Published Jul 23, 2020 2:33:11 PM

How to Select the Perfect Entry Door for Your Home

Your home’s decor says a lot about the people who live inside. The designs we utilize allow us to curate experiences and offer a glimpse of what lies ahead.

Updating your entryway is a great way to welcome visitors into your home. A new front door with sidelights and an overhead transom looks amazing from the curb and brightens your foyer, bringing sunlight into otherwise dark interior spaces.

We’ve listed a few of our favorite tips below to help you renew your entryway.

Determine your Budget

The first step to any project is determining what you’re comfortable spending. It’s easy for home improvement projects to go over budget, either because of delays or because not all costs were confirmed prior to the project’s start. Like all home improvement projects, replacing your front door is a considerable investment.

There are a few things to look at when determining the costs of your door:

  • Upfront costs vs. long-term benefits
  • Estimated useful life
  • Maintenance requirements
  • Energy efficiency
  • Weather protection and performance
  • Features included
  • Pre-finishing costs or additional staining or painting required
  • Hardware and accessories
  • Remodeling additional entry features like stairs, lighting or doorbell

Many homeowners opt for Energy Star certified doors. These unique doors often cost more upfront, but over time they will lower your heating and cooling costs by preventing drafts and leaks. 


The material your door is made from will directly affect its performance – including durability, maintenance, and appearance. Material of the door is also the biggest factor when it comes to price. Doors are available in wood, steel, or fiberglass, and offer many panel styles and glass insert options. 


The stylish charm of authentic wood doors offers a classic appearance with intricate grain patterns and color markings. There are many styles and options available such as different wood types, panel styles, decorative glass, historic accents, and embellishments. While wood doors are beautiful and natural in that they appear warm, rustic and historic, they are typically more expensive than doors made from other materials. Additionally, many commonly available decorative doorglass inserts, including those from ODL, are not recommended for use in wood doors.


One of the most affordable options for an entryway door is steel. Premium steel doors are durable, do not warp, and are resistant to denting. Most steel doors on the market feature a smooth surface as opposed to a paneled look so customization focuses on the presence of glass and the paint color. Steel doors also include an insulated core to assist with energy efficiency.


Fiberglass doors feature realistic stained wood and smooth panel surfaces. These doors are high-performing, energy-efficient, and are durable and easy to maintain. Fiberglass doors are also available in a variety of panel styles, decorate glass and finish options.

These doors are often recommended for homes in harsh or humid climates. While they mimic the look of wood, they are filled with foam insulation to prevent heat loss through the door. 

Prehung vs. Slab Doors

As you look for an exterior door, you may hear two terms commonly thrown around: prehung and slab.

Prehung doors are what most consumers associate with front doors. These doors are already hung in a frame and are designed to be easily installed into an existing opening. They come with almost everything needed to finish the installation. 

A slab door is just the door—no frame, no spots for hinges, and no doorknob. This is the most basic and least expensive option for an entry door.  A door professional will trim the door as needed and install hardware.

The different types of doors are designed to meet your unique needs and cost.

Doorglass Options

A doorglass insert is a piece of glass that is inserted into a door. By using doorglass you are able to increase the design appeal of your entryway, especially when working with decorative doorglass.

Some things to consider when exploring doorglass options include:


Your front door should fit in architecturally with the rest of your home. Doorglass comes in a wide variety of unique shapes, sizes, and designs that allow you to customize your home. There are many different options to play around with to create a custom look for your entryway.


When consumers often think of doorglass they often think of a lack of privacy. However, with modern advances that is no longer the case. ODL glass comes in a variety of privacy options from low to high privacy, allowing you a sense of safety without skimping on overall curb appeal. 

Additionally, ODL offers enclosed doorglass blinds to enhance privacy and ease of your entryway. These unique doorlights feature blinds enclosed between two panes of glass, making for an easy solution to privacy with little maintenance required. To learn more, visit our Add-On Blinds page.


The size of the door glass insert that you can put into your door can range based on the design and placement of the panels on your door. Doorlights come in different sizes, placement, and designs.

The size of your door impacts what glasslights will work in your door. Exterior doors are typically 6’8″ tall or 8’0″ tall, and each door height comes with a variety of different doorlight sizes that will work within the door.

Factors for picking door glass insert sizes:

  • Door Height
  • Door Width
  • Number of Panels
  • Design of Panels
  • Door Material


ODL has a variety of doorglass designs that can complement your home. Whether your style is minimalist, baroque, or art deco, there is a design for you. Our glass is specially crafted to offer a dynamic experience throughout a variety of seasons, without skimping on quality or security. 

To learn more about ODL Decorative Doorglass, visit our Decorative Doorglass page.


Transform your door using our Stylizer tool!  Upload a photo of your door and watch how ODL glass can transform your home. 



As touchable as its namesake, Chinchilla’s fine lines and organic, fur-like texture create a striking wave pattern when seen from afar. It offers a high level of privacy to your home.

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