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    The Right Types of Doors for Southern Living

    You rely on your front door—not just to offer a pleasant first impression as visitors enter your home—but also to be secure and durable. In the hot and humid American South, it is imperative for homeowners to be able to balance their beautiful front door ideas with practical design choices to keep out the driving rains or the blazing sun.
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    Much like buying a new car, it's important to first consider the performance of your new front door ideas before making an investment. From a traditional wooden southern style home, to a more modern steel or fiberglass door, southern architecture offers homeowners plenty of options to choose from when it comes to shopping for a new entrance to their house.

    Top Southern Styles

    The southern style home was a regional style developed in reaction to the hot, humid southern climate. Southern houses are typically designed to take advantage of any available breeze and include elements like elevated main living levels, wrap-around porches with a centered front door, wide roof overhands and verandas, and large operable shutters to cover sidelights.

    Linda Castle of Decorated Designs in Atlanta says homeowners in the southern region are replacing traditional wooden front doors with glass doors and transoms. “It's either half-glass, full-glass, oval-glass or glass at the top,” Castle says. For wooden doors, colorful paint finishes are quickly being replaced by stains, as the stain helps to brings to out the natural earthy look in the finish. Front door ideas that involve fiberglass would also work well with stains, as fiberglass can be made to imitate wood.

    Southern style homes need doors that will endure through heat and humidity. | © CC BY-SA 2.0 flickr.com / JDH Rosewater

    Ideal Materials for Southern Doors

    If you live in an area of the country with a wet, humid climate like the South, selecting the best material for your front door ideas is an important step, as some materials naturally expand, contract, and even warp with changes in temperature and humidity. Although the traditional wood door is susceptible to damage from humidity and other extreme weather conditions, it is possible for homeowners to extend the lifespan of their door. After purchasing a wood door, expect to sand, stain, or repaint it every few years.

    Additionally, other materials have recently become popular for making your new front door ideas come to life. These materials include fiberglass and steel, which are far more durable than wood. These enduring materials are ideal for the South's harsh climate of high humidity, heavy rainfall, and strong sun. Steel and fiberglass will not not contract, expand, or warp.

    Energy Efficient Front Door Ideas

    Given the American South's high humidity and moisture content, average U-factors (insulation value) for various front door ideas in the South usually are around 0.30 depending on the manufacturer, while SHGC (solar heat gain coefficient) values generally are about 0.25. Front door ideas that involve polyurethane foam cores or an energy efficient glass pane can help to lower U-factors and SHGC values.

    Southern Front Doors: Balancing Materials With Style

    When considering various front door ideas for southern living, homeowners are faced with numerous decisions. While choosing the architectural style and finish for your home's entrance, it is important that you also consider your door's material, as this will impact the costs and the lifespan of your new door.

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    Written by: Ryan Mchugh, Editor www.HomeAdvancement.com