The Most Popular Types of Back Doors

Find a back entry door that suits your needs and your style.

Photo by: Pamela Albin Moore

Pamela Albin Moore

There’s no shortage of options when it comes to selecting a back door. However, choosing one that works for your everyday routine, fits your style and offers security can take a bit of research. A few of the most popular options include, French doors, sliding glass doors, Dutch doors and, of course, standard opaque wood, fiberglass or metal entry doors. Read on for the pros and cons and more about each style.   

French Doors

A set of French doors can be a pretty and practical choice if you are looking to let light and a view of the outdoors into your home. However, due to the nature of the framework, if you do not choose a proper locking system that locks at three points — the top, bottom and center — the doors may be susceptible to break-ins or may blow open more easily or be pushed in during harsh storms. Also, note that you may want to install curtains or window coverings and shades on your French doors to offer you privacy and control the amount of light that enters your home. Many homeowners choose to install multiple sets of French doors in a row, offering the look of a bank of windows with the convenient indoor/outdoor access of the door. 

Sliding Glass Doors

These doors are an especially popular choice for homes that have pool, patio and deck areas just outside the back door. They offer a beautiful, unobstructed view of the outdoors and provide the ease of access to the home. Drapes can be hung on a rod over the framework of the door to provide privacy and reduce the amount of light that comes into your room. As with any glass door, security can be a concern. Sliding glass doors may work best in backyard environments that have fenced yards or other natural barriers to offer additional privacy and/or security. Additionally, some people have concerns about sliding glass doors coming out of the tracks in which they slide; know that this can be a simple fix if it does happen. You should always keep the tracks clean and unobstructed to help prevent this occurrence. 

Dutch Doors

Dutch doors—which are divided at the center, allowing one part to be open and the other to be closed at the same time — are an equally alluring option for exterior back doors. While they offer a secure, opaque door when closed, opening the top half can provide for a nice view and breeze into your kitchen or the room where it is installed. To avoid air leaks or prevent the possibility of allowing the elements of Mother Nature into your home, make certain the top and bottom halves meet securely with no gaps, and that they lock securely for additional safety. 

Standard Entry Door

The most common choice for front entries — standard wood, fiberglass or metal doors — are also a popular and secure choice for exterior back doors. Cons come with each type of material. For example, wood doors may need more maintenance or to be replaced more frequently, whereas dents can be hard to remove from metal doors. As with a front door, consider your environment and needs when making a selection.

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