We all go through them every day but have you ever thought about them? Doors are a welcoming element to your home and maybe one of the most important elements. A red door in the past was a symbol for a safe stop for travelers. If you go back over 3,450 years ago and your doorpost and lintel had red blood painted on it, you were spared a heinous event which corresponds to a celebration taking place this week (Passover). It seems many of us think a doorway is the safest place during an earthquake, but disappointingly it’s not.

It seems people always had doorways, even the opening to a cave would be considered a doorway! Today’s doors swing (some swing in two directions that’s a Mead door), slide, pivot, rotate, fold, and even go up and over. Sounds like a great exercise routine. The door provides an introduction to one’s home. It can provide light and ventilation. It is also there for protection from the elements and people you want to keep out.

Your front door can make a statement about your home through color. Feng Shui has recommendations for the color of your front door depending on your home’s orientation. For example, a north facing front door should be blue, black, white or grey and never green, brown, yellow, red, purple, orange, and deep pink. So I guess if your home faces north you will not be welcoming any travelers into your home! Psychology studies link the color of your door to your personality so if you have an orange colored door you are considered a social butterfly whereas if you have a grey colored door you are indecisive (you could not choose between black or white). I think the facade of your home should be a balanced palette and the door just being one element that harmonizes with all the other finishes which include your home’s exterior siding/brick/stone/stucco, windows, trim work, roofing shingles, gutters etc.

What does the code have to say about the front door? It requires the door to resist wind loads; they are required to be a certain width to provide clear egress passage as well a minimum height. They also need to be insulated to conform to Energy Code standards. They are required to be side hinged and easily opened from the interior without a key. In addition, they require testing by independently approved laboratories to ensure the safety standards are met.

Exterior doors today are typically made from wood, fiberglass or steel. Wood is usually the most expensive and the most maintenance. Steel being an economical choice but be sure to get a 22 gauge door rather than an economic 24 gauge. It will hold up much better. Fiberglass is a great option for low maintenance and you can get a wood grain finish to mimic the wood door. Whichever you choose make sure you make a statement about who is behind that door!