Sorting Out Door Styles
Planning to upgrade your doors? You have many options.
If you take a moment to think about the number of doors you pass through each day, you’ll realize what a major component of a house they are. Doors are usually sold in standard sizes, although custom orders are also available. When selecting a door, pay particular attention to the direction the door opens, which greatly affects the flow of traffic in and out of the doorway.
Also called entry doors, exterior doors have a solid core and are typically wood, fiberglass, or steel. Most modern entryway doors are insulated and sold as pre-hung units with the jamb already attached, or as slab doors with no framing. Common styles include panel doors, windowed doors, carved wood and more—the decorative possibilities are endless. Entry doors often have a transom (window above the door) and/or sidelites (windows at the sides).
Interior doors usually have a hollow core, weigh and cost less, and have no need for insulation. Also sold as slab or pre-hung versions, these doors also come in many different styles. Flush and paneled doors are popular, and the way the door opens varies beyond the standard side hinges. Pocket doors slide into a wall to be concealed when open. Double doors are often used for closets or to partition rooms, and can be configured as bi-fold doors, bypass doors that slide over one another, or fresh doors with inset window lites.
These days, barn-style sliding doors are popular for interiors. They attach to hardware at the top of the door which mounts on a wall to slide along a track.
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Storm and screen doors are secondary exterior doors mounted to a metal frame that allow light and/or air into the home when the main entry door is opened. Storm doors are sold in a wide range of paint colors, handle options, and glass designs. Installation requires little more than a screwdriver to fasten the frame flanges to the casing of the doorway.