You’ve heard it time and time again.
“Never judge a book by its cover”
But really, how can you take back that first impression? Whether its good or bad, your first reaction helps shape the way you feel about the story, before its even begun.
The front door to your home is the cover of your book. Everything from the quality of the home’s materials to the friendliness of those who live inside can be inferred from the view from your front porch. Our advice? Make it a good one.
A custom front door will reveal the quality, character and personality of the home and its residents. Whether you are building a new home or looking for something to update your entryway, a custom door can improve your entire design.
Tell the right story with the perfect custom door for your home.
Wood Options for Custom Doors
Custom doors can be built from a variety of wood species. Picking the wood for your custom doors generally comes down to your budget and personal style preference. As long as you confirm that your doors will be built with engineered cores, your door system will be reliable, regardless of the wood type you choose. Each wood type does have its own pros and cons, we’ll list them below.
Pros – Alder doors are a popular style because of two reasons. First, alder is an economical choice that gives you room in your budget to add ironwork or custom door designs. Second, alder can be finished to imitate far more expensive wood species.
Cons – Alder wood is soft and can be dented. We suggest that alder doors are distressed, so accidental dents only add to the character of your custom door. Because alder also yellows in the sun, we finish alder doors with stains and glazes and rarely do “natural finishes”.
Pros – If you’re looking for a reliable material, mahogany is a top choice to build exterior doors. It is very tough and hard to dent, and rarely has visual defects. Mahogany has a natural reddish brown color and gets darker with time.
Cons – Mahogany wood is more expensive than alder, but still offers a moderately priced custom door option. On a visual level, some people do not overly love the unique grain and dark appearance of the mahogany wood.
Pros – Cherry wood doors have a beautiful grain and develop a nice dark patina over time. This species looks great with glass inserts or surroundings. Cherry is slightly harder than alder, and thus less susceptible to dents. This wood also stains easily and smoothly. The wood color varies from white to pink to reddish brown.
Cons – Cherry is a more expensive wood. It can occasionally have problems with cracking and glue joints separating. Sometimes pin knots are visible.
Pros – Black walnut wood is very pretty and rich looking. It offers one of the most elegant and expensive looks of all hardwood door species. Black walnut finishes gorgeously and is moderately priced. The color varies from a rich, dark brown to black with purple undertones.
Cons – Black walnut tends to fade slightly in the sun. Walnut is more expensive than standard alder.
Style Options for Custom Doors
The beauty of a custom door is that it’s custom. That means the design options are endless and can be created to match the style of your home and size of your entryway.
We suggest browsing through a gallery of custom doors and selecting the styles that speak to you. Make sure to consider the height and width of your entryway when selecting door shape, door arch and the use of sidelites. A custom door shop should be able to build a door to your specifications.
It’s also important to know your options when it comes to glass inserts, door texture and door stain.
Glass Options for Custom Doors
Glass inserts add a classy tone and custom feel to your front door. The proportion, spacing and location of the glass can be catered to your preferences. Here are a few door glass samples to show you available options for the textured glass for your custom front door. The appearance of these samples may vary from the glass in your door, but give you a good idea of the options available. Clear, low-e, and stained glass are also offered. Consider the amount of light and visibility you want through your front door when making the choice to use glass in your custom door.
Distress Options for Custom Doors
Add charm and character to your custom door by distressing the wood. The distressing process can also make normal wear and tear less noticeable for years to come. Whether your home is rustic or elegant, the right level of distressing can greatly improve the appearance of your door. We like the following distressing levels.
Stain Options for Custom Doors
There are dozens of stain options available to make your custom door yours. Wood stain works by penetrating the substrate to which it is applied, changing the color by enhancing the natural tones of the wood with a warm translucent glow. Stain can be used to make wood look antique, to make it look exotic, to change the color, to bring out the natural grain, to make it look warmer, etc. If you want to be able to see the grain through the stain, we suggest choosing a transparent or semi-transparent wood stain. If you want to hide the grain then you can use a thicker opaque stain which will give better coverage.
To select your stain color, we recommend visiting a door shop to see what stain options are available for the wood species you are interested in, as computer screens can alter the color of doors in photos.