This has been a long time coming. Let’s put it this way: we moved into our house a little over 3 years ago, and the front door has needed to be replaced for at least 10 years now. Given that we really took our time with this, I have a few good tips on how to choose a front door now that I’m going to share with you before we take the plunge into showing you the final look of the front entry, which I am head over heels in LOVE with!
First of all, let me just say how insanely grateful I am that the team at Masonite Doors was willing to work with me on this. Masonite has been making doors for almost a century and we’ve been fans for years—all of our interior doors are Masonite as well. It just totally made sense for us to make sure our front door was from them too!
Alright, so let’s get to the tips.
1. Find your style
Pinterest is a great tool for this, but so is good old-fashioned ‘going to the store and getting a brochure’ – or just head straight to Masonite.com for ideas. No need to overcomplicate – just do what feels right for you. We did both, and the reason is that as I looked at the doors in the brochure, I also wanted to look at images of what those doors would look like on houses similar to mine.
I really embraced the asymmetrical look by making the glass on the sidelite and door a bit different – more on that in a bit, but you can check out the full line of Vista Grande doors to see doors that would fit any home style!
2. Research the material
Depending on where you live, material definitely matters. We had a wood door I’m almost certain was original to our 1970’s house. The wood has expanded and contracted so many times over the summers and winters that even with a storm door, we could feel a draft coming into the house – and that wasn’t even on the windy days!
After talking to a door expert at my local Home Depot, I learned that fiberglass would be ideal for us. Why? Because these doors come with a polyurethane core, which means they insulate extremely well. We also chose fiberglass because of its durability – we have two 3-year old boys, so this feature was very important to us! The doors are very scratch and dent-resistant, and need very little maintenance, especially in places with a climate like ours in Southern Ontario.
3. Size and configuration
Our door has one single sidelite, and we needed to keep it that way because it would have cost a small fortune to change it. Other options could be a single door with 2 sidelites, double doors, or just a single door with no sidelites – you can also potentially add a transom above the door to allow more sunlight to come into your house.
I knew from the beginning I wanted a door with 3/4 glass – I love the idea of having as much light as possible coming into the house, but also wanted to be able to see a bit of the actual door, so this was a great compromise. The sidelite remained full glass and we did a pearl glass finish for privacy. Our door is 34″ wide, and we did external SDL bars on it, which I think makes it look even more like a real wood door.
4. Colour and finish
I mentioned we chose to go with fiberglass, which means we had two options on finish: smooth or wood grain – and yes, you can get a fiberglass door to look just like stained wood. Cool, right? In fact, all Masonite fiberglass doors are designed to look like authentic wood details like a square edge and distinct panels. I kept our door pretty simple by going with a smooth, matte black finish on the inside and outside (our interior doors are also black, so this made a ton of sense for our house).
This was another thing that was quite important to us in our decision – getting the perfect hardware. I love the way the black on black turned out, but the best part is how truly smart this Schlage system is. We chose the Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt with Century Trim in matte black along with the Schlage Custom Century Front Entry Handle and Eller Lever with Kinsler Trim in matte black.
When choosing your door hardware, make sure that you match it to the style of your door. Ours is a classic door with a modern finish – really a bit of a transitional style, so we went with clean lines for the hardware. The hinges and threshold are also black because I didn’t want any elements to stand out – the door itself is the main focus, so I didn’t want any glimmering hardware to take away from that.
I suppose our last door lasted a pretty long time, but it didn’t function well – it was just barely standing! It was hugely important for us to know we’d have a great warranty on our new door, and Masonite did not disappoint! These Masonite VistaGrande doors come with a limited lifetime warranty. It really doesn’t get better than that!
And there you have it. I hope you’ve found this helpful in your own quest to replace a front door!