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How to Build an Exterior Door with Lumber

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How to build an exterior door with the right type of lumber.

Custom home builders take on a large variety of home improvement projects, and constructing an exterior door is often one of their favorites. After all, your door is what greets every guest as they come inside and is the perfect opportunity to show off your home’s personality.

There’s a lot to know about how to build an exterior door. Today, we’re going to share a few simple tips and then provide you with some suggestions of the types of wood you can use.

Quick Tips When Building an Exterior Door

Building an exterior door for your home is an important project. To help you prepare, we’ve put together some quick tips:

Take Note: Wood Is Always Important

The first thing to remember when building an exterior door is that the type of wood you choose matters. We’ll be going over some of the favorite types to use below, but for now, just keep in mind that wood comes in different colors and textures. There are also varying degrees of durability and weight, both of which may influence your decision.

Don’t cut corners on materials 

No matter the size of your project, the building materials that you choose are always very important. You may feel tempted to pick a more traditional, less expensive type of wood so you can save a little cash. There’s nothing wrong with that, but remember that your door gets a lot of attention and will be around for a long time. You may want to splurge just a bit.

To Window or Not to Window

Many of today’s modern doors have a window set in them. This can sometimes be used to identify people from the inside, but the view is often skewed, so it’s typically just for appearances. One thing to remember is that a window won’t offer as much thermal protection. This may not be a big deal, but it’s something to keep in mind.

Consider installing an insulated door 

Florida isn’t known for getting especially cold in the winter, but the summers can be brutal. When building an exterior door, you may want to consider adding insulation as a middle layer. This might not make a huge difference in maintaining the proper temperature, but every little bit helps. Plus, it can help block sound, if that’s an issue.

Seek Expert Help If Needed

Custom home building is both a skilled trade and an art form. Since your door’s performance hinges (pardon the pun) on proper installation, you want to make sure that it’s done right. If you don’t have enough confidence in yourself, that’s perfectly okay. There are plenty of professionals who will do an amazing job for you.

Popular Types of Wood for Exterior Doors

Learning how to build an exterior door is a great skill to have. Before you begin, however, you’ll want to head to the lumber yard and pick out the type of wood you’d like to use for the project. Here are some popular choices for exterior doors:

  • Mahogany — This water-resistant wood will cost you more than others on this list, in part because it won’t swell or shrink. It can also be stained quite well, making it even darker.
  • Oak — As one of the most popular wood types around, you can’t go wrong with oak. Your door will have an awesome grain to it and the door will not only stain well but also resist weather.
  • Alder — If you’re looking for your door to have character and personality, this may be the one for you. With its pronounced grain and distinctive knots, this particular one really stands out.
  • Cherry — Given its red color, this is one of the best choices if you want your exterior door to look like a centerpiece. Just keep in mind that it’s quite pricey, which is why some homeowners avoid it for this type of project.
  • Hickory — Often lighter in color than other types of wood, hickory has a distinctive grain, in part because of mineral streaks. It’s also common to find bird peck marks that give it a certain flavor, so to speak.

Contact Peninsular Lumber to Learn How to Build an Exterior Door

In addition to the tips listed above, Peninsular Lumber can provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to build an exterior door. As the most trusted lumber company in Tampa and the surrounding areas, we can help you with many home improvement projects. If you have any questions, reach out to us at (813) 875-8805 and visit our lumber store in Tampa Bay today!