Doors and windows

Exterior Doors

A nice modern front door can make a world of difference in how your house looks. It’s something people notice right away, so it is worth spending a little more to get something nice.

In fact, our neighborhood is full of traditional looking homes with typically old-fashioned, overly ornate doors. So we were very surprised when after we replaced our traditional front doors with something modern, strangers passing by stopped to compliment us!

At the same time, getting to this point was not easy because when we searched for a modern front door, we quickly found that there were not too many choices out there.

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We ended up buying a 1603 “Contemporary” Simpson door shown above. At the Simpson website, click on Contemporary Exterior Doors to look at the range of modern exterior doors they offer.

Simpson doors are not inexpensive. However, they are very nice and well worth it if your budget allows. For your money you get a custom wood door and can pick from a wide range of options.

Among them is their “water barrier” technology that allows a wooden door to be used in situations where other wooden doors would be inappropriate (e.g., front door exposed to the elements).

Tips: Best to go through the options selection process directly with Simpson’s knowledgeable customer service department. Simpson can also give you a list of local retailers.

We recommend contacting as many retailers as possible when obtaining quotes. Our highest quote was more than 2 ½ times our lowest quote!

GlassCraft Door Company is another door company we came across. They offer modern fiberglass doors that can easily be mistaken for real wood. Therma-Tru Pulse fiberglass doors are another option. The price is right, but the quality is lower.

A note on storm doors: If you have one, seriously think whether it is worth keeping.

Not only does it project a traditional look, it may cause your entry door to deteriorate faster by creating a heat trap.

Interior Doors

Slab Doors

Let’s face it, those standard six-panel interior doors are simply boring. For a modern change of pace consider Lincoln Park, Winslow, and Logan doors from Masonite’s Heritage line. They are available in hollow and solid core versions.

Tips: While these doors come pre-primed, it’s best to lightly sand them before painting.

Also, make sure to have doors delivered to you bored and mortised for hinges and so ready for installation.

Glass Panel Doors

Tired of those typical glass panel interior doors? This Woodport flat panel door provides a refreshing modern look.

It is solid wood and can be configured in a variety of ways. Use it as a door leading to your basement, or pair two to act as French doors.


Replacing old windows can give your house a fresh modern look.

While they are more expensive, buying higher-end windows provides you with a level of assurance not found with cheaper alternatives.

One company to consider is Andersen Windows & Doors®Pella® is a somewhat more moderately priced choice.

Casement windows provide the most modern look. Avoid grilles, also known as muntins or divided lites, if you can. Grilles are there to make a window appear like an old-fashioned window made up of a number of individual glass panes.