The front porch of a home is often the first place a visitor sees when approaching the house, so it should be an inviting and comfortable space. Enclosed or screened porches will often feature a porch door that will provide an entry point to the enclosure, and this, too, should be an attractive and welcoming piece, not to mention a durable and safe one. Choosing a porch door starts with determining what type of porch you have and what type of door would fit best with the design. A screened porch, for example, may be well suited to a screen door, while a fully enclosed porch may be better suited to a solid door.
Screened porches are sometimes called three season porches because they are useful as living spaces until the weather turns cold in late autumn and early winter. They are great for enjoying the warmer months, however, because they allow for adequate airflow while still keeping bugs and debris out. The porch door you should choose if you have a screened porch should accomplish the same tasks: keeping bugs out while allowing for adequate airflow. A lightweight aluminum porch door with a screen will perhaps be the least expensive option; wood doors with screens will be more expensive but also far more attractive.
Fully enclosed porches are sometimes called four season porches, or all season porches; in this case, you will need to choose a porch door that will allow you to keep the porch insulated during the cooler months. A heavier wood door is perhaps the best option; the bottom of the door should also feature some sort of draft guard to prevent cool air from slipping under the door. Hardwoods are best because they are naturally resistant to water damage and are exceptionally beautiful, but they will also be the most expensive option. If you buy a softwood door, be sure to treat it with waterproofing paint or other coatings that will help prevent cracking, splitting, and warping.
You will also need to choose between pre-hung doors and slab doors. Pre-hung doors are sold along with the door frame, and the frame is then slid into place within the opening in the wall. Slab doors do not come with frames and must be mounted to a solid, pre-existing frame within the wall. If the wall does not already have a frame, consider buying a pre-hung door to ease the installation process.