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Entry Door



  • Inswing (I/S): A door that opens in
  • Outswing (O/S): A door that opens out
  • Left Hand: For an I/S door, hinges are on the left, and for an O/S door, hinges are on the right (when the door is viewed from the house's exterior)
  • Right Hand: For an I/S door, hinges are on the right, and for an O/S door, hinges are on the left (when the door is viewed from the house's exterior)
  • Lite: A pane of glass in a door
  • Divided Lite: Panes of glass that are or appear to be divided
  • Grille: Plastic, wooden or metal assembly in a door that gives the appearance of divided lites
  • Caming: Strips for joining segmented glass

Door Material

  • Fiberglass
  • Resist wear and tear better than steel
  • Can be painted and stained
  • Average price
  • Durable
  • Little maintenance
  • Can crack under severe impact
  • Steel
  • Inexpensive
  • Secure
  • Efficient
  • Not as weather resistant as fiberglass or wood
  • Prone to dents
  • Can rust
  • Wood
  • Most durable doors
  • Easy to repair
  • Weather resistant
  • Efficient
  • Very strong
  • Expensive
  • Must be regularly painted or stained to look their best

Door Accents

  • Glass
  • In-Glass blinds
  • Sidelites
  • Transoms
  • Rails and stiles
  • Adjustable threshold

Energy Efficiency

  • Doors play less of a role when it comes to energy efficiency as you may think. Doors are a very small part of the surface area of a house and usually don't allow significant amounts of warm air to escape.
  • Steel and Fiber glass doors tend to insulate better than wood doors
  • Models that are Energy Star qualified come with tighter frames, energy efficient cores, and double or triple panel insulating glass on models that come with glass.
  • More information can be found at Energy Stars website.


  • Unless you're simply replacing a bad or broken door, most doors come as a 'door system' meaning it comes with the door and frame and any accents, such as sidelites, already framed.
  • If you decide to go with a bigger door, you'll need to call in the pros unless you're a skilled contractor as they will need to completely re-frame your entry way.

Safety features

  • The best way to deter burglars is hands down, a good strong reinforced lock
  • In tests with a battering ram, nearly every door, no matter the material, failed at the lock.
  • Use a lock with a 1 inch long dead bolt and a reinforced metal box strike
  • Use 3 inch long mounting screws that go in past the door jamb and into the frame.

Interior Door

Shaving a door to fit a frame

Level of difficulty: Easy
Estimated time taken: 30 minutes
Tools required:

  • Router
  • Belt Sander

Step 1: Measure the amount needing to be shaved

  1. Hold the door to the frame
  2. Mark the door with a pencil where it needs to be shaved
  3. Set your router to the appropriate height

Step 2: Test the router depth

  • On scrap wood, test the router depth to ensure it is correct

Step 3: Make the cut

  • If your router settings look good, make the cut along the mark you made on your door

Step 4: Test the fit

  • Before you put all of your tools away and clean up, test the fit on the door just in case you need to remove more

Step 5: Sanding

  1. If your door is just barely over the size you need, you may be able to get away with sanding the excess as opposed to needing to use the router again
  2. Either way, sand to ensure a smooth even finish once your door is the size you need

Example Video:

Fire Door

Framing a door

Example Video:

Door hinge routering

Example Video:

Install a door handle

Example Video:

Repair kicked in door jam

Example Video:

Finding good contractors

If you decide to hire out please refer to Finding Good Contractors.