Whether new construction or a renovation, the addition of a double entry door adds beauty, value, and functionality to your home. An entryway featuring a double entry door can define the look and feel of the rest of the house. Homeowners often choose to install a double entry door system to make a bold, elegant, elaborate, or even, subtle statement.
Below we’ll discuss styles, buying considerations, and costs of double entry doors so you can make an informed decision about whether a double entry door is right for your home.
Why Consider a Double Entry Door?
- The most common reason homeowners install double entry doors in their home is for its curb appeal. Curb appeal is simply how the front of your house appears at first glance to passerby or visitors. A double entry door can dramatically increase the curb appeal of your house versus a single entry door.
- Adding a double entry door increases the value of your house. HomeAdvisor lists the addition of a double entry front door at nearly a 75% return on your investment.
- Double entry doors offer twice the clearance over single entry doors. Large appliances or large furniture pieces are easily moved through the expanded opening.
Double Entry Door Styles
Perhaps the first, and most difficult, decision to make regarding a double entry door is, what style you would like. Double entry doors come in a variety of styles to fit the needs and aesthetics of any home. Which one would look best in your home? What kind of statement would you like to make with your entryway? Let’s talk about the basics of the different styles available.
All of the following styles are available in fiberglass, steel, or wood doors.
Traditional double entry doors feature either raised or inset panels. Windows are integrated to look as if they are a panel replaced by glass. They are designed to look as if they are original equipment on the house. Perceived as a subtle looking door style, they can add elegant style to the entryway.
These doors are often installed in early 1900s homes to create a unique look without looking too bold. In new construction, they offer a subtle yet grand entrance to a home.
Arts and Crafts
Arts and Crafts double entry doors are similar to the look of a traditional door. However, they rely on sharp, straight lines and right angles to give them a more refined look. The windows often have geometric patterns or whimsical designs. Individual designs vary greatly. They are often chosen to match accents and other shapes on the exterior of the house.
Doors in this category tend to be installed in homes where a traditional door would be appropriate, but a more detailed look is desired.
Modern double entry doors are defined by strong lines and curves. Windows are seamlessly integrated into the designs. Most often they are bold in their designs. These doors usually match or contrast the qualities of the exterior of modern looking houses.
Homes with hard geometric angles and lines are well suited for this style of door to further enhance the ‘clean’ look of the house.
An ornamental double entry door can be a door of any style, but fancier. These doors have intricate patterns cut into the door material. Inlays and placards are commonly included in the design. Windows in the door sometimes have detailed designs in the glass. Wrought iron ornamentation or other details are normal.
Ornamental doors are designed to be the main focal point of the front of the house. They are meant to portray elegance.
The design and finishes of rustic double entry doors are created to make them look ‘old.’ They are often adorned with metal accents or oversized, visible hinges. Many rustic doors employ wrought iron elements as well. Rustic doors can be used to accent exterior features of the house, or can be used as stand-alone displays of art.
These doors are installed as focal points to achieve an antiqued appearance to the home.
A dutch double entry door can be any style of door that is split to allow the top half to be opened, while the bottom half remains closed.
They are commonly used on homes to achieve a farmhouse look and feel. Pets and children can be kept safely inside while you let fresh air in.
Any style of door can also be created as an arched door. Arched double entry doors are simply doors and frames that have a curved top. They are most often chosen to achieve a statement of elegance at the entryway.
Arched doors are considered an upgraded version of whatever style of door you are thinking about.
Double Entry Door Buying Guide
Beyond the style of door that will suit your home best, there are several other things to consider before making the commitment to install a double entry door.
By definition, a double entry door is at least twice as large as a standard single entry door. Usual measurements for double doors are 60, 64, and 72 inches wide. In new construction this may not be a concern. In existing construction, especially if replacing a single door with a double door, some concerns may be:
- Is the entryway wide enough to fit a double door?
- Is there enough interior clearance in the entryway for both doors to fully open?
- Will a double door look too large for the house?
The handing, or which way the door opens, is unique to double doors. One side of the double door is the ‘active’ door and one is the ‘passive’ door.
The active door is the door that is opened using a lockset and doorknob or handle. It’s the door used most often and can be installed on either the left or right side.
The passive door is the other one. The passive door uses a bolt lock on the top and bottom of the door that, normally, can only be unlocked if the active side of the door is open.
Once you have decided that a double entry door will fit in your entryway, deciding which side of the door you would like to use most often is important.
Energy efficiency, or how well a product insulates against outdoor temperatures, is important in choosing a double entry door. The Department of Energy is a good source for information regarding the energy efficiency of doors. Look for Energy Star rated products for your area while shopping for double entry doors.
A common misconception about double entry doors is that they are far less energy efficient than their single door counterparts. Modern weatherstipping and proper installation ensure that double doors are just as good at keeping cold air from going around the door as are single doors. The larger surface area, however, means that they will transfer slightly more heat than a single door.
The main reason to have a door on a house is security. Modern doors, no matter what material they are made of, are strong enough to not fail should an unwanted intruder decide they would like to enter your home. The security of the entryway system lies in how the door is attached to its frame, or jamb.
Look for double entry doors that include security hinges. Security hinges have tabs integrated into the hinge mounts that make it difficult to separate the door from the frame.
When choosing locking hardware, look for locksets designed specifically for double entry doors that include bolt locks for the passive side of the entry.
Double Entry Door Price Factors
Almost everything having to do with double entry doors is more expensive than with a single entry door. A good rule of thumb is, the more elaborate the door, the more it costs. Let’s look at the factors that impact pricing.
Double Entry Door Options
Deciding that you desire a double entry door is just the beginning. Deciding what options you would like in your entryway system often comes down to pricing. Pricing ranges from $1000 to many thousands of dollars. Below, see how different options affect pricing of double entry doors in all three of the commercially available types. Wood doors, being highly customizable can be the most expensive.
Fiberglass door price range
Steel door price range
Wood door price range
Smooth texture, unfinished
Smooth texture, factory paint
Textured surface, unfinished
Textured surface, factory finish
Add accent details
Add ¼ window
Add multiple windows
$1300 and up
Add full glass window
$1300 and up
$3000 and up
$4000 and up
$4000 and up
From there, large amounts of money can be spent with additional elements including ornate details, transom windows, and elegant hardware packages.
Double Entry Door Installation Costs
Another major factor affecting the cost of a double entry door is installation. Installation can be accomplished by a skilled DIYer, but it can be a tricky process. Improper installation can void warranties and cause needed repairs later.
DIY Double Entry Door Installation
The cost of DIY installation is relatively low. Many doors purchased will include pre-hung door installation materials. Additionally, you will need weather-resistant caulk, composite or cedar shims, weather-resistant screws, trim nails and finish trim.
Tools needed include a level up to 6 feet long, tape measure, drill, power screwdriver, and a hammer or rubber mallet. A miter saw may be needed for installing the finish trim.
This installation video is for skilled DIYers to watch prior to starting your project.
Professional Double Entry Door Installation
Installation of a double entry door is more difficult than installing a single entry door. For this reason, most homeowners choose to have their double entry door installed by a professional installation company. The current national average ranges from $600 to $1600. For more elaborate installations that include adding transom windows, or enlarging an opening to accommodate the new door, you can expect prices near $2000 and up.