DIY Network

Entry Doors: Portal to the Soul of Your House (page 5 of 6)

Learn the pros and cons of different types of entry doors, the various styles and latest trends.

More in Windows Walls and Doors

Image courtesy of Simpson Door Co


If your plans call for a front door with character, warmth and style, wood is the top choice. Unmatched for natural beauty and substance, wood doors with a natural or stained finish harmonize with all styles of houses. Lower-grade woods and finger-jointed construction - doors made with unmatched pieces of wood - take paint readily. In the hands of an experienced craftsman, wood is relatively easy to shape and cut, so custom possibilities are endless.

Wood doors generally are the most expensive door option, ranging from $500 to $4,000 for standard manufactured doors and more for custom sizes and configurations. Popular woods include oak, cherry, mahogany and clear fir, but wood door specialists may offer more exotic options.

"We're always experimenting with new technologies and materials," says Simpson's Brad Loveless. "We're currently using some very tough, weather-resistant woods such as black locust and nootka cypress that are incredibly durable."

If environmental impact is a concern, look for doors made with wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council to be sustainably grown and harvested.

The drawback of wood is that it needs consistent maintenance, especially in harsh climates or if the door is exposed to moisture and direct sunlight. Hairline cracks and changes in the color or texture of the surface signal it's time to repair the finish. Expect to touch up your door's finish every two or three years.