Front Door? Single or Double door?

abrshaferMay 8, 2013

Opinions please! I was supposed to tell my builder yesterday what front exterior door I want but I can't decide!

I have it narrowed down between a double solid 6 panel mahagony door with an 18 inch segment transom above OR doing a single door with 12 inch sidelights and transom above.

Here is a picture of my front elevation. We have changed it a little bit. It will be full stone to roofline (vs stopping at top of first floor) on three areas that bump out. Then it will be brick for the rest of the house.

Pro's for the single door is the simplicity of only one door to open and the extra light that will come in around door and into entry. Pro's for double door is more privacy (no windows exept transom above for light) and ability to move oversized furniture into house.

Here is my inspiration picture for the single door on houzz.com and the double door version would be just like this but double doors vs the sidelights. (This is also my inspiration picture for my front porch)
[houzz=http://www.houzz.com/photos/693679/Front-Entry-traditional-exterior-toronto]
www.houzz.com/photos/693679/Front-Entry-traditional-exterior-toronto

Traditional Exterior by Waterloo Design-build Schnarr Craftsmen Inc

What door do you think would be look better and also function better?

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theballs

I prefer double doors with 3/4 glass inserts, just personal preference though. That is what we have at our house, and I love them, can open both and have a ton of room to move things in/out of the house. With the glass inserts, we get a ton of bright, cheery light through them. I am a very symmetric person, though, and love the symmetry of double doors.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 5:00PM
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faulstr

Can't help with the doors ( I do love the look of double doors though) but do you have your floor plan posted somewhere? Your elevation is beautiful!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 5:50PM
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abrshafer

Thanks faulstr, I do not have the final floorplan in an electronic form that will upload on this forum but this is the last verision. We just had some minor tweaking from this version though.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 7:36PM
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abrshafer

Second Floor-

Since this version we changed the layout of the right bathroom and added a closet to the adjacent family room.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 7:42PM
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mrspete

I personally have no love of double doors. It makes me think, "Do they have hoop-skirted guests who have trouble fitting through a single door?

The one perk: Double doors make it easy to get large furniture or appliances into the house.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 9:28AM
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millworkman

One disadvantage, unless there is a significant overhang or porch covering the entrance double doors are inherently a leaking issue.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 9:38AM
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rwiegand

Double doors are prone to leak air something awful (if not when new then after a while). Energy requirements for doors seem to be very lax compared to windows, we found that for many the information wasn't available.

Unless you have a huge opening the one door you use will be narrower than a typical single door. Most everything you'd want to move into a house is made to fit through a 36" wide door.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 11:18AM
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kirkhall

I like the single door with sidelights, myself... Have it open so as you walk in, you see the dining wall, not the study wall.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 11:28AM
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zone4newby

I vote for one door. With double doors there is usually the door you use and the other door, and guests have to guess which is which.

I would only want double doors if I anticipated having them both open on a fairly regular basis, for example if I lived in a no-bug area and were going to open the doors for ventilation & light.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 12:14AM
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mpg2004

We have double doors, with no sidelights and I really dislike not being able to see who is on the porch before I open the door. We do have a peephole (like in a hotel door) but it's set fairly high, so I don't find that very practical. The double doors DID make moving in to the house much easier, but I prefer the single & sidelight setup we had in our previous home.

Hope this helps!
Michelle

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 1:20AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

We have double doors, but they are full of glass so we get a lot of light.

In your case, I'd rather a single door with sidelights only because you will get more light and you have an opportunity to see who's at the door without a peephole.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 8:19AM
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abrshafer

Thanks everyone!

I asked my builder his opinion and he likes the double door better. I do like the fact the double door is an 8 foot tall door but it is only 5'4 wide so the individual door is smaller than the single. Cost is within 100 dollars of each other so that didn't help with the decision making.

I do like the look of both doors equally. I did not realize the higher risk of leaking and less insulation with double doors. The main reason I was leaning towards the double door was the height (like the look of 8 foot door) and the ease of moving furniture in house. Plus, my husband initially prefered the double (for moving the furniture).

However, after analyzing the pro's and con's (how often will I be moving furniture in house, etc). I believe we will be going with the single door. I really do like the inspiration photo's door and hopefully it will look as nice on my house.

I didn't realize that this was going to tbe such a tough decision.....Wow and I have so many more to come.... Glad that I have found such a nice community to ask for advice! Thanks again.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 8:29AM
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abrshafer

***NEW QUESTIONS***

I decided on the single door but....

my builder is telling me I can save a lot of money if I go with paint grade trim and a textured fiberglass door vs mahagony. He is saying the inspiration picture (in first post above) is so dark I may just want to paint the door the dark color and save the $

Also, I could do the single door at 8' vs 6'8 (may need to keep if the mahogany here though). What do you all think of a single door being 8 ft? The foyer will have 17ft ceiling so I think it would fit the inside of house, I just don't know if it would look funny walking in such a tall single door.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 11:05AM
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millworkman

Ask about a 3'-6" wide door, it may look better in proportion.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 11:34AM
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ontariomom

I like the 8 foot doors in double doors better than a single with sidelights unless the single is quite wide as per millworkman's suggestion (very tall narrow doors can look off). Our ceilings in the entry are 12 feet so I am glad we replaced that 6 foot 8 inch door in our house prior to our addition with this taller one. The 8 foot doors looks so much better with tall ceilings. We have a fiberglass door that looks like wood. It was quite thermal, so not sure all double doors are created equal in terms of energy rating (we are in Canada and the door is north facing so we paid attention to energy ratings). Here is our door in our house under construction. I love the glass as it lets in nice light.

Carol

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 5:47PM
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jlband25

Your floor plan is beautiful. Very similar to what we are looking to build. Can you tell me what your total square footage is? Thanks

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 7:38AM
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jlband25

Your floor plan is beautiful. Very similar to what we are looking to build. Can you tell me what your total square footage is? Thanks

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 7:39AM
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abrshafer

Jlband25

Thanks. The first floor is 2711 sq ft and the second floor finished sq ft is 1477. Total finished sq ft will be 4188 (Lots of unfinished places though...)

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 9:17PM
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abrshafer

millworkman

Thanks for suggestion. I did get my builder to get me a quote for a 3'6 wide 8 ft tall door. It sounds really nice but it's about 1600 dollars more than the 3' wide/ 6'8 tall door. So something we are trying to decide if worth the extra cost.

Part of the increased cost is the sidelights will need to be the additional height too.

Thanks everyone for all the help.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 11:51AM
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millworkman

Think long and hard about it as you will be looking at the front of the house for a long time and you really only want to do this once!!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 1:10PM
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abrshafer

Update:

We ordered the door... and we decided on the 3' wide 8' tall single, 4 panel mahogony door.
At first I thought it would be to narrow BUT our entrance actually is only 6'3 wide and I thought a 3'6 door and and 12 inch sidelights would be to big for the entry when taking into account trim (builder said it could work but would be really tight)
If our entry was 7 feet or wider, we would have upgraded to the 3'6 door.
Now waiting to see how it will look :)
Builder says it usually is a minimum 4 week timeframe for custom doors and framing should be finished in 3-4 weeks.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 9:41PM
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abrshafer

New Update:

I love the door! Thanks for all the great advice!!

Here is a picture of the door we choose. I was wanting to wait till it was fully finished to post but I saw this thread linked to a newer, similar thread and thought I would update :)

It still has protective plastic on glass, door is filthy, and they haven't gotten the custom molding for the above door yet.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 6:51PM
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abrshafer

Front porch view- Can't wait till its stained and house is finished!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 6:53PM
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abrshafer

Front porch view- Can't wait till its stained and house is finished!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 6:55PM
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