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Both exterior and interior door systems should keep with the architectural style of your home. Exterior doors are often thicker and more durable to withstand the elements. When buying a new door, remember that all door hardware, such as handles, locks, latches, letter slots, knockers, and so on, are normally bought separately and then installed.
Types of Doors
The simplest way to categorize the wide range of doors is to consider if they are for exterior use, such as a front door or a garage door, or for interior use within the home.
Entry DoorsA wide range of entry doors is available, the most common of which are shown here. The material of the door is an important indicator of its durability, and will also determine if a finish is required. The age of the building will affect your choice -- a paneled design is more appropriate for, an older building, for example. The manufacturer should supply details of recommended locks. Many exterior doors are supplied as part of a doorset (i.e., with, or already installed in, a frame). If you are replacing a door that also needs a new frame, see opposite.
Common Entry Door Types
As with entry doors, there is a wide range of interior doors on the market -- the most common are shown here. Interior doors are lighter, and tend to cost less than exterior doors. Flush doors are generally cheaper than paneled ones. Again, choose a design appropriate to the age of your home. The manufacturer should supply details such as whether the door is fireproof or has soundproofing capabilities.
Choosing a door based upon curb appeal is usually the top consideration on most homeowners’ list. But don’t overlook security when selecting entry doors. If you must decide first the style and color of door that best fits with your home’s design, weigh the security and strength issues for the doors in that category. Doors with steel cores and solid wood doors are the best options for resisting break-ins. Door locks are the most obvious step to securing doors, but if the door isn't installed correctly, the lock won’t matter. Check the entry doors periodically to make sure they close tightly and they hang plumb in their frames.
Entry doors that feature glass panes will let in light and allow you to see who is at your door, but glass in parts of the door or as sidelights can make your home more vulnerable to break-ins. By breaking the glass, a burglar can simply reach inside your home to undo the locks. If you are concerned about burglars, you may want to choose a door that has glass panels on the top or small panes that don’t allow easy access to the locks.
Common Interior Door Types
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Wednesday, May 28, 2008 11:20 PST