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    A Guide to Exterior Door Styles

    Stacker, french, tilt and turn - there are many types of doors, all with different functions. Which type of door is best for you and your home?
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    Hinged or Slab Door

    A hinged or a slab door is what you think of when you hear the word ‘door’. It is a solid or hollow-cored slab of your favorite door material attached to a door jamb with two or more hinges. The variations on a hinged door are as many as you can think of – in material, use, style, size, shape or color.

    French Door

    French doors are a variation on the standard hinged door. Usually found in pairs, they consist of a frame around large panes of glass, traditionally with light wooden joinery. French doors can be found both as interior and exterior doors, but are often found leading out to gardens and terraces. French doors are usually not used as front door entrances, since glass does not provide much protection.

    Dutch or Stable Door

    Dutch doors originated, predictably, in Holland in the 17th century. They became a fixture of Dutch-settled areas like New York and New Jersey before the American Revolution. Also known as a double-hung door, Dutch doors are made of two independently swinging doors stacked on top of one another that can latch together in order to perform like a regular door. Before the invention of screen doors, Dutch doors were very important in colonial America, as they kept children in, prevented animals and unwanted house guests from wandering into your home, while also providing ventilation and light. Today, this type of door can add a special touch to a home, and are often used in kitchens and leading onto back patios.

    Sliding Door

    Sliding doors consist of one or two panels that slide upon a track, saving space and visual obstruction. Depending on the use and weight of the panels, there may be rails on the top and bottom of the door. Sliding doors are often used for back patio doors, and inside homes, often sliding into a recess in the wall. Glass sliding doors need special glazings to prevent heat loss, and visual markings to prevent people from walking through them.

    Stacker Door

    Stacker doors work like your standard sliding door, but with more panels. Shower screen doors are often stacker doors, where each panel slides on an independent rail back on top of each other. They are great for providing stunning vistas, and open up wider than standard sliding doors. The main problem to consider with stacker doors is that glass is a poor insulator, and so it is important to research types of glass and glazings in order to reduce heat loss. Also, stacker windows are easy to walk into (and sometimes straight through) if unaware.

    Tilt and Turn Door

    Tilt and turn doors work the same as tilt and turn windows. Usually consisting of a large framed piece of glass, this door can either open like a regular hinged door, or tilt open at the top, providing ventilation while preventing people from entering your home. Widely used in Germany (their country of origin), this innovative type of door is taking hold in North America.

    Roller Door

    Roller doors are usually made of corrugated steel or metal panels which roll up into a neat bundle. This type of door is almost exclusively used for garage doors, but are also seen adorning shop fronts as an additional security measure.

    Tilt Door

    Tilt doors are also almost exclusively used for garage doors. They consist of a large panel of metal or wood hinged at the top, tilting out and rolling back onto rails located on the ceiling of the garage. They are sometimes used in chic industrial style apartments when they consist of framed glass panels.

    Screen Door

    Screen doors consist of mesh surrounded by a frame. The main function is to keep insects out and children in while providing light and ventilation in the summer months. They can be hinged or sliding style doors. Security screen doors provide the same function, but with an added layer of a strong metal grid made of aluminum or steel. A security screen door is strong enough to prevent someone from kicking it in, along with hidden hinges and sturdy locks.

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    Written by: Adilson Dos Santos Jr., Editor