Everything You Need to Know About Front Doors with Glass Panels

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Your full-glass patio doors allow you to bask in the sunlight streaming in from the great outdoors. Like large windows, these doors show you the world outside your home. But wouldn’t it be great to get that same expansive view and sun-filled vista with your front door?

Well, you can. A front door with a glass panel (or several) built in breathes new life into your entryway. Light can stream into your home, reinvigorating your porch. These days, homeowners can install these decorative features to adorn the space and give a modern upgrade to their entry. Plus, you don't even have to choose a full glass door option to do it.

Every project starts with one thing: a choice. Why should you choose a front door with a glass panel when there are so many other options out there? If you do make that choice, what are the drawbacks for each that you may need to account for? Your answers to those questions are here.

The Types of Glass Panels Available for Your Front Door

PINKYS Glass Sample - All Glass Samples

No article about front doors with glass panels can start without a focus on the most important feature of these types of doors, the glass. PINKYS exterior doors come complete with glass built-in, with three styles of glass to choose from.

Clear Glass

Clear glass is the go-to for most glass door designs. You probably already have it if you have a patio door. You’ll get the same benefits when it’s installed as a panel into your front doors; light streams through without hindrance. The space around the door feels light and breezy, creating an atmosphere in your entryway that welcomes people inside.

This glass is an easy option. But easy doesn't mean bad, "cheap," or any of the negative connotations that might be associated with an easy option. Clear glass is elegant. Refined. It does the job for people who want to purchase their new front door at a reasonable price while ensuring that the door still has the open glass they seek.

Frosted Glass

PINKYS frosted glass lifestyle

Where clear glass is fully transparent, frosted glass has a sandblasted look. This is achieved through sandblasting the glass, or by using a technique called acid etching. This type of glass strikes a balance between welcoming light into your home, whilst obscuring visibility so nobody outside can look in.

Whether this lack of visibility is the right choice depends on your preferences. Your privacy will be protected from neighbors, but also family members and friends. Additionally, the light that does come through your glass panel will be slightly duller than the light exposure on offer with a clear glass window, affording no clear view of the outside world.

But that may be what you want. If it is, frosted glass is the perfect choice for privacy. In addition, frosted glass is designed using toughened glass to help the material withstand the sandblasting process. Thus, frosted glass can be a better choice for security than clear glass.

Low-E Glass

PINKYS Glass Sample - Low-e

Energy loss through glass is a problem in any home; as much as 30% of your heat escapes through glass, according to the Department of Energy. At least, that’s the case with normal glass. If the glass is untreated, you essentially create a bridge for the warm air in your home to outside in the winter when you have glass panels.

Not with low-emissivity (Low-E) glass. This glass is an insulator that acts as a barrier for heat, deflecting it back into your home to keep you warm during the colder months and can prevent a considerable rise in energy bills. Style is still a part of the design, of course. The glass can still look as wonderful as any other type of glass. There are just the added energy benefits that the glass will provide to your home.

However, there are a couple of drawbacks. Low-E glass costs more than clear glass, and it lets a little less light into your home. You can attribute the higher cost due to the glass being thicker. More glass equals more money. As for light, Low-E glass lets in about 85% light compared to clear glass, though that may be a good thing if you want to take the edge off pervasive and high-intensity natural light.

Why Choose a Front Door with Glass Panels?

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You create a certain look and feel when you have a glass panel built into the door at your front entrance. Light becomes a feature in your home, and the glass welcomes people by giving them a peek at what lies beyond your door. Those reasons alone may be enough for you to choose a front door with a glass panel, but there are a few more to consider.

Boost Your Home's Curb Appeal

Imagine you're buying a home. You have two viewings for the day. At the first home, you see a large wooden door greeting you at the entryway. It looks old and intimidating, and you don't feel a welcoming embrace, the thing that often makes a house feel like a home.

PINKYS Patio Doors

But at the second home, the front door has a glass panel that instantly draws you in. You get a glimpse of what lies inside the house from the curb, and it's clear that the glass brings light into the home. Your decision is made almost before you complete the viewing: you prefer how the second house looks from the outside far more than the first house.

Now consider you’re the seller rather than the buyer, and you'll quickly see why the extra curb appeal that comes from having a glass panel in your front door matters.

Welcome More Light Into Your Home

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Now we come to the most obvious reason to install a glass panel in a front door: light.

As sturdy as a solid iron or wood door may be, there's no denying that they darken entryways. Light can't get in or out. In some cases, the result is a darkened hallway that only feels open and breezy when the door is open.

Glass panels open up that space. Light streams through, so you get a more natural aesthetic, and the space behind the door instantly becomes more open and welcoming.

PINKYS Patio Doors

Glass Is Low Maintenance

Glass isn't a non-maintenance material. Smudges happen, errant hands leave prints, and grime can collect on the glass to make it look less fresh than it was when it was installed. These issues happen no matter what type of glass panel you have. But they are also issues that have a simple remedy:

A clean cloth and some window cleaner.

Glass takes very little effort to maintain. Just five minutes or so and a quick wipe with a cloth is usually more than enough to bring the panel back to its original clarity. Whatever works for your windows will work for the glass panel in your door. So, while glass maintenance is something you have to deal with, the work is so light and simple that it hardly feels like work at all.

PINKYS patio doors

A Breath of Fresh Air with Your New Front Door

Let's switch gears from practicality to panache. A front door with a glass panel breathes new life into tired old entryways, especially those that feel dark and less inviting than they should. The new door will be a blast of fresh air and light that washes over you whenever you step out of your house, as well as be an invitation to step inside as you return to your home.

That invitation can come in many configurations. Double glass doors can open wide to invite the world into your home and give it a touch of stately elegance. Sidelights along the side of the door let in more of the sun’s glow, even into the evening. Meanwhile, lights along the path leading to a front door with a glass panel can create a runway effect, decorating the area and creating a more attractive front garden.

The difference your glass front door makes is palpable. It can make your home feel new, more inviting, and more invigorating thanks to the simple addition of a glass panel as a decorative feature.

Get the Patio Doors Look at the Front of Your House

We’ve discussed why large glass patio doors are so beloved. Basking in the light streaming in through the doors as you take in the surroundings, is a pure and simple joy that allows you to appreciate the little things your home offers.

You can emulate that feeling with a glass panel on your front door, and there are so many different designs to explore. Yes, the traditional combination of door and glass is usually more door than glass, but you can get the patio door look for the front of your house if you reverse the configurations. Combine a large pane backed by a solid iron frame to give a whole new look to your frontage.

PINKYS sliding patio door

Get a Peek at the Outside World

The world outside your home can be a mystery when you have a solid door with no glass panels. A peek through a peephole is no substitute for being able to see everything in your entryway clearly, and it's certainly not as enjoyable to pass by the door and not be able to take a glance outside.

PINKYS Iron Door with Glass Taft

You want to see more. You want to welcome the outdoors into your home, if only visually, and a glass panel in your front door helps you achieve that. With the outside world more visible, your door isn’t a barrier anymore. It’s a view of the outside world that also opens up your entryway and lets the light come streaming in.

There's Plenty of Variety

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There is no one way to get a front door with a glass panel "right." Variety is truly the spice of life with these types of doors, especially at PINKYS, where you have options galore waiting for you.

Simple design flourishes can make one front door and its glass panels look completely different from another. Where one door may have multiple panels, each framed with iron and finishes of your choice, another may be almost complete glass with just a border of iron to complete the door.

It's all up to you and what you believe will look most attractive in your home. Whatever ideas you have for your front door can become a reality that PINKYS makes possible with our inspired door design team.

Lifestyle of PINKYS Steel Door Pocket Sliders

The Drawbacks of Glass in Exterior Doors

As beautiful and breath-taking as a front door with a glass panel (or several) may be, they're not the right choice for everybody. Like all types of doors, there are a few potential drawbacks that may influence your decision to opt for a glass panel from the door.

It's Easier for People to See Inside From Your Entryway

One of the biggest draws of having a glass panel is also one of its biggest drawbacks: seeing through the glass. As the homeowner, you love having the ability to quickly glance at the door and instantly see the world outside. But that ability belongs to almost anyone outside of your home as well. Anybody who wants to do so can peek through the glass and see inside your home.

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That's not a problem when friends and family come calling. But glass panels can also invite more malicious visitors, especially those seeking the location of valuables in the home with an eye toward stealing them.

There are ways to mitigate this privacy issue. Curtains installed behind the glass door allow you to limit the outside world's view into your home whenever you desire. The same can be done with blinds. Meanwhile, with frosted glass, you get to enjoy the light streaming in through your door's window while also limiting the view of what lies inside your door.

Perceived Security Issues

There's a misconception that doors containing glass panels are easier to break into than doors that have no glass at all. The origins of this misconception are simple: glass is easier to break through than wood or iron.

Except most thieves would prefer not to make a lot of noise with shattering glass if they’re trying to break into a home. Drawing attention of any kind means they have to run away with nothing. So, the supposed security issues that come with having glass panels built into your doors are not as severe as you might think. Thus the fragility of glass can be something of a deterrent to burglary.

The stats reflect also this. In over a third of burglaries (34%), the thief simply turns a doorknob and gains entry. Thus, it’s not the glass that attracts the burglar; it’s your forgetfulness. One unlocked door, no matter what it’s made of, is far riskier than a locked door with a glass panel. Besides, strengthened glass solves the shattering issue by making it even harder to break through.

PINKYS patio doors open

Glass May Not Mesh with Your Home Décor

Moving into subjective taste: some people just don't like glass. They prefer their entryway to appear solid and strong. So, for them, having glass panels built into the door is the wrong choice on the taste level.

For instance, you might not want to let the light in as much as a glass panel allows. Sure, the light opens up a space, but you may have designed your hallway to have a cozier look. Streaming light makes that hallway seem bigger than it is and perhaps bigger than you want it to be.

There's also the visibility issue; you may not want people to be able to see inside. Frosted glass can solve that problem, but the sandblasted look of the glass may not be to your taste and match an interior design that has clear and clean lines everywhere else. Ultimately, it's up to you whether or not glass panels will achieve the look you want in your entryway.

PINKYS patio door

Get Your Front Doors with Glass Panels from PINKYS

By now, you have an idea of whether or not a front door with a glass panel (or several) is right for your home. But knowing what you want isn't the same as finding what you need. The good news is that PINKYS is here with a collection of stunning doors, made using iron and glass panels, that can achieve the look you need in your entryway.

PINKYS Modern Black Steel lifestlye

Many of our doors place the focus on the glass panels. Rather than having a single panel built into a bulk iron door, the glass becomes the attraction, with multiple panels built in so light streams across your entryway as soon as the sun hits the glass. You have options, too. Most of our doors come with the choice of sidelights, allowing more light in, and you can customize your own door design with the PINKYS team.

So, what are you waiting for? Welcome a touch of California into your home with a PINKYS front door with glass panels designed to light up your life and your home. You can shop from the doors we currently have in stock, check out (and pre-order) our upcoming designs, or work with us directly to create a new front door that is entirely yours and speaks to what you want to achieve in your home.

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