Exterior doors are built to provide security. Exterior doors, especially main entrance doors, are often designed to give a building an attractive appearance.
Most residential exterior doors you encounter will be pre-hung in frames with hinges and exterior casings applied. Once the door opening is framed in, all you have to do is install and level the door.
Like windows, doors have headers, side jambs, and sills.
Types of Doors
Click on each type of door to know more:
Panel doors, also called stile and rail doors, are built with frame and panel construction. They are made up of vertical members called stiles, cross members called rails, and filler panels. The panels are usually thinner than the stiles and rails. Panel doors are more decorative than flush doors, and can be made of wood or metal.
Exterior flush door
Exterior flush door has a smooth surface made of wood veneer or metal. It usually has a solid core of wood, composition board, or solidly packed foam.
Hollow-core doors consist of a framework of wood stripes, metal honeycombs, and other materials that give the door rigidity. They are not recommended for exterior use due to their poor insulation and limited security.
A flush door may contain a glass insert or it may come with decorative moldings attached to the surface.
Sash doors may have a fixed or movable window. The window may be divided into lights. Various types of glass are used, including insulated, reinforced, and leaded.
Louvered doors are popular as entry doors in warmer climates.
Components of Doors
Like windows, doors have headers, side jambs. Door sizes for residential exterior doors are generally 1 ¾ “thick, and come in a variety of widths and heights.
Thresholds are wood or metal pieces used to close the gap between the entry floor or sill and the door. It is beveled on both sides.
Weather-stripping material is added to the bottom of a door to prevent heat from escaping and moisture from entering.
One weather-stripping technique uses a rubber or vinyl sweep attached to the bottom of the door.
Mortise locksets are more secure and are therefore considerably more expensive than the other types shown. For that reason, they are more common in commercial buildings than in residential construction.
Tubular locksets are less secure than cylindrical locksets. Neither is an excellent choice where security is a major concern.
In many cases, homeowners will want a security lock or deadbolt lock in addition to the locking mechanism built into the doorknob assembly.
Deadbolts are either single- or double-cylinder types. The double-cylinder type requires a key on both sides. It would be used in cases where there is glass close to the lock.
If the door is solid, a security lock or single-cylinder deadbolt (requiring a key on the outside only) will suffice.