Doors - Garage, Entry, Interior & Sliding

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Doors - Garage, Entry, Interior & Sliding Door Considerations

A home's doors are more than simple passageways. They offer protection from intruders, shields for seasonal weather and pollution, and decorative flourishes.

Your home's main entrance, its primary exterior door, can go a long way toward defining the feel of an entire house. There are as many different kinds of doors as there are styles of houses. They may be constructed of fiberglass, steel or virtually any kind of wood.

There there's the style of door to consider - flush, colonial or contemporary. Security is a must, with a reliable locking system and either windows or a peephole to see outside.

Finally, there are many other details that can embellish or upgrade a front door, from beveled glass sidelights to ornate door caps. Check out magazines and other homes in your neighborhood to get ideas.

A home's other exterior doors can be more suited to their individual functions, employing energy-efficient glass or built in blinds. Storm doors can be adapted seasonally, letting the good weather in and keeping the bad at bay. And all exterior doors should be properly sealed with weather stripping to maximize heating and cooling efficiency and home comfort.

Interior doors should be installed with air circulation in mind. If your home heating and cooling will rely on a free flow of air throughout, interior doors should have at least a half inch of space below them to permit airflow. Louvered doors are another option for promoting easy air passage.

Interior doors that can be locked from inside without keys, especially on children's rooms, should have some emergency mechanism for easy unlocking.

Sliding glass doors can do wonders for a room, making it seem bigger by opening up part of a wall to the outdoors and allowing in copious amounts of natural light. When screens are installed as well, they can be opened to allow the breeze in while keeping the bugs out. Selecting an energy-efficient glass for sliding doors is of utmost importance, as there is so much surface area through which heated or cooled air can be lost.

Garage doors can be simple, utilitarian features or ornate, decorative structures. Most garage doors swing or roll up into the ceiling of the garage, but you may opt for old-world carriage house style doors that swing open from hinges on either side, like French doors.

Any garage door should be well insulated - both the door material and any glass panes should have high efficiency ratings, and weather stripping should keep the door sealed tight.

An automatic garage door opener can be a great convenience, but all automatic doors should have safety mechanisms to keep the door from closing on anything (or anyone) it shouldn't. Some garage doors even feature shatterproof safety glass and pinch-resistant technology in their hinges, worthy considerations for families with young children.