By Chris Long, Home Depot

American actor Milton Berle once said, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” Unfortunately, this lighthearted quip failed to address what type of door to build – was he talking about an earthy, natural wood door with a decorative knocker, or a formidable steel door with an entry code? And what color?

For small business owners, the front door sends a very powerful message – after all, it’s the first thing a client sees. Depending on the message you want to convey, there are a number of considerations to keep in mind when deciding on your entryway:

Consider your materials

Steel, wood, and fiberglass are the most commonly used materials for doors, although combinations are also popular (i.e., a wooden door with a steel frame). Consider the pros and cons of each, and what these characteristics might say about you and your business.

  • Wood – Warm, cozy, and rich in natural beauty, solid wood can be quite inviting. If you’re going for a homey, yet versatile option, this might be a good bet, but also an expensive one.
  • Steel – If security is what you want to convey, steel doors offer just that, and can be finished any number of ways. Steel is most often cheaper than solid wood.
  • Fiberglass – Low-maintenance, durable, and eco-friendly, fiberglass might be your most practical option. Texturing can be stained to match natural wood, so the décor is not compromised.
  • Glass – These suggest a welcoming atmosphere with nothing to hide. Besides, a little natural light can go a long way. Consider combining glass paneling with one of the other options.

Consider what your colors say

  • Red – Used to mark safe houses on the Underground Railroad, red is considered by many to be lucky, and gives a bold, energetic welcome.
  • Blue – The color of water and sky, blue suggests calm, peace, and tranquility. The Chinese believe blue denotes loyalty.
  • Green – The color of life, green represents growth and renewal (and money).
  • Black – Bold and ominous, powerful and authoritative, a black door shows you mean business.
  • White – Bland, practical and modest…or pure, virtuous and immortal? You decide.

Whatever you color scheme, semi-gloss paint is a good bet with exterior doors.

While Milton Berle might have been on to something, he wasn’t very specific, was he? Your front door says a lot about your business – take pride in the message you convey.

Chris Long has been working at Home Depot as an on-the-floor store associate since 2000. Chris also writes for the Home Depot website on DIY window and door ideas. Home Depot’s selection of doors can be viewed here.


Photo courtesy: Shutterstock