Most houses have from 8 to 20 doors, so they are a major consideration when designing or redecorating a home. This introduction to the different types of doors – both exterior and interior – is a good place to begin your research for the right door package for your home.

The decision process often begins with door styles. There are several kinds of front doors, for example, and you have just as many choices when choosing interior doors.

What are the Main Types of Doors for Your House?

Doors come in two broad categories, of course, exterior and interior doors. Here’s the list, and each is explained below with the various types of exterior doors followed by the types of exterior doors.


  • Front Doors
  • Entry Doors (Other than front doors)
  • Storm Doors
  • Patio Doors (Sliding, French or hinged doors
  • Garage doors


  • Standard Doors
  • Double Doors/French Doors
  • Barn Doors
  • Bifold Doors
  • Pocket Doors

Types of Exterior Doors

The front door might be the most important visual component of your home’s exterior, according to real estate sales experts. And so they’re of main interest to homeowners. But there are several other door types that provide access to your home such as side/back entry doors and patio doors. Each is designed to combine utility with aesthetics and home security.

Let’s take a brief look at each with an overview of options:

Front Doors

Front doors offer curb appeal, a welcome to guests, and they must be secure. They are available in a variety of materials including wood, steel, fiberglass and aluminum. Each material offers unique benefits, and the right front door material for your home will depend on your style, budget, and functional needs.

Types of Front Doors

No doubt you’ve noticed that front doors can either be a door with no glass, a door with a window or a door assembly with glass above or on one or both sides.

Door Only: This remains a popular front door style. It is safe and secure – and can be very elegant too despite having no glass.

Door with Window: When the door contains a glass element, it might be clear, frosted glass, stained glass, or beveled glass. These front doors also come with multiple glazing, or glass type, options that offer different levels of insulation and impact resistance. An added benefit is that the window allows natural light into the entryway.

Door with Sidelights: These long, narrow windows are installed on one or both sides of the door and as tall as the door. Sidelights bring in even more natural light than a single window in the door. Most are built and installed as a single assembly. The sidelights make the entryway at least a foot wider on each side. As a result, they’re best suited to homes with wider front elevations.

Doors with Transoms: A transom is a window above the door frame rather than a window in the door. They can be built together with sidelights to frame the door or be installed as a feature of their own. Transoms are available in a range of beautiful shapes, styles and glass options and really take a home’s entrance to the next level of visual appeal. However, to install a transom requires a taller entryway, and most homes cannot accommodate them.

When you consider they’re available in options as affordable as a simple steel door and as elegant as a classic wood door with sidelights and transom, you won’t be surprised at the range.

Storm Doors

Storm doors attach onto the exterior of the front door frame and provide an extra layer of protection from weather, while bringing in natural light. They have a glass panel that can either be the entire length of the door, or just the upper half.

Some remain in place all year and have a screen separate from the framed glass panel. Full-glass panels are removed in summer to turn the storm door into a screened door. If the glass panel is half, it often slides down to allow for an upper screened portion that can be used for ventilation. Aluminum and fiberglass are the most common materials for storm doors because of their durability against the elements and the fact frames made from these materials combine thin design with strength.

Other Entry Doors

These might be side doors or back doors, doors leading from the outside into the garage or from the garage into the house. Most homes have one to meet the code for egress – being able to get out of the home quickly. Doors leading from the garage into the house are often the most-used of all types of exterior doors.

Entry doors tend to be less ornate than front doors, and security is often stressed over aesthetics. As a result, budget-friendly but tough materials like steel and fiberglass are popular for this purpose. Wood is rarely used, because these doors are often exposed to the elements, and a wood door that consistently gets wet doesn’t offer you good long-term value.

Patio Doors

If your home has a deck or patio, then accessing it from the inside is essential. The two most popular types of patio doors are sliding glass doors and French doors, also called hinged doors or double doors.

Sliding Patio Doors

Sliding patio doors are the number-one choice of homeowners. They have a fixed side and sliding side that covers the fixed side when open. Their frames are narrow with large glass panels that allow in maximum natural light and give you the best view of the landscape or the children playing outdoors. Most sliding patio door assemblies include a sliding screen doors as well, so that the full unit provides both natural light and fresh air without an invasion of insects.

Sliding doors are great for spaces are tight, like the kitchen in most homes, because the door slides along a track to open and close rather than swinging open into the house. Sliding patio doors are available in wood, fiberglass, vinyl, steel, and aluminum.

French Patio Doors/Hinged Patio Doors

French patio doors, also known as hinged patio doors, add beauty and elegance to any home. They typically have a robust frame and glass in each door. Those without glass are usually called double doors. Most French patio doors feature a decorative grille on the glass panel to give the appearance of divided light. They require a generous amount of space to swing open into the home. French patio doors are a very popular choice for homes with traditional architectural styling.

Types of Interior Doors

While standard doors, such as 6-panel doors, are most common, they’re not your only choice. Let’s start there and explore other types of interior doors you might want to consider.

Standard Doors/Slab Doors

Standard doors or panel doors, are the most classic interior door type. They come in two options, slab and pre-hung doors. Pre-hung doors include their own three-sided door frame that fastens to the rough opening. They’re common for new construction and remodeling, and are easy to install for DIY homeowners.

Slab doors don’t have the frame, and they are hung in an existing frame, which saves cost on materials. But the installation cost can be higher due to the labor involved in installing hinges and attaching them to the existing door frame.

Neither type of standard door comes with hardware, which gives you the opportunity to select a handle and lock that fits your home’s style.

Wood is the most common material for standard doors, though cheap composites like MDF are available too.

French Doors or Double Doors

Most French doors come in a pair, but not all. Those that do are often called double doors. These doors open from the center. They require more room to open than a normal slab door, so they are best suited for larger spaces. Often, the term “French” is used to refer specifically to double doors that have a pane of glass in them, usually divided by a grille to give the appearance of multiple smaller panes. Double doors are usually wood but some are fiberglass. They are produced in an appealing array of styles.

Pocket Doors

Pocket doors are sliding doors that slide into a “pocket” in the wall when opened using a track installed within the home’s framing. Pocket doors are a popular option for smaller spaces, because they don’t take up any extra room. They come in wood, metal, or fiberglass, and can also include glass panels.

Barn Doors

Barn doors are a kind of sliding door that has a rustic look appearance. They are hung from a top rail rather than a door frame, and slide open and closed along this rail. The door remains exposed, unlike a pocket door. Barn doors are often one panel, but two panels are employed when the door opening is large. When two panels are used, they open in opposite directions.

Barn doors are easy to install and have become a popular DIY door that add instant appeal to any room. Wood is by far the most common material for barn doors, but they can also be metal or fiberglass.

Bifold Doors

Bifold doors are most commonly used for closets, pantries, laundry rooms, and utility rooms. As the name implies, bifold doors consist of a set of left and right panels that divide and fold inward towards you as they slide open and to the sides. They are lightweight and don’t take up much space. Bifold doors are available in wood, fiberglass or metal.

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