Measure the door opening, choose the preferred material, review energy ratings and match the door style to the style of the home. A quality entry door is a solid combination of functionality and aesthetics because it both protects the home and is a focal point of the home's exterior.
Entry doors come in several standard sizes. Unless you want to enlarge the existing opening, it's easiest to buy a new door the same size. Each style of door available for purchase often comes in a variety of sizes, so the door dimensions shouldn't limit your style options.
Common materials for exterior doors include wood, steel and composite materials. Wood creates a classic look, but it requires maintenance to prevent rotting, especially if the entry door isn't protected by an overhang. Steel is known for its strength and ability to hold up over time, but it also holds heat and may become very hot to the touch. Composite doors are also durable and need little if any maintenance. Doors made from composite materials are often designed to look like other materials, such as wood.
Because the door keeps weather elements out, energy efficiency is a consideration. Look for an Energy Star door for the greatest energy efficiency.
The aesthetic value is also a key factor in choosing the exterior door. Consider whether you want the door to look modern, traditional or rustic. The overall style of the home's exterior helps you decide.