You're looking at your entryway and you've come to a conclusion - standard doors just aren't going to do the job.
Sure, you could opt for the wood or steel options you see manufacturers pumping out by the bucketload. Perhaps even a PVC door. But you know that you're just getting the same as everybody else with those types of doors rather than something unique that you can imagine would boost the aesthetic appeal of your property.
Custom is the way to go if you want to install doors that make the most of the space in your home's openings while fitting your specific needs for the project. But before you contact a manufacturer, you need to know two things about custom steel doors:
- When might you need them
- What to look for when you go beyond the conventional
When Might You Need Custom Steel Doors?
The easy answer to this question is that you should choose custom steel doors because they create a unique aesthetic, unlike any premade products on the market. And for many, that's enough. That uniqueness justifies the purchase for you, which means you can move on to the next section of the article.
But if you're still mulling over different door ideas and need some insight into why going custom is a solid choice, here are five reasons why you should consider going down the tailored route.
You Want to Design a Modern Front Door
Take a moment to think about what a standard exterior door looks like.
The thick construction is the first thing that likely comes to mind. Standard exterior doors are designed for security first, often sacrificing style in the process, so they give off a traditional aura that isn't necessarily in keeping with the rest of your home. The industry's focused on these types of doors for decades, which is fine for anybody who doesn't care whether their external doors complement the rest of their home.
But these bulky designs aren't helpful to anybody who wants to achieve a modern look. So, you may opt for a custom steel door if you're trying to achieve a contemporary aesthetic that most doors can't offer. Think sleek and smooth black lines (often bordering glass) to create geometric patterns that enhance the look and feel of your frontage. Or simplistic - albeit elegant - design that is less about bulk and more about emphasizing the beauty of the space in which the door sits.
That focus on modernity may guide you away from stock front doors and toward customized options tailored to your style.
You're Interested in Hollow Metal Doors
Let's hone in on a materials battle - wood vs. metal.
With wood, you only really have the option of a solid door made from a single piece of the material. Hollowness is the enemy of these types of doors. After all, hollow wood is easy to break through, creating a security risk for your home. Think the sort of word you have in some interior doors - which is basically hollow barring what is essentially cardboard between the door panels - and you see the problem.
Metal can be hollow.
Yes, you can go down the bulky solid metal route and get a door that's so strong that it's almost impossible to break through. But you also have the option of hollow metal doors - doors that feature tough metal plates with internal honeycomb, polyurethane, or even polystyrene cores. These doors are still secure (the metal plates ensure that) but they're lighter and easier to handle, in addition to offering more design versatility.
The issue is that many manufacturers don't create hollow doors as standard, forcing you down the customization route if this is the type of door you want.
You're Hoping to Boost Curb Appeal with Something Unique
Let's assume you're trying to sell your home, or you're at least considering selling as a possibility in the near future.
That means you need curb appeal - that all-important first impression that sets the stage for anybody who comes to view the property. Don't underestimate the importance of this first impression. The HomeOwners Alliance points out that 68% of buyers place a lot of importance on how a house looks from the outside when making their decisions.
Now, imagine that you have a regular front door installed on your property. It gets the job done. It's secure enough and it opens and closes smoothly. But there's no "wow" factor - nothing stands out at all compared to customized doors that are designed to match the property's overall aesthetic. Thus, you may consider getting custom steel doors if you're trying to transform your front door (or any of your exterior doors) into more appealing fixtures that draw buyers' eyes.
You Need Sound Reduction and Standard Doors Won't Cut It
Numbers vary on how much noise a traditional front door is able to block, but it's possible that the noise reduction may be as low as 20 decibels. That's equivalent to being able to hear people speaking in low volumes from outside your door - not ideal if you live in an area with high vehicular traffic or one where wind creates a ton of noise.
As a result, you may consider a custom door replacement if you need something capable of blocking more noise than the door you have right now. For instance, if a standard steel door is capable of blocking between 20 and 30 decibels, one that's reinforced with insulation could bump that noise reduction closer to 40 decibels.
It seems like a small difference in writing, but it's a difference that makes your home more comfortable to spend time in if you're particularly sensitive to noise.
Standard Door Hardware Isn't Suitable for Your Needs
It's not just the door's design you have to consider when choosing a new door for your home - the hardware comes into play, too. Door jambs, frames, trim, and even the specific locksets you use can all factor into your decision.
Honing in on locksets, many manufacturers create hardware that's only compatible with the doors that they design. PINKYS is an example. For instance, the classic look of the Stonebriar lockset may appeal, but its hardware is only compatible with a select number of iron and steel doors in the PINKYS range.
The point is that you may not be especially interested in designing a custom door for your property. But you do care about the hardware - especially the look and feel created by a lockset or specific frame - meaning you go down the customized route simply to ensure that you get the hardware you want on your exterior doors.
What to Consider When Choosing a Custom Steel Door
If you've read this far, you've made the decision - a custom door is right for your home's exterior.
Now, you've just got to choose the right door for you and your property, which is where these five considerations come into play.
Is Your Existing Frame Suitable for Installation?
This consideration relates specifically to the installation of your custom door, especially when it comes to ongoing safety.
A standard exterior door frame is typically constructed to support a door that's 36 inches wide, 80 inches tall, and 1.75 inches thick. As for door jambs, they're typically either 4-9/16 inches or 6-9/16 inches, depending on the wall surrounding the door.
Those standard measurements go out of the window if your customization work results in you getting an oversized door. Thus, you may have to redesign the frame. This isn't something you can do yourself, so it's best to contact a professional installer. Inform them of the height, width, and thickness of your new door and they can help you to construct a frame that's suitable for it.
Failure to do so could create security risks - poorly fitting doors leave gaps that could be exploited by somebody trying to gain access to your home.
Single or Double Doors?
The choice between single and double doors comes down to one thing - the size of your entryway.
Let's say you have a compact and cozy home with a small porch area. In this instance, a set of double doors practically overshadow everything else in the space, standing out like a sore thumb while flying in the face of the aesthetic principle of harmony.
The same effect occurs in reverse if you try to fit a customized single door into a grandiose space. Only this time, the door is lost in the shuffle, falling into the background rather than becoming the focal space because there's simply too much going on around it for it to serve as an attractive design feature.
This leads us to a simple rule of thumb - double doors for large spaces and single doors for smaller ones.
Should the Doors Contain Glass?
You may shy away from having glass installed because of potential security risks, which makes sense. It's much easier to shatter glass than it is to break through a solid iron or steel frame. Still, there are a couple of reasons why you should consider having glass fitted into your customized exterior doors.
Both relate to aesthetics, though one also has a practical slant.
On the purely aesthetic front, glass provides a more contemporary look and feel than solid steel or wood. You can see this in action with the PINKYS range of Air doors - they combine large glass panels with sleek black lines to form bold geometric shapes consistent with contemporary design principles.
On the combined aesthetic and practical fronts, doors that contain glass let more natural light into your home. Practicality-wise, this extra light is a boon for otherwise dingy or dark entryways because it opens up the space and makes it feel larger than it really is.
If you think back to the curb appeal factor (remember - curb appeal matters to 68% of buyers), that space opening effect reinforces the already spectacular first impression created by an attractive custom door that features glass.
Aesthetically, glass also serves as a "window" through the door. The design features built into your entryway and porch area become more visible, allowing you to create a cohesive look that begins from the moment somebody walks to the front of your home and continues as they enter.
Does the Door Style (Frames, Design, etc.) Match Your House
Sticking with the theme of aesthetics, your custom door also has to match the look and feel of your home.
For instance, a single PINKYS Air door looks great in a small modernistic home - the geometric shapes will likely line up with the shapes built into the home's walls and interior decor. But for a more traditional home - think a cottage or cabin - this type of door would look out of place.
In these cases, a combination of contemporary and traditional often works better, such as you see with PINKYS Dutch doors. These doors are inspired by the barnyard. Their ability to open the top and bottom separately allowed farmers to peek into a barn while keeping the bottom half of the door closed to prevent livestock from escaping - making them more suitable for homes with rustic or traditional aesthetics.
Simply put, consider what you have already when choosing a custom door.
Is the Energy Performance Suitable?
Energy efficiency comes into play if you opt for a door that makes heavy use of glass. The reason is simple - windows (or any form of glass leading to your home's exterior) are responsible for as much as 30% of your home's heating or cooling loss.
In other words, glass often acts as a bridge for the air inside your home. If it's cool inside and hot out, the cool air in your home is naturally drawn to glass and the heat beyond, resulting in your home warming up and your air conditioning having to work all the harder. The opposite occurs if it's warm inside and cold out - this time, the warm air is attracted to the glass.
Manufacturers like PINKYS have overcome this problem with smart use of technology, including Low-E glass used in its doors and thermal breaking that essentially acts as an insulator. Look for the presence of such technologies to ensure your custom exterior doors don't become massive energy wasters.
PINKYS - Get the Full Line of Custom Steel Doors
With this information in hand, you now know everything you need to know to make a decision on whether custom steel doors are the right choice for your property.
There's just one decision left to make - which manufacturer should you choose?
PINKYS stands out because it creates stunningly artistic iron and steel doors inspired by contemporary Californian design. It's able to manufacture your custom doors in 12 to 14 weeks and ensures you have everything you need - including hardware and framing - to fit your customized door quickly and easily. Get in touch today and start your journey to getting a tailor-made exterior door.