Home is where the heart is, and often, the heart of a home is its front door. When considering an update to the home’s exterior, be it due to damage to the existing door or simply the desire for a refreshing change, selecting the right door is a significant decision.

A door can dramatically impact a home’s aesthetics, security, and even energy efficiency. This guide will walk you through various exterior home door designs, styles and types to ensure you choose the perfect exterior door for your home.

Common Exterior Home Door Styles and Types

Choosing the right front door is not a decision to be taken lightly. The front door style and type you select should harmoniously blend with your home’s architecture while meeting your personal preferences and budget. Here are some popular main categories for exterior home doors that you can choose from.

Panel Door

Panel doors are a classic choice that offers a timeless look. They are characterized by a series of rectangular or square patterns that add depth and character to the door. Suitable for traditional and contemporary homes, panel doors come in various materials, including wood, fiberglass, and steel. Prices vary according to the material chosen, and while they’re generally affordable, high-end wood panel doors can be quite pricey. The advantages include a wide range of design options and durability, while a potential drawback is that solid panel doors without any glazing don’t let in any natural light.

Windowed Door

As the name suggests, windowed doors feature one or more large panes made of glass, providing maximum light. Often, they are also called “French doors.” They come in various styles, from a single large pane to multiple small ones, and can fit in with many home designs. Windowed doors let in natural light, making your entryway feel open and welcoming. They can be more expensive than solid doors due to the glazing cost, but they offer the advantage of a view of the outside. Privacy might be a concern, but this can be addressed using frosted or tinted glass panels.

Decorative, Carved-Hardwood Door

Carved hardwood doors are pieces of art. They add a unique and luxurious touch to your home. While stunning and durable, they also come with a higher price tag than other door types. They work best with grand architectural styles. Their main disadvantage is that they require regular upkeep to keep their good looks.

Storm Door

A storm door is an additional outer door commonly used in areas with extreme weather conditions. It provides extra insulation and protects the main door from harsh elements.

Storm doors can also improve security and allow for ventilation without letting in bugs, unlike wood. The cost varies based on the material and features your entry door has, and although it’s an additional expense, a storm door could potentially prolong the life of your main entry door.

Popular Front Door Styles

Just as with clothing or interior design, front doors can also come in various styles. Each door style also provides a unique aesthetic and can dramatically change the appearance of your home’s entrance. Here’s a look at some popular front door styles:

Traditional with Side Glass

Traditional doors with side glass, also known as sidelights, add a touch of elegance and grandeur to your entrance. They allow more light into the home and provide a broader outside view.

The cost can be higher than standard doors due to the additional glass and installation complexity. These doors can be made from various materials, including wood and fiberglass. However, as with windowed doors, privacy might be a concern with clear glass sidelights.

Craftsman-Style Door

Another excellent choice, the craftsman-style door is known for its clean lines and timeless look. It typically features a window at the top and a large panel at the bottom. They are often made of wood or a material that will mimic wood, providing a natural and classic look, but can also be found in low-maintenance fiberglass. Craftsman doors fit well with bungalows and cottages, and their cost depends on the material and design details.

Modern Door

A modern front door often features straight, sleek lines and minimalist designs. They may have decorative glass or hardware or incorporate unusual materials like metal or glass. Modern doors perfectly match contemporary homes and can create a striking contrast in more traditional structures. Costs can vary greatly depending on the complexity of the design and materials used.

Modern Farmhouse Door

Modern farmhouse doors strike a balance between traditional charm and contemporary chic. They often use natural or rustic materials and incorporate elements like X-cross details or barn door influences. These doors complement modern farmhouse or rustic architectural styles.

Arch Top Door

Arch top doors add a touch of elegance and old-world charm to a home’s facade. They can be stand-alone or paired with traditional-style square door frames and sidelights. They work well with Mediterranean, Tudor, or Spanish-style homes but can add character to any home style. The price of arch-top doors can be higher due to their shape and installation complexity.

Common Front Door Materials

The material of your door can influence its appearance, durability, and energy efficiency. Here are some commonly used materials for front doors:


Wooden doors are becoming increasingly popular for their natural beauty, versatility, and the warm, inviting feeling they provide. For new construction projects, they are often purchased pre-primed or with paint. However, they require regular upkeep, such as sealing or staining, to prevent warping and rotting. Their cost can vary widely based on the type of wood, with exotic woods being more expensive. Wooden doors offer good insulation, but their energy efficiency can diminish over time without proper upkeep.


Steel doors are robust, durable, and generally more affordable than wood or fiberglass doors. They offer maximum security and energy efficiency. However, they are prone to dents and scratches, leading to rust if not promptly repaired. Steel doors require little maintenance and are cost-effective for those prioritizing security.

Fiberglass Composite

Fiberglass composite doors mimic wood but are more durable and require less upkeep. They resist denting and scratching and are not prone to warping or rotting. Fiberglass doors offer superior insulation, making them an energy-efficient option. They are moderately priced, making them a popular choice among homeowners.


Aluminum doors are lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and require little maintenance. They offer good energy efficiency and come in various styles and finishes. However, they are prone to dents and are usually more expensive than steel doors.

Selecting a New Front Door for Your Home

Choosing a new front door involves considering the door’s style, material, durability, and cost. There are many styles, so selecting a door that complements your home’s architectural style is essential to enhance curb appeal. Also, consider the door’s energy efficiency and the level of security it provides. Take your time to weigh your options before making a decision.

Can You Change the Style of the Front Door?

Changing your front door style entirely, such as going from a panel door to a traditional one with side glass or an arched door, is entirely possible. However, it can be an extensive project requiring significant construction work. This is especially the case if the size or shape of the existing front door frame or opening needs to be altered. It’s essential to seek professional advice to understand the cost and feasibility of your project.

Take the Guess Work out of Buying and Installing Your New Front Door with Aerotech

Choosing and installing a new front door can be complex, but you don’t have to do it alone. Whether you are looking for fiberglass patio doors, french doors, a traditional front door, or a wood door, Aerotech’s fully-insured and trusted exterior door installation professionals can guide you through the process, ensuring the job is done right.

With expert advice and professional installation, you can rest assured that your new exterior door will enhance your home’s curb appeal, increase energy efficiency, and provide robust security. So, why wait? Contact Aerotech today to take the first step toward your home’s transformation.

Whether you’re in St. LouisMarylandNorthern Virginia, or Washington DC, contact us for a free consultation today!