make sure to take all these measurements twice to be certain, as well-made doors allow for very little room for error. When you have finally determined the right dimensions for your door, it is time for installation. If you are not comfortable with your own ability to properly install it, hire an experienced installer. Most craftsmen exterior doors are quite heavy and need to be properly installed so that they hang straight and open and close correctly with ease.

4.1. Accurate Measurements

These measurements will ensure that you get a door that fits perfectly in the opening, allowing you to install it with ease. If you’re ordering a custom door from a Craftsman, be sure to provide them with these measurements and any other special requirements you may have. With the right measurements in hand, you’ll be on your way to finding the perfect Craftsman exterior door for your home.

Measure the width of the door frame at the top, middle, and bottom. Use the smallest of these measurements. Next, measure the height of the door frame on the left and right sides and in the middle. Again, use the smallest of these measurements. Finally, measure the thickness of the door. Most exterior doors are 1 ¾ inches thick, but some older homes have door frames that are only 1 ⅜ inches thick.

Before you start shopping for a new Craftsman exterior door, it’s important to get some accurate measurements. You don’t want to order a door that is too big or too small for the opening, as this will result in a lot of extra work and possibly even some reconfiguring of the entryway. To get the most accurate measurements, follow these steps:

5. Maintenance and Longevity

As already mentioned, fiberglass is very durable and is the lowest maintenance front door material. Typically, all that is required to keep a fiberglass door in top condition is to wash it down with soap and water every once in a while. Steel doors might require a bit more maintenance since the paint might start to blister and peel after a few years. When this happens, you will have to sand the area around the damaged paint, then prime and paint the area. Make sure to use high-quality exterior paint and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Steel doors might also rust if the paint is damaged, so inspect the door often and make any necessary repairs.

Wood craftsman exterior doors will need the most maintenance. If the door is not protected by a substantial overhang and it gets drenched every time it rains, the finish will deteriorate quickly so you will have to refinish the door more often. You can tell when the finish on the door is deteriorating by looking for watermarks on the finish. When this happens, it is time to sand the affected area and reapply the finish. If you procrastinate, the door could be damaged by the water infiltration. Fiberglass and steel craftsman exterior doors have finishes that are very good at protecting the door from the elements. You will still have to inspect these doors for any nicks and scratches in the finish and refinish these areas to prevent water infiltration. Since these doors are not made of wood, you will not have to worry about the door being damaged by the water.

In this not-so-perfect world, no craftsman exterior door will take care of itself. Maintaining your door might seem like a daunting task, but just follow some simple rules and your door will stay beautiful for many years to come. Depending on the exposure of your craftsman exterior door, how often it gets direct rainfall, and the intensity of the sunlight that beats down on it during the day, your door might need more frequent maintenance if it is exposed to the elements on a daily basis.

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Questions About Craftsman Exterior Doors? Here’s What You Need to Know


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