Glass Doors: Are They Right for You?

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Want to add something eye-catching that will brighten up your home? Perhaps a glass front door will add some drama and appeal.  Imagine the sunlight streaming through your house from the living room, kitchen or entryway on a warm summer day. This will have positive effects such as having more natural lighting and mood enhancement. Natural sunlight will remind you of the beauty that lies beyond its doors as well as keeps the pets happy with the warmth and views of outside. Getting a full glass door on your home gives you all the positive effects of an open-air entrance, such as the natural sunlight and the unrestricted views of the outside without the worry of whether or bugs invading your space. Having a glass door can also change your curb appeal and give you that little boost the appearance of your home needed to stand out from the others.

Considerations Before You ‘Go Glass’

Things to keep in mind:

Privacy

There are many positives to having a front door paned with glass, but there are many considerations to think about. For one, what is the level of privacy you desire and what are you comfortable with the neighbourhood seeing in your home? Even with ribbed, clouded or frosted glass you can still see if someone is on the other side of the door and detect movement. Is that something you are okay with? How close are your neighbours, maybe you want privacy but they live a good distance away so the glass entryway is acceptable? If you live in a populated place or have a private lifestyle, especially if there is a lot of foot traffic close by, maybe this isn’t a good option as a front door. It could work for the back door though, giving you the best of both worlds.  If the sound is an issue, perhaps from vehicle traffic in a busy city, consider that glass offers less noise protection, though some doors have a laminated or tempered glass for additional insulation.

Protection

There are security concerns about an intruder being able to break the glass door and gain access to your home. There are ways to counter this though, for example getting double-paned glass rather than a standard single-paned. ETO Doors carries double-paned glass doors that have decorative iron in between the glass, for ultimate security. Getting a door with thicker glass or a metallic glass will greatly improve the security of your door. These types of glass are much harder to break and also are better insulated. This results in helping keep the cold air out and keeping your energy costs down.

Energy cost

Glass is not a good insulator so having a large pane of glass as a door will create a change in your home’s energy costs. It will be harder to maintain the desired temperatures inside when the door allows more heat and cold transfer with the outside environment. To combat this, you may want to consider a double panned or thicker glass as stated above or getting a storm door to give you the natural light and views of the glass door but the energy savings of a normal door when you close it.

Nature Around You

The last major consideration to dwell on is your location. Beyond privacy from human interaction, consider if you live in an area with a large number of natural wildlife such as birds, squirrels, raccoons and other small creatures. A glass door lets them see into your home and animals are naturally curious. They may try to gain access to your house because they see an entrance and can see what is inside. It should be obvious that they cannot get access but they will be around the home more. This is just something small to consider but worth mentioning.

What kind of design do you want?

If you’ve decided to move forward with this change and you think a glass door is a perfect fit for your home, now you have to decide on a style and size. There are more traditional options with divided panels and wood designs or you could go with something more contemporary or modern. Today’s market offers a wide variety of designs and variations to choose from compared to 20 years ago; the options are endless.

Another direction is to contact a custom builder, which is easier than you think, and get them to build your door you desire. This is a good option especially if you have selective taste, or if you have special considerations when getting a door such as accessibility or restrictions biased on environmental or architectural factors. If your home is old this may also be the best option because sizes may not be standardized, so a door that fits may not be easy to find. This can also be helpful if you are choosing to build a door around a certain new or antique pane of glass you have. They can ensure that the frame of the door and the material perfectly showcases your selection.

Types of glass

Glass options vary. Some doors come with just one type of glass. Others such as the glass doors at ETO Doors give you several choices of which glassworks for you: frosted, obscured, etched, clear, and storm hurricane.  If you want privacy then consider something like frosted glass, something that blurs the view of someone looking through it. If that isn’t a concern, then maybe you just want a pane of clear normal glass. This allows in the most light and lets you see the outdoors. There is also ribbed glass, obstructing the view through it but giving the glass a more modern decorative appeal. Another option, that isn’t widely popular indoors but can be perfect in certain situations is tinted glass to only allow in so much light, or provide a certain amount of privacy.  Storm or hurricane glass is rated to withstand high winds. 

For more helpful tips on door selection, ETO Doors has published a Doors Buying Guide for 2020.

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