Your home's exterior doors, especially its front door and garage door, are big investments. It's important to take the time to research the best exterior doors for your region's climate. For more information, check out our door guides to the Northwest, the Southwest, the Midwest, the Mountain West, the Northeast, and the South, as well as tropical regions and coastal regions. In the meantime, here is a general overview about what to look for in exterior doors for your home.
Exterior Door Styles Unique to Your Region
When searching for the best exterior doors for your home, it's often useful to research the architecture that is most common in your region. Most areas of the United States have histories of housing styles unique to their particular climate and needs. Understanding the architectural history and trends for your region may give you ideas for your own home.
For example, New England's famous Cape Cod style home features a steep roof with side gables and centered front door, which is most often plain, but sometimes has a portico. The Spanish Colonial, or Southwestern, style comes from the early Spanish influence in the Southwest and often features large, ornate wooden doors.
The best exterior doors should withstand whatever weather your region has to offer. | @ fotolia.com / John Miller
Materials for the Best Exterior Doors
There are many options for front door materials, including fiberglass, wood, aluminum, and steel.
Though it requires more maintenance, wood provides unbeatable elegance and warmth. Homeowners in the Southwest, or in other dry regions, can usually invest in wood doors without worrying about eventual rot and warping. If you live this area, consider the classic wood door with a covered exterior entryway to keep your door from fading in the bright sunlight.
Fiberglass doors are often the best exterior doors for homes in more humid climates that experience a lot of precipitation, as they hold up well under moisture and will not rot or warp.
Steel doors are often the best exterior doors for areas with low sun and intense weather, such as frequent thunderstorms, high winds, and monsoons. Because steel is strong, secure, and insulated, it will keep your home safe in these extreme conditions.
Although less well insulated than steel, aluminum is also one of the most affordable and best exterior doors for areas with stormy weather and low sun.
Summary: A Door for Every Region
Whether you live in Seattle, New York, Santa Fe, or Chicago, a little time and research can make it easy to find the best exterior doors for your home. For more specific information about doors for your region, take a look at our handy guides to the best exterior doors for each area of the country. It's also important to consult with a local contractor who can help you find the best exterior doors for your budget and style.