A Complete Guide To Buying Entry Doors

Buying and installing a new door is a lot more complicated than most people realize. There are small details that go into this much bigger project. At Nick’s Building Supply, we understand you want the perfect door, and you want it right the first time. With over forty years in the entryway and construction business, we have the know-how to do just that. To help homeowners achieve the dream home results they want, we’re proud to present a complete guide to buying entry doors.

Deciding Which Door To Buy

There’s more to buying a door than picking a handsome one out from our extensive selection. You’ll need to consider how you’d like your chosen door to arrive. Doors are typically sold in two stages of completion. They’re referred to as slab or pre-hung; each is an indication of the work that’ll need to go into the installation.

What Is a Slab Door?

Slab doors are essentially exactly what they sound like: a solid wood door without the frame or hardware. This type of door is often unfinished by stain or sealant. While finished slabs are available, the unfinished variety will appeal greatly to the DIY community. There’s a certain pride that goes into beautifully finishing and hanging your door!

What Is a Pre-hung Door?

Pre-hung doors are the ready-to-go alternative to slabs. They come with all necessary hardware and are attached to their frame. This is ideal for anyone in need of a new frame or who doesn’t wish to hang a door themselves. Also, this is an excellent option for homeowners looking to upgrade the look of their home with a fresh style of frame. Additionally, this type of door is usually finished, and so only must be installed into your entryway.

Measuring Standard Doors

Before choosing a door, you must carefully measure the entryway where it’ll be installed. If you already have a frame in place, these measurements are essential before selecting a slab door. Measure from three points at each side; top to bottom mid and quarter points, and side to side mid and quarter points. These measurements will ensure your frame is straight and tell you the size of slab you need. Also, measure the jamb width to see which width will best fit.

Door sizes are standardized but depending on your needs, there are a few variations. Most doors have about 80 inches of height. For more dramatic entryways, 82-, 84-, and 90-inches are available. Widths most often are 30 inches wide, with 32- and 36-inch entryway options most often made to accommodate mobility for individuals with disabilities.

Hanging an Arched Door

While beautiful, arched doorways can seem intimidating. Framing in a round-top door can seem like an impossible game of math. However, it’s very simple. Arched doors come in standard sizes as well and are virtually always pre-hung. The arched frame will fit within the space needed for a standard door frame. The difference in space where there are no corners is accounted for by fastening diagonal bracing beams across the arches. The quarter mark of each arch is fastened to these beams, creating a solid entryway with a unique shape.  

Popular Styles of Front Door

Now that we’ve covered the basics of selecting a door, let’s explore the different types. Nick’s Building Supply has a wide range of beautiful solid wood doors. Each is masterfully handcrafted and lovingly finished. We use a variety of gorgeous woods that are sustainably harvested here in the US. Each door can be custom-made to your specifications, including selecting the wood species, stain color, artisan frame, and even adding custom hardware such as wrought iron décor. We also offer many different styles. Some of our most popular include mission, arched, Dutch, and modern doors.

Mission Doors

This type of door is extremely popular around the world for its simple elegance. Mission doors emphasize vertical and horizontal lines intersecting to create patterns using squares and rectangles. Sometimes these shapes are emphasized using panels or windowpanes. Often the more traditional design utilizes a row of square and rectangular windowpanes at the eye line level of the upper door. While there are plenty of very simple or very extravagant varieties, mission doors across the board are familiar and handsome.

Arched Doors

Arched doors are another revived style that has been updated to meet modern tastes. This sort of door historically appears in ancient and noble structures such as monasteries and castles. We take this history to heart with our impressive styles of rustic doors and iron hardware. These beautiful doors have an almost magical aura about them and are sure to delight any homeowner and guest every time they use them.

Dutch Doors

This type of door hails from the farmlands of the historical Dutch countryside. The key feature is a division across roughly the center of the door. This allows the upper and lower halves to be opened and closed independently. Ideal for patios, you can let the sunlight and fresh air in without letting pets and kids in or out. We also offer Dutch door customization on any wood door. Ask us about customization to have your dream Dutch door made to order.


Of course, this wouldn’t be a complete guide to buying entry doors without looking at the diverse beauty of modern-style doors. The classification of modern doors includes a mixture of features and styles to create the most stunning and extravagant entryways available. Some options include single and double sidelights. We also have a variety of square and arched transoms, many of which include sidelight options. Anyone looking to astonish guests will be delighted by our custom carved door selections. For an even more grand presence, explore our double door options. We also produce a wide variety of truly gorgeous hand-crafted doors such as our Tiffany, Whitehawk, and Olympus collections.

Whatever type of entryway you’re imagining, Nick’s Building Supply has your project covered. We have years of experience creating the highest quality doors that will last years to come. With a variety of styles plus customization options, we’re sure you’ll be satisfied with our craftsmanship and service.

A Complete Guide To Buying Entry Doors