Doors with glass inserts provide aesthetics, but this adds to the cost. Glass may also diminish the insulating value. Safety and security are other typical concerns. Here are the main criteria to help you make a wise choice.
Obviously, other people can see you through a glass door, and you can see them. Unless you choose some fancy type, the glass will make a hole in your privacy. Note that not only neighbors can see in. So can people with criminal intentions.
Glass inserts are weak spots on your front door. When they are positioned close to the knob, you need a sophisticated lock to ensure security. A double-cylinder deadbolt lock requires a key to open it from either side. However, using it may be problematic for you as well.
An alternative is an internet-connected smart lock with sensors that detect disturbances at the door. It is synced to a smartphone app, so you get immediately notified in case of a break-in attempt. Finally, install an alarm system — some can integrate with smart locks.
How much light to let inside is a matter of preference. Glass inserts will let more light into your entryway, creating a welcoming feel. However, sunlight can also heat up the floor, so your air conditioner will work more intensively, and energy expenses will go up.
You need a balance between style and functionality. Aside from glass, you can make your door more interesting by having it colored or stained. There is a wide range of hardware and unique materials. Consider transoms, sidelight, etc.
Front Door Sidelights
Sidelights are narrow vertical inserts on the left, right, or both sides of a front door. They are a great option for those who think windows are impractical. Most often, sidelights are built into the door frame.
Glass Type and Strength
An exterior door must be durable and resistant to wear and tear. Glass elements may look wonderful, but they can shorten the lifespan of the structure. Your front door must be strong enough to withstand the elements and deter intruders — this is crucial.
Glass is strengthened through tempering – prolonged exposure to heat. If you live in a hurricane zone or an area with high winds, consider getting laminated glass units. These have a sandwich structure: they comprise two layers of glass and a plastic interlayer. Textured and decorative glass may be configured for the harshest weather. When laminated glass is impacted by flying debris, it shatters but does not break out of the frame.
If privacy is a major concern for you, choose between stained glass and a frosted tint. These options are less transparent. There are quite a few textured options that will also do the trick (for instance, sandblasted glass, granite glass, or glue-chip glass).
Homeowners can choose from a wide range of textures and patterns. Only tempered, triple-layer or impact-resistant glass is suitable. The strongest types can withstand harsh weather.