Exterior Doors and Insulation

There are several considerations to make when looking at exterior doors for your home. These doors have a different purpose from interior doors, and they require a different set of considerations.


When shopping for exterior doors, remember that their function is not merely privacy or style, as an interior door’s function is. There are other purposes for exterior doors. Consider that your door is the primarily a protection from the elements for your entry into the home.

Another purpose of the door is to protect from intruders; to keep those people out of the home that you do not invite into the home.


After you consider the strength, durability and security of your exterior doors, you do want to consider style.

Look at the style of your home carefully before choosing a door for your exterior. The outer door sets a tone, and you want the door to compliment and be compatible with the rest of the décor and architectural style of the home.

Exterior doors can also be a great place to add a few extra flourishes or express your individuality, but you do want to take into a account the overall look.


You’ll want to consider the material used to construct a door as well. This is an important element in your decision, since the material used will determine the type and amount of maintenance you can anticipate as well as affect the look of the exterior doors.

Wood is the traditional and versatile material most often used in doors of all types. It can be finished in many different shades, and it is strong, with a natural beauty.

Vinyl doors are a new option that provides superior insulation. There is not the same flexibility in finishes on vinyl doors, and you may not find the exact look you want with these doors.

Metal is another very popular material. Metal doors also have the potential to be well insulated on the interior, but share the same limitations in finishes as compared to wood. Metal is strong and good for security, however.


Budget becomes an important consideration in choosing exterior doors simply because the options are so varied and therefore the costs are also varied.

The choices range from everything such as the simplest, unadorned metal door to wooden doors with complex sidelights, inserted windows, stained glass and transoms overhead.

The best idea when beginning the search is to develop a budget before you look, then spend your time looking only at the doors and door combinations that fit into your plan. It’s easy to get distracted by the fantastic options available and loose sight of the important budget.


Exterior doors have different levels of insulation. With the concerns about energy costs and reducing your carbon footprint, carefully considering the amount of insulation the door has is important.

However, don’t look only at the insulation in the door, be sure that the person who installs the exterior doors also uses good energy conserving practices. Use door strips and weather stripping to be sure any holes or gaps around the door are covered, and insulate inside the door frame when you have just the roughed out opening.