Residential Doors

From home to work to the corner store, the average person opens and closes doors many times a day. While doors are fundamentally functional objects, the universe of options for residential doors gives the homeowner a great deal of choice in style, material, and purpose.


The Function of a Door

Doors serve a multiplicity of purposes, beyond merely a way to shut out the outside world. Other uses include additional protection against weather, increased security against intruders, allowing the right amount of light to enter a space, and adding just the right touch to a room's atmosphere. All of these show there is much more to a door than simply opening and closing.

Doors are fairly simple when considering the basic idea. A plane of some material, hung at an angle to a surface on hinges that allow it to swing, with a handle and some sort of latching mechanism to keep it in place; that is, in essence, a door. Sliding doors on runners, revolving doors, doors that fold, and recessed doors that disappear when opened are all ways to enhance residential doors.

Choosing a Door

If a new door is required for your home, or if you feel the need to spruce up the old one, there are a few basic terms you should learn, in addition to the basic types of doors available.

  • Inswing: refers to a door that opens towards the interior space.
  • Outswing: refers to a door that opens outward.
  • Jamb: often called "door jamb," is the head and side trim of the doorframe.
  • Casing is the molding around door openings.
  • Stops: are small molding strips that prevent the door from swinging too far.
  • Lite: glass panes on doors.

Options for Doors

There are numerous types of doors that are organized according to function. Among the many types are French doors, sliding patio doors, and storm doors. The basic type of material used in doors include steel, an energy-efficient and durable option; wood, preferred for its classic look and sturdiness; and fiberglass, an easy-to-install, energy-efficient door material that is great for high traffic areas.