How to Buy the Right Modern Front Door

KarenJune 20, 2021

A follower asked me where can they buy our door and door handle. Surprise! It’s pretty easy to order from big box stores like Home Depot, Lowes and Amazon. And guess what? You can usually ask the millwork staff when the quarterly savings event is and save 15%. We bought all our interior and exterior doors directly from Lowes with the discount.

Want to copy our look? Jump down to where to buy our door & hardware

Step 1: Get all the Door Catalogs

Visit a few door shops or big box stores and pick up door manufacturer’s catalogs. Our favorite fiberglass door manufacturer in the US is Codel.

We recommend fiberglass over wood in most cases. Wood doors are beautiful but they require more maintenance and double to triple in cost. Fiberglass doors is a perfect alternative and gives the best wood-like appearance with little to no maintenance.

Step 2: Pick a Door & Hardware

Contrast is your best friend. NEVER get a door that is too close to the color of your exterior paint. You want to make your door stand out! Solid colors can make a playful bold statement, and wood tones provides a more natural look. If possible, get windows and sidelights for more natural light inside but bare privacy in mind.

As for the design. Just keep it simple like a solid slab style with some minor details or trim work. Any windows should be clear or frosted/satin etch. Don’t get a funky mosaic pattern —more cost too!

Plan for your hardware. If you want a handle, you’ll need to order a door without any predrilled holes! Holes can always be drilled by your installer but obviously you cannot fill a hole if it already exists.

Step 3: Buy & Install

Compare with local door shops or the big box stores. Every shop will have different mark up prices —I found big box stores like Lowes the least expensive especially come their quarterly 15% off sale. So call around once you’ve picked your door. They will also have installers on hand or just start hunting for the right handy person.

Tip: Plan in advance because it can take weeks to manufacture and ship! Don't expect to get it done in one week! 

Our Splurge Front Door

Our front door is from Codel and it was in their 2016 Contemporary Classic Catalogue as 68 Teak Grain Door (Page 30 in this catalogue). Our door with the skylight costed around $2,000 (compared to a Simpson wood option that was ~$5,000!) but this was back in 2017, with 15% door sale and does not include labor to install.

We also wanted a large handle to get a grand unique look. You can start shopping for this by searching for “Matte Black large steel door handle”. Home depot has options and Amazon have them too!

Modern Stainless Steel Aluminum Door Handles 

  • Double-sided handles: Installed on both inside and outside of a single door
  • Installed up to 3.2 inches thick doors
  • Installed on Solid Wood Doors, Timber Door, Glass and Aluminum Doors, Gate Doors and Entry Store Front Doors
  • Made from Stainless Steel Sus304 Exterior Grade in Painted Matt Black Finish

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

A cheaper alternative

We ended up getting this affordable one for our side door from Home Depot for ~$500 a few years ago. It does come pre-hung (easier install) and pre-drilled holes. We recommend matching it with a standard deadbolt and door lever from Kwikset or Schlage brands.

36 in. x 80 in. Contemporary Teak Modern Light Oak Right-Hand Inswing Stained Fiberglass Prehung Front Door

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Full composite frame system, will never rot
  • High-performance fiberglass flush glaze door for easy maintenance

Comments (11)

  • Anna Collins

    July 25, 2022 at 8:26 am

    I appreciate the advice about avoiding buying a door that is close to the same color as your exterior paint since it’s important to make it stand out. We’re remodeling our vacation home starting next week, so I was thinking of getting a new entry door to replace our old creaky one while we’re at it. I’ll surely choose a bold solid color for my door once I find a contractor for our new entry door installation.

  • Sheena marble

    August 31, 2022 at 2:01 pm

    What stain did you pick?
    This is lovely!!

    1. Karen

      September 7, 2022 at 3:46 am

      Thanks! This wasn’t stain as it’s fiberglass made to look like a stain. We got the light oak

  • Tilly Li Anderson

    November 5, 2022 at 5:01 am

    Love this, thank you! Can you share how wide is your sidelight is relative to your door? I have a 60″ total opening and your door is my INSPIRATION! For the handle, did you get the 48″ one? And, how has it held up in terms of durability, etc? Thank you 🙂

    1. Karen

      January 31, 2023 at 10:14 pm

      Our sidelight was about 14″ with our 37″ wide door. Door handle is 48″ and it has held up 8/10? The black as faded as we get a lot of afternoon sun in the summer time. It probably could use some oil for shine to perk it up again and some cleaning too.

  • Elle Jones

    January 26, 2023 at 8:39 am

    I appreciate the advice to steer clear of purchasing a door almost the same color as your external paint since it has to stand out. Next week we start refurbishing our vacation home, so I was considering replacing our old, creaking entry door with a new one while we’re at it. Once I locate a contractor to build our new entry door, I’ll undoubtedly go with a solid color for the door.

  • Kate

    January 31, 2023 at 9:39 pm

    I’ve just come across this as we are about to order this exact door! Same stain choice also. Light Oak. I have a question how do you open the door? Do you always have to use a key? I love the long pull look but wasn’t sure of its practicalities. Also I wish this were the same cost here in canada is $5000!

    1. Karen

      January 31, 2023 at 10:16 pm

      It’s like a swing door if it isn’t locked. When unlocked, it just pushes/pulls open or close because there is nothing to hold it in place. If you left your door unlocked and a big breeze happens, it could swing it open.
      Haven’t had an issue compared to regular knob doors.

  • Elle Jones

    March 22, 2023 at 2:10 pm

    I appreciate the advice to steer clear of purchasing a door that is nearly the same color as your exterior paint because it needs to stand out. Next week we start remodeling our vacation home, so I was considering replacing our old, creaky entry door with a new one while we’re at it. Once I find a contractor to install our new entry door, I’ll undoubtedly go with a strong solid color for the door.

  • Kate

    May 29, 2023 at 5:56 pm

    We have just installed this door and are struggling with a 48” handle. We love the exact style you have round with the little over hang. Could you let me know where you got yours. We’ve tried 2 now and they’re not right 😅

    1. Karen

      June 1, 2023 at 10:38 pm

      Hi Kate! It’s been a while since we install the door handle but I believe it was from

      Hope that helps!

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