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How to Choose a Front Door

Judging a house by its cover.

The saying goes, “don’t judge a book by its cover ”  — but it never said anything about not judging a house by its front door. Your front door is one of the first things people notice about your home. If you’re wondering “what style of front door should I get?”, your should look for a front door that “speaks” for you and gives others the impression you want about your house!

From traditional steel doors to classic wood paneling to contemporary composite doors and modern aluminum styles, there are endless options available. Make sure you’re setting the right first impression with an outward appearance that complements your interior home styling.

With so many types of front doors to pick, we’ve compiled a list to help you answer the question of how to choose a front door.

Framed & Paneled Front Doors

This classic style of door is one of the most common front door designs available. Most framed and paneled doors are made from a base wood with their paneling constructed from timber, plywood or various board materials. The overall look provides a decorative motif that can be quite stunning and stylish. The paneling can also be made from glass to provide an open. elegant look to the front of your home.

Wood paneled front entry door

Steel & Metal Exterior Doors

Some of today’s modern minimalist motifs incorporate hints of cold steel into the overall aesthetic. When it comes to choosing an entry door, steel can give you that rustic-meets-industrial feel that captures a more contemporary style.

Most steel doors use an insulation core (typically wood) that’s covered by a metal skin. They’re sturdy and won’t crack or warp over time. However, steel doors may require more frequent paint touch-ups to keep your door looking fresh and new.

If you want a steel door but less of an industrial vibe, you can find decorative, elaborate steel cut designs to give your front door some character!

Fiberglass & Composite Outside Doors

Want the look of a wood door with virtually none of the maintenance? If so, the best type of front door for you may be a fiberglass and composite door as they can brilliantly mimic the look and feel of solid wood. They also provide good insulation and shouldn’t warp, bow or twist with age.

Simply stain the door and you’ve got a front entrance that looks as if it’s made from authentic oak, cherry, walnut or any other variety of natural wood. The only thing you may need to be careful of is direct vulnerability to harsh weather.

Timber & Wood Front Entry Doors

When it comes to exploring what type of front door is best, that may depend more on your personal style preference than anything else. If you want tried-and-true traditional, then a wooden front door is your most solid option. (Pun intended). For most exterior house doors, alder is the wood of choice due to its local availability and ease of build. With so many wood doors available on the market, the hardest part won’t be finding which wood material you want, it will be picking a design and a color.

Classic wood front door

PVC Exterior Doors

Polyvinyl Chloride is a versatile material most commonly used for making a variety of products, particularly piping. PVC is a great material for doors because it’s insect proof, durable yet lightweight and moisture resistant. It’s also easy to make and install. However, due to its lack of heft, PVC doors aren’t typically used for exterior entrance ways. They’re more widely used for interior doors, which is important to note when deciding which is the best entry door material for you and your home.

Aluminum Front Doors

Similar in structure to steel doors, aluminum front doors use an insulation core (typically wood) covered by metal coating. Aluminum doors hardly ever need to be painted and they won’t rust.

Aluminum is also a lightweight metal that’s still durable — unlike PVC — giving you a feeling of safety and comfort using it as a material for your home’s entrance.The only downside to aluminum, is that aluminum are the second most expensive choice for a door after solid wood.

If you also want to add some decorative glass accents to your home, your front door is a perfect place to do so. Glass can easily be incorporated into a front door whether you choose solid wood, composite, steel, or aluminum as a material. With so many types of exterior doors to choose from — spanning the gamut from classic to contemporary, your home is sure to woo onlookers for years to come.

Looking for a front door? Discover our new entry door line!


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Rustica Lock Measuring Guide

Measuring Distance

This is the measurement from the top of your door to where you'd like the lock handle. This measurement allows you the flexibility to place the locking mechanism where it will not interfere with any existing handles or fixtures pre-mounted to the door. You'll need at least 2-1/8" clearance below. See Picture

Hole Placement

Introducing an easy solution to little ones slamming your barn door! Our new Closure soft-stop system slows you door down before it makes contact with the track stop. This ensures a smooth stop every time. The Closure system has been specially designed to be universal with all Rustica Hardware flat track systems, no matter the length of track this product will work with your flat track system. Product comes with (2) Closure mechanisms (one for each side of the track system) to protect your system whether it’s being opened or closed.

Placement is measured from bottom of the door to the door bore hole.

Placement is measured from bottom of the door to the door bore hole.

Standard is 5'-1/2" above door knob boring.

Our designer corbels are sold in pairs. Each pair of mantel corbels is made of solid alder wood and designed for use with our floating mantel shelves. Corbels are easy to install and add a substantial design feature to your mantel space. Corbels will come finished to match the color and texture of your selected mantel.

All of our solid wood doors are made from the finest grade knotty alder or poplar. The species of wood that a door is made from is based on the finish that is selected for that door. Knotty Alder is more rustic and full of knots that are prevalent in the finished look. Poplar is a cleaner wood in that it has less knots for a more seamless look.

Please use the below guide if you're interested knowing what species of wood your door will be made from and the type of look you should be expecting:

This is the width, height and thickness of the door itself. If you are replacing a slab (door without the jamb), fill in the exact measurements of the existing slab.

To measure rough opening height, measure the distance from the stud above the door opening to the floorboard at the bottom of the door opening.

To measure rough opening width, measure the distance from the stud on one side of the door opening to the stud on the opposite side of the opening.

Measure the existing slab, that you're wanting to replace, from the top of the door to the top of each hinge. You will format your entry in this format: Hinge 1- 10" from top of door. Hinge 2- 22.

We Recommend:

3-1/2" hinges for 1-3/8" doors, 4" hinges for 1-3/4" doors and 4-1/2" hinges for 2-1/4" doors.

Select which side of the door you'd like your pull/handle to be located when facing the front side of the door (the side of the opening in which you can see your track/rolling system). The back side handle will be placed on the same side of the door as your front side handle.

NOTE: The current lead time for Brushed Steel and Brushed Stainless Steel on the Box system type is 7 weeks.

Hinge Placement Instruction

To identify hinge positions, measure from the TOP of the door to the top of each hinge.

Door Accessories

Spice Rack

The spice rack is great for holding an assortment of items.

Stories Told Bookshelf

Four shelfs total, our biggest bookshelf.

Steam Engine Bookshelf

Two shelfs, with a beautiful design.

Coat Hanger

The perfect coat hanger for any office or home entry.

Modern Industrial Floating Shelf Dark

Achieve the popular look of clean modern shelving with a touch of industrial flare with adding our Mountain Modern Floating Shelves to your barn door! This product includes two matching shelves. Each are made of solid knotty alder wood, with a craftsman finish. The shelves are accented steel brackets that add character and life to these beautiful art pieces. Each shelf is hand touched by an an American Craftsman to ensure quality and an artists aesthetic.

Modern Industrial Floating Shelf Clear

Achieve the popular look of clean modern shelving with a touch of industrial flare with adding our Mountain Modern Floating Shelves to your barn door! This product includes two matching shelves. Each are made of solid knotty alder wood, with a craftsman finish. The shelves are accented steel brackets that add character and life to these beautiful art pieces. Each shelf is hand touched by an an American Craftsman to ensure quality and an artists aesthetic.

Modern Industrial Floating Shelf Grey

Achieve the popular look of clean modern shelving with a touch of industrial flare with adding our Mountain Modern Floating Shelves to your barn door! This product includes two matching shelves. Each are made of solid knotty alder wood, with a craftsman finish. The shelves are accented steel brackets that add character and life to these beautiful art pieces. Each shelf is hand touched by an an American Craftsman to ensure quality and an artists aesthetic.

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