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Prices, promotions, styles, and availability may vary. Our local stores do not honor online pricing. Prices and availability of products and services are subject to change without notice. Errors will be corrected where discovered, and Lowe's reserves the right to revoke any stated offer and to correct any errors, inaccuracies or omissions including after an order has been submitted.

Exterior Door Buying Guide

A new exterior door can help boost curb appeal. Our guide will help you learn the pros and cons of different front door styles and materials, so you can make the best choice for your home.

Exterior door with windows

Entry Doors and Exterior Door: Helpful Terms

An inswing (I/S) door

Looking to invest in custom front doors, a front entry door with sidelights, a storm door or another type of exterior door? Here's some lingo to help you make an informed decision.

Inswing (I/S): A door that opens inward.

Outswing (O/S): A door that opens outward.

Left Hand: An I/S door with hinges on the left, or an O/S door with hinges on the right. Pro Tip: (Hinge placement refers to the door when viewed from the outside looking into the home).

Right Hand: An I/S door with hinges on the right, or an O/S door with hinges on the left.

Lite: A pane of glass in a door.

Divided Lite: Panes of glass that are divided, or appear to be.

Grille: Plastic, wooden or metal details that give the appearance of divided lites.

Caming: Strips for joining segmented glass.

Brickmould: Molding used around a door (or window) that fills the gap between where the door and the wall of the house meet.

Slab door: A rectangular slab of wood, composite or steel without hinges or other hardware.

Prehung door: A complete, ready-to-install door that includes a door slab, hinges and outer frame that fits into a prepared doorway.

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Good to Know

Doors are measured in feet and inches. A standard door measures 36" wide x 80" height x 1 3/4" thick. It's also called a 3/0 x 6/8 x 1 3/4, which means 3 feet, 0 inches x 6 feet, 8 inches x 1 3/4 inches.

Entry Door Materials at a Glance

Wood door with stain glass inserts

There's no shortage of front door styles and, overall, most entry doors perform equally well. But the materials they're made of – fiberglass, steel or wood – do have strengths and weaknesses. Whether you're looking for modern front doors, iron front doors, contemporary front doors, craftsman-style front doors or even custom front doors, we can help you pick the front door designs, colors and accents you want.

Steel Front Doors

  • Often have tighter-fitting frames and energy-efficient core insulation.
  • Some models use double- or triple-panel insulating glass reduce heat transfer.
  • Fully weatherstripped; highly resistant to shrinking, swelling and warping.
  • Durable, steel construction requires little maintenance in harsh weather.
  • Pre-drilled door knob and lockset hole options make them easier to install.
  • Come pre-primed and ready to paint.
  • Typically have more insulating value than wooden doors.

Fiberglass Front Doors

  • Are easy to install.
  • Work well in extreme climates and high-traffic entrances.
  • Have similar energy-saving qualities as steel doors.
  • Can be made with a grain texture to mimic the look of a real wood door.
  • Usually have the longest warranties compared to wood and steel doors.
  • Made of high-quality composite construction, they resist all sorts of weather, scratches and dents.

Wooden Front Doors

  • Are heavy and sturdy with a more traditional look.
  • Can be painted or stained for a natural, warm appearance.
  • Wood species range from inexpensive composites to more costly fir or walnut.
  • Work best when installed in a more protected or shaded area.
  • The best wooden front doors generally are more intricate and thicker.
  • Higher-end wooden door panels measure more than an inch thick while economy models measure less than an inch thick.
  • Frame and panel construction counteracts the effects weather or seasonal changes.

Wrought Iron Entry Doors

  • Also called iron entry doors, they are built to withstand the elements and are among the safest and most secure options for home entrances.
  • Available in a variety of designs that can be customized to include different types of glass and hardware, such as handles and locks.
  • Generally more expensive, they can be difficult to install and move because of their weight.
Good to Know

For maximum savings, look for ENERGY STAR-qualified entry doors.

All About Entry Door Accents

Exterior door with transom

Use door accents to create custom front doors that are functional and attractive. 

Glass Styles and Shapes: Any door can be made to include decorative glass. While most front doors have insulated glass for energy efficiency, others may have beveled, silk-screened or stained glass. Glass comes in several shapes. It may be one large lite or it could have a grille that separates the glass into several lites. 

Front Door with Sidelites: Available for all types of doors, a sidelite can be placed on one or either side of the door. 

Transoms: Available for all door types, these decorative accents placed above the door come in three shapes: arch, ellipse and box. 

In-Glass Blinds: Adjustable blinds put inside the glass pane of a door.

Patio Doors

Patio doors overlooking a pond

The selection of patio doors, French doors and sliding glass doors is as diverse as their sizes. They range from about 5 to 13 feet.

French doors

  • Available in the same materials as sliding glass doors.
  • Steel and fiberglass patio doors have the same characteristics of modern front doors of the same material.
  • Can be made with a left- or right-handed inswing (I/S), outswing (O/S) or so both doors open.
  • Available with or without brickmould stops, or trim, in the center.

Sliding Glass Doors

With the same natural aesthetic qualities as traditional wooden doors, but with the added bonus of large window to see through, sliding glass doors often are made of

  • Aluminum, which usually costs less, won't rust and is easy to maintain.
  • Clad-Wood, which has the look of real wood on the inside and a vinyl, fiberglass or aluminum coating on the outside to protect it from the elements.
  • Vinyl, a low-maintenance and durable option built with low-emissive, insulated glass and factory-installed weather stripping for maximum energy efficiency.
  • Wood, which often is the highest quality and the most expensive.