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There are a surprising number of different ways you can design a front door. Smooth or paneled, timber or aluminium, vertical or horizontal grooves, and of course, the amazing variety of front door windows. There are more types of door window than you would care to count, and everyone has their own personal preference.

Heritage style doors have a classic country home style that is very popular from rambling farmhouses to homey condos. Tall vertical windows and geometric squares provide a trendy modern design that promises sleek stainless-steel appliances inside. Some people even choose to fill the entire centre of their front door with glass, welcoming the world to enjoy a view of their front hallway. But no matter what style of front door window you choose, there are a few things every homeowner needs to know about door windows.

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1) Strong Glass is Vital for Home Security

The very first consideration for any front door window is security. While burglars could, theoretically, try to smash any window in the home they are much more likely to target the door and try to smash a door window to open the lock. The strength of any glass embedded in your front door is vital to your home security, not to mention that you want it to last any time the door is slammed closed by accident.

Make sure that your front door has reinforced glass, ideally a variety of safety glass that is very difficult to break. This will increase both your energy/temperature efficiency and your home security in the face of a frontal assault.


2) Frosted Glass Provides Light and Privacy

Like any window, the windows in your front door must balance light and privacy. Clear glass in your front door provides a direct window into your front hall, or whatever room your door opens into but provides a lovely amount of sunlight during the day. Frosted glass is the perfect compromise for a family that wants some privacy around the front door but still enjoys the aesthetic appeal of windows and the daylight they bring into the home.

There are a number of ways to frost your front door glass. Plain, even frosting is sleek and creates an unbroken plane. With more traditionally designed doors, a floral frosting or even crystal-glass inlay provides beautiful front door art, light, and a reasonable amount of privacy just inside the door.

3) But Clear Glass is More Inviting

That said, many people find that strong but shining clear glass is much more inviting than frosted or designed glass front door windows. Clear glass allows the family inside to both identify and begin greeting their guests before the door is even open and creates an open transition between the front garden and the front hallway which may be desirable.

People who like clear glass are also more likely to enjoy larger windows, possibly even a front door that is mostly glass.


4) Double-Glazed Windows are More Energy-Efficient

The next reasonable concern for a homeowner with windows in the front door is energy efficiency. Single-glazed windows can be well-sealed, but they are not nearly as efficient as double-glazed windows. A single pane is susceptible to high and low temperatures and will transfer the outdoor temperature into your home forcing your HVAC system to work much harder to maintain your desired internal temperature.

Double-glazed windows, on the other hand, create a pocket of air in between the panes that acts as temperature insulation. In fact, it’s not just air. That space is either vacuum-sealed or filled with a specific benign gas that is sealed in to provide additional insulation. For an energy-efficient door, nothing beats sealed double-glazed windows.

5) If the Door Windows Rattle, Replace Them

But whether your windows are single or double glazed, the last thing you want is loose glass in your front door. One clear way to identify glass or an entire door that needs to be replaced is if those door windows rattle every time the door swings shut. A solid front door that is good for both your power bill and your home security has windows that are sealed in tightly, and that rattling is a clear indication that your door windows are no longer sealed.


6) Moisture Between Panes is Also a Bad Sign

Modern double-glazed windows are state of the art but using two insulated panes of glass is by no means new technology. You can tell an old double-glazed window if the panes rattle or, alternately, if you can see moisture condensation in between the panes. Condensation between double panes means that they are no longer offering the optimal insulation and that they have come unsealed from the frame. For windows that once contained a benign insulating gas, that gas has long-since escaped. If you see moisture between double-window panes in your front door, it’s time for a replacement.


7) You Can Install Window Blinds on a Front Door

One thing that many people don’t realise about windows in their front door is that you can absolutely install blinds on the door itself. All you need is a power drill to get your screws into the back of your reinforced front door. This means that you can compromise between light, privacy, and glass clarity. If you want large clear glass windows in your door, but not to be blinded mid-morning or to get occasional front-hall privacy, simply install a set of blinds or even door curtains that can be raised and lowered whenever is most convenient to you.


8) Upper Door Windows Provide Excellent Light

Finally, there is the trend of installing windows only in the uppermost panels of your door. High windows, often found in elegant rectangles or in the pattern of rising sunbeams, are a great way to get both beautiful gleaming sunlight and privacy from your front door windows. The high windows are in the perfect position to channel either early morning or mid-afternoon sunlight into your front hallway without blinding residents at eye-level or giving anyone outside the home a direct line of sight inside.

Choosing or maintaining a front door with windows is a greater responsibility than a solid door but has many rewarding aspects as well. Whether you like to see your front garden, welcome relatives, enjoy the design, or just like sunlight in your front hall, front door windows are a wonderful way to enhance your home.

Download The Complete Guide to Entrance Doors [Free E-Book]