The ins and outs of selecting doors for your home

How do you get in and out of your house? How do you take time for yourself and make sure nobody intrudes on your private moments? You use a door. Most homeowners don't put a lot of thought into their doors, but they are actually important elements in a home.

First, front doors restrict access to outsiders. Imagine if we didn't have front doors? People might walk in and out of our houses without invitation – friends and strangers alike. And interior doors are crucial for personal privacy – no matter how much we love our families, we all need some alone time every now and then.

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A simple wood door is probably the most inexpensive of all materials, but it does not have a window. Wood doors are simple and easy to put up, but most people prefer them for interior doors because of their simplicity and low cost.

Glass doors, on the other hand, are more expensive. They look great, but they're also at risk of breaking (whether the whole door or a single panel). Another consideration is how often you want to clean your doors – you will have to wipe a glass door more often than any other type of door because it shows grime quickly. Sliding doors are most often made of glass.

Fiberglass doors are lightweight, but just like wood doors are not entirely practical for front doors, unless you prefer not to have a window. Many people have a combination of a fiberglass door with a window pane in the top half.

If you're looking for that dramatic edge for the entrance to a study or side room, bifold doors might be for you. These doors fold up in sections, usually two to four on each side of a doorway. They are most commonly made of wood. Large bifold doors are quite dramatic, while small folding doors are excellent for closets.

Pocket doors are also convenient. These doors slide into a precut hole in the wall when opened, so they disappear from view and leave the doorway wide open.

As with anything else, for the most unique touch, you can order custom doors for any entranceway, whether this means oversized doors, different shapes or a unique material. Custom doors are generally more expensive than precut doors.