The Ultimate Guide to Exterior Doors with Glass, Sidelights, and Screens: Enhance Your Home’s Curb Appeal


Your home’s exterior door is not just a functional entrance but also an essential element for your home’s curb appeal. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the world of exterior doors with glass, sidelights, and screens and learn how they can dramatically enhance your home’s appearance and functionality.

A well-designed exterior door can significantly impact your home’s aesthetics and energy efficiency. The combination of glass, sidelights, and screens adds a touch of elegance and style and provides functional benefits. Let’s dive into the importance of these features and their impact on your exterior door selection.

Different Types of Exterior Doors


Various materials are available for exterior doors, each offering different benefits and aesthetics. Some of the most popular options include:


  • Wood is a natural material that is known for its beauty and durability. It can be stained or painted to match any home décor.
  • Wood doors are typically more expensive than other materials but can last many years with proper care.
  • Wood doors require regular maintenance to protect them from the elements. This includes staining or painting them every few years and sealing them with a weatherproof finish.


  • Fibreglass is a composite material that is made from glass fibers and resin. It is strong, durable, and low maintenance.
  • Fibreglass doors are typically less expensive than wood doors but can last many years.
  • Fibreglass doors are resistant to warping, rotting, and cracking. They are also energy-efficient, which can help to save on heating and cooling costs.


  • Steel is a strong and durable material that is known for its security. Steel doors are often used in commercial buildings but are becoming increasingly popular for homes.
  • Steel doors are resistant to fire, impact, and break-ins. They are also low-maintenance and can be painted to match any home décor.
  • Steel doors can be more expensive than other materials, but they can provide peace of mind knowing that your home is secure.

Here are some additional considerations when choosing an exterior door material:

  • Budget: Wood doors are typically the most expensive, followed by fiberglass and steel.
  • Durability: Steel doors are the most durable, followed by fiberglass and wood.
  • Maintenance: Wood doors require the most maintenance, followed by fiberglass and steel.
  • Energy efficiency: Fiberglass doors are the most energy-efficient, followed by steel and wood.
  • Security: Steel doors are the most secure, followed by fiberglass and wood.

Ultimately, your home’s best exterior door material will depend on your needs and preferences. Consider your budget, the climate in your area, and your desired level of security when making your decision.

Glass Options

Glass panels in exterior doors can add an elegant touch while allowing natural light to enter your home. There are several types of glass to choose from, including:

Clear Glass

  • Clear glass offers an unobstructed view and maximum natural light. However, it provides less privacy.
  • Clear glass is a good choice for homes with a lot of natural light or for homes where privacy is not a significant concern.
  • Clear glass is also a good choice for homes with a modern or contemporary design.

Frosted or Textured Glass

  • Frosted or textured glass provides privacy while allowing natural light to enter. Various patterns and textures are available for a unique look.
  • Frosted or textured glass is a good choice for homes where privacy is desired, but some natural light is still desired.
  • Frosted or textured glass can create various looks, from subtle to dramatic.

Stained Glass

  • Stained glass adds a decorative touch and can be customized to match your home’s design.
  • Stained glass can create various looks, from traditional to modern.
  • Stained glass is a good choice for homes with a lot of natural light or for homes where you want to add a touch of elegance.

Impact-Resistant Glass

  • Impact-resistant glass provides increased security and protection against extreme weather conditions.
  • Impact-resistant glass is a good choice for homes with high winds, hail, or where security is a significant concern.
  • Impact-resistant glass is more expensive than other types of glass, but it can provide peace of mind knowing that your home is protected.

Ultimately, the best type of glass for your exterior door will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Consider your budget, the climate in your area, and your desired level of privacy and security when making your decision

Sidelights and Screens

  • Sidelights: Embrace elegance and natural light with vertical windows flanking your exterior door. They add a touch of charm and warmth to your home, setting the perfect ambiance.
  • Screens: Keep insects and debris out while enjoying fresh air circulation. Screens offer a stress-free way to connect with nature from the comfort of your home.
  • Perfect Harmony: Consider combining sidelights with built-in screens for a beautiful, practical entryway. Experience the best of both worlds with this dynamic duo.
Stylish exterior door featuring a retractable screen
Enjoy fresh air and added protection with a retractable screen on your exterior door.

Benefits of Exterior Doors with Glass, Sidelights, and Screens

Exterior doors with glass, sidelights, and screens offer many benefits beyond aesthetics. Let’s explore how these features can elevate your home and improve your living experience.

1. Curb Appeal: Making a Memorable First Impression

The visual impact of a well-designed exterior door with glass, sidelights, and screens is undeniable. Combining these elements creates a welcoming and inviting entrance that sets the perfect tone for your home. Guests and passersby will be drawn to the elegance and charm of your entryway, leaving a lasting impression.

2. Energy Efficiency: Embracing Cost Savings and Comfort

Energy efficiency is a crucial consideration for any homeowner. With energy-efficient exterior doors, you can minimize heat transfer between your home’s interior and the outdoors, reducing heating and cooling costs. Opting for glass with enhanced insulating properties, such as double or triple-pane windows, further enhances your door’s ability to keep your home cozy and comfortable throughout the seasons.

3. Security: Safeguarding Your Peace of Mind

Safety and security are paramount for every homeowner. Exterior doors with glass, sidelights, and screens can be equipped with features that provide added protection. Impact-resistant glass and robust materials like steel or fiberglass are formidable deterrents against potential intruders, giving you peace of mind knowing your home is safeguarded.

4. Seamless Connection to Nature: Enjoying the Outdoors Hassle-Free

Including screens in your exterior door design allows you to embrace the beauty of the outdoors without any worries. Screens keep insects and debris at bay while enabling fresh air to circulate, providing a seamless connection between indoor and outdoor spaces. Enjoy a gentle breeze and the sights and sounds of nature, all from the comfort of your home.

5. Versatility in Design: Tailored to Your Style

One of the most significant advantages of exterior doors with glass, sidelights, and screens is their versatility in design. These features can be customized to complement your home’s architecture and match your style. Whether you prefer a classic, modern, or eclectic look, you have the flexibility to create an entrance that reflects your taste and enhances the overall appeal of your home.

Choosing the Right Exterior Door

Selecting the right exterior door is a crucial decision that can significantly impact your home’s aesthetics, comfort, and security. To make an informed choice, consider these essential factors before you embark on your quest for the ideal door.

1. Assessing Your Needs: A Holistic Approach

Take a step back and evaluate your unique needs. Consider your home’s architectural style and the climate in your area. Different materials perform differently in various weather conditions, so choosing one that can withstand the elements and maintain its beauty over time is essential. Additionally, think about your security requirements. Selecting a door with enhanced security features, such as impact-resistant glass and sturdy materials, can provide you with added peace of mind.

2. Customizable Designs: Unleash Your Creativity

The beauty of exterior doors lies in their ability to be customized to your heart’s desire. Many manufacturers offer various designs and features that can be tailored to match your home’s aesthetics perfectly. From selecting the right glass style, sidelights, and screens to choosing intricate details and finishes, you can create a door that reflects your taste and complements your home’s overall look.

3. Budget Considerations: Balancing Quality and Cost

Determine your budget before starting your search for the ideal door. Exterior doors with glass, sidelights, and screens come in various price ranges, depending on your chosen materials and features. While being mindful of your budget is essential, investing in a high-quality, energy-efficient door can yield long-term benefits. An energy-efficient door can help reduce your utility bills by maintaining indoor temperatures and increasing your home’s value, making it a wise investment in the future.

4. Seeking Professional Guidance: Expert Assistance Matters

If you are overwhelmed with choices or unsure which door would best suit your needs, don’t hesitate to seek guidance from a professional. Door specialists or home improvement experts can provide valuable insights and recommendations based on your requirements and preferences. They can help you navigate the options, ensuring you make a well-informed decision that aligns with your goals.

Modern fiberglass exterior door with sidelights on both sides
Enhance your entryway with the addition of elegant sidelights to your exterior door.

Installation and Maintenance

Finding Reputable Suppliers and Installers

Work with reputable suppliers and installers to ensure the best results when purchasing and installing your exterior door. Look for companies with positive customer reviews, and don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations from friends or neighbors. You can consult resources such as Consumer Reports for unbiased information on exterior door brands and installation services.

Best Practices for Upkeep

Regular maintenance can prolong the lifespan and appearance of your exterior door with glass, sidelights, and screens. Here are some general maintenance tips:

  1. Cleaning: Regularly clean the glass, sidelights, and screens using a mild soap and water solution, followed by a thorough rinse with clean water. Avoid using harsh chemicals, as they can damage the door’s finish.
  2. Sealing: Wooden doors require regular sealing or painting to protect them from weather-related damage. Inspect the door’s finish annually and reapply sealant or paint as needed.
  3. Weatherstripping: Inspect the weatherstripping around your door for signs of wear or damage. Replace it as necessary to maintain your door’s energy efficiency.
  4. Hardware: Regularly inspect and tighten the door’s hardware, including hinges, handles, and locks. Lubricate moving parts as needed to ensure smooth operation.


In summary, exterior doors with glass, sidelights, and screens can significantly enhance your home’s curb appeal and functionality. By considering materials, glass options, and customization, you can select the perfect door to complement your home’s design and meet your needs. Remember the importance of working with reputable suppliers and installers and maintaining your door to ensure its longevity and performance. The right exterior door will make your home more inviting, energy-efficient, and secure.

We recently upgraded our front door to one with glass, sidelights, and screens, and the transformation has been remarkable. Not only has it dramatically improved our home’s curb appeal, but the added natural light in our entryway is simply stunning. The energy-efficient glass has noticeably reduced drafts, making our home more comfortable. Working with a reputable supplier and installer made the process seamless, and I couldn’t be happier with the results.” – Sarah J., Homeowner in Austin, Texas.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: How much does installing an exterior door with glass, sidelights, and screens cost?

A1: The installation cost can vary depending on the door’s materials, complexity, and labor rates in your area. You can expect to spend between $500 and $1,500 on average for a professional installation. It’s essential to work with a reputable installer to ensure the proper installation and optimal performance of your door.

Q2: How do I choose the right size for my exterior door with glass, sidelights, and screens?

A2: Measure your existing door’s width, height, and thickness to determine the appropriate size for your new door. You should also measure the rough opening (the space between the studs where the door will be installed) to ensure it can accommodate your new door and its features. Consult a professional if you need clarification on measurements or require modifications to your door opening.

Q3: Can I install an exterior door with glass, sidelights, and screens myself?

A3: While experienced DIYers can install an exterior door, hiring a professional installer is generally recommended. This ensures proper installation, alignment, and sealing, crucial for optimal door performance and energy efficiency.

Q4: Are exterior doors with glass, sidelights, and screens secure enough?

A4: Exterior doors with glass, sidelights, and screens can be highly secure, depending on the materials and features you choose. Opt for impact-resistant glass, sturdy door materials like steel or fiberglass, and high-quality locking mechanisms to enhance your door’s security.

Q5: What is the best way to clean the glass and screens on my exterior door?

A5: To clean the glass and screens, use a mild soap and water solution, gently scrubbing with a soft cloth or sponge. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and dry with a lint-free cloth. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive materials, as they can damage the door’s finish and the screens.

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Stay updated with our latest “Door Ideas” on, where we inspire you with trending designs and provide practical solutions like these door draft stoppers. Here’s to a cozier, quieter, and more energy-efficient home!