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How to Decide on a Front Door Design

Your front door is much more than a means of privacy and security; it sets the stage to your timber home’s design.

You may think that a door is simply something to keep drafts, critters and other unwanted intruders out of your timber home. But a front door is much more than that. It’s an announcement of your home’s design style — a first glimpse at what lies inside.
Sure you can get a functional-yet-inexpensive door at your local big box store, but why not make a grand declaration of the natural beauty of your timber frame with a door that makes an equally grand first impression? From ornate embellishments to streamlined minimalism, there’s a wide range of styles from which to choose, and the one you select can influence the entire look and feel of your house. Here are a few pointers to help you get your foot in the door of a very welcoming timber home.

Wood You Rather

Photo: Appalachian Antique Hardwoods
Most exterior doors are constructed from wood, fiberglass or metal (typically steel). Each of these materials has its benefits. In terms of front-door aesthetics, however, most timber homeowners have their hearts set on wood to complement the natural beauty of the frame. Look to durable tree species, such as fir, oak, alder or mahogany, which have built-in resistance to weathering and rot, then seal them up with a varnish, stain or sealant that has a UV inhibitor and moisture barrier. 

Get the Lead Out

Photo: moregoodstuff.com

Leaded glass windows add sparkle and light to any solid-wood door. The beveled panes and diamond-shaped pattern, enhanced by the rich stain and arched top, impart a touch of English Tudor style to a modern timber home.


Smooth Operator

Photo: sandiegopivotdoors.com
With its California-cool, contemporary vibe, a sleek pivot door is perfect for a timber home with a mid-century modern or Asian-inspired influence. Though usually larger and heavier than other types of doors, a pivot door owes its smooth operation to being installed on a spindle as opposed to hinges, enabling it to open and close with ease.

Double Dutch

Photo: rustica.com
Today’s rustic farmhouse or timber-chic cottage isn’t complete without the charm of a Dutch door. Open the full door to allow friends and family to pass, or simply open the top for ventilation while keeping pets and kids safely inside. Add a traditional Dutch-door shelf to the center and you can almost smell the aroma of fresh apple pie cooling in the breeze.

Formal Tradition

Photo: etsy.com/shop/GardFurnitureDoors

For an elegant approach to your timber home, turn to options like this hand-carved, solid reclaimed mahogany door from Gardelli Furniture. The majestic door is 60-by-80 inches, pre-hung for convenient installation and pre-treated against the elements for decades of use. The intricate carving trails over a sidelight that allows natural sunlight to illuminate your entry and creates a portal to view who has come a-knocking.

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