Building Tips

How to Choose the Perfect Solid Wood Exterior Door for Your Home

Our exterior doors are one of my favorite things about our new home. We love real wood exterior doors and feel they are a vital element in creating curb appeal for a home! I have to say I couldn’t be happier with how these doors turned out in our new home.

For this build, we chose a mahogany door from the Simpson Door Nantucket Collection. Trying to achieve the character that an older home has, we knew this historic-looking door with all its charm would be the perfect fit for our home. We also loved the clear glass feature that allows for more natural light inside the house. I’m all about trying to find ways to allow more natural light into our home.

For us, choosing our exterior door was a very simple process, but I can understand it can be challenging for some. So here are a few tips and things we considered when contemplating the purchase of our exterior doors.

Exterior Home Style

The most important factor when choosing exterior doors is the exterior style of your home. What look and feel are you going for? If you have a farmhouse, you probably want to stick to a door that has that look. The same if you are trying to create more of a modern look. Or, if you are like us, we chose a door that would add a bit of an old-world look to the exterior.

Wood Species

Determining what type of wood you prefer would be the next step in choosing exterior doors. There are many types of wood to choose from including fir, cypress, and mahogany.

Different types of wood will take the stain differently. For example, we chose Mahogany because we preferred a more traditional, rich look after the stain was applied. We wanted the doors to really pop and create lots of contrast with the white-painted brick.

We used one coat of Minwax Special Walnut and two coats of satin polyurethane.

Also, consider how protected your door will be from the elements. If your door is not under a covered porch area and is more exposed to the elements, you should definitely choose a very weather-resistant wood.

Another thing to consider when choosing the wood species of your door is durability. Will your door be getting a lot of traffic in and out, likely getting banged and bumped? If so, you may want to go with mahogany, which is a very hard durable wood versus Cypress which is a very soft wood.

Grill Pattern

Another thing to consider when picking out a wood door is what grill pattern you prefer. We went with a twelve-lite, clear glass grill pattern for a classic, cottage look.

If you are going to a farmhouse look, you should probably go with a four lite grille pattern.

And if you are going modern, perhaps no grilles at all.

Door Style

Choosing your style will go hand in hand with your exterior style and what overall look you are going with. There are several choices for door style options, for example, raised or inset panels, or maybe even no panels at all for more of a contemporary look.

We went with a raised panel, again for a more traditional, character-filled look.

Hopefully, these tips will help you choose the perfect wood door for your home.

Other Solid Wood Door Options

There are several options out there for solid real doors that look similar to the one we purchased. I really like this 4-lite single Mahogany Door from Lowes. It is fairly inexpensive and also comes prehung which is a plus. They also have the prehung Mahogany Double Door.

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