The more natural light you let into your home, the better, as this is an economical way to keep your home looking bright. So, you'd think that having glass in or around your door — little window panes in the top half of the door, for example, or glass blocks around the frame — would be an excellent way to light up the foyer or entryway. They can be, but you must be sure that the glass is what you want given some conditions that come with it. If you're planning to replace your front door and are considering a model with glass, here's what you need to consider.
Privacy issues are the big issues here, as glass will allow anyone outside to look into your home. You can use frosted glass or add opaque window film to the panes to block a clear view, but observers may still be able to see movement inside, albeit of blurry figures. You can add curtains to the interior side of the door and open those curtains only when you want the extra light, but then you still face a privacy issue when the curtains are open. If you live in a busy area, you may want a replacement door that doesn't include glass panes.
There's always the worry about security with glass. Can someone break a pane and reach the deadbolt lever inside, thus opening the door? That's something you need to consider. Do two things if you're concerned about security but really want that glass:
- Use a double-keyed deadbolt, where the interior half of the deadbolt uses a key instead of a lever (and make sure the keys are stored out of reach of any windows that could be broken).
- Use impact-resistant glass.
If your home has, or if you are willing to get, a locking screen door, then that will help alleviate some of the security issues. These screen doors are stiff metal with a deadbolt and can remain locked whether the main front door is open or closed. They also make it very hard to break any glass behind the screen door because these doors don't have wide openings that allow people to use a lot of force on the door behind them.
Doors that have glass in them or around them look stylish, and they are affordable. However, if you need a replacement door and want as much privacy and security as possible, a door without glass is likely best for you.