At its core, the desire to create a home with curb appeal is a desire to make a home uniquely one’s own. After all, no matter how beautiful they are, rows of homes that look the same inherently fail to capture attention. Using personal touches, people want friends and family to know which home is theirs.
Among the dozens of affordable ways you can personalize your home’s curb appeal, the first tip from Better Homes and Gardens is to “dress up the front door.” One way they note to do that is by installing a custom wood door.
“Wooden doors are most often used in custom or specialized design situations since they are easiest to manipulate,” explains the DIY Network. “With the countless options ([wood species], side lights, transoms, decorative glass, etc.) you can custom design the specific look you want for your entryway.”
To achieve a one-of-a-kind look for your front door, consider these three ways to personalize your wood door.
1. Choose your favorite wood
From modern to traditional, doors are available in many different wood species to meet your personal taste. If you like the look of high-end furniture, cherry or walnut might be right for you, while exotic woods like sapele mahogany have distinctive patterns for an eye-catching door. Woods like knotty alder create a casual, rustic look, while Douglas fir provides a timeless appeal.
“We’ve built doors out of more than 100 different wood species — everything from ash to zebrawood — so you’re sure to find a wood that’s right for you,” says Brad Loveless, marketing and product development manager for Simpson Door Company. “We will also make doors using multiple wood species, for a look none of your neighbors will have.”
2. Go big
If you’re planning a new home, or a remodel of your existing home, replacing the front door with an extra-large door is an impressive way to fashion a grand entry. To make a big impression, wood doors can be custom ordered in virtually any large size. For example, a door that is 5 feet wide by 8 feet high is almost two times larger than the typical front door, and is sure to capture the attention of visitors to your home. Wood door manufacturers recommend that if you have a large door, consider making it 2 1/4” thick, which is a common thickness for a custom entry door.
“Another attractive quality of wood doors is that they can be custom made to fit any size opening or trimmed to a specific size doorway,” says the DIY Network. “In this regard, wood is a material that is easy to work with and can be made to fit your exact needs.” Compared to other materials like fiberglass and steel, wood doors offer the flexibility to “create virtually any shape, or make just about any door a Dutch door, move design components around and change the door thickness,” says Loveless.
3. Add a touch of class with glass
Wood door manufacturers offer a wide range of glass designs to complement your door. Depending on the look you prefer, these range from a full lite door, in which the glass extends from top to bottom, to quarter lite doors, in which the pane is limited to the top one-fourth of the door. Glass is tempered to resist breakage and to help keep intruders out. Additionally, you can choose from options with a wide range of transparency, to ensure the right balance of privacy and natural light for your situation. Some manufacturers, like Simpson, offer easy-to-use design tools for choosing door and glass designs. The company’s online Glass Taste Test tool, for example, enables homeowners to see how different glass types will look in their door, and the degree of privacy the glass provides.
Although homeowners can choose from several different materials for their front door, wood allows greater flexibility for customization and creates enduring value. “It's easy to understand why many of us still like our doors to be made of wood — nothing else matches the material's warmth and satisfying heft,” says This Old House magazine.