Understanding door terminology and options

A home’s doors provide a distinctive opportunity for adding a personal touch, enhancing curb appeal and making a statement to all who enter. But where do you start when it comes to choosing the right doors for you? Sorting through the infinite options can seem overwhelming and time consuming. These tips are designed to help sort through the terminology, styles and alternatives available in doors.

Glossary of terms

  • In-swing — a door that opens into the structure.
  • Out-swing — a door that opens to the outside of the structure. 
  • Hinging — The part of a door that causes it to swing open. Determined from the exterior view of a home.
  • Right-hinging — Door’s hinges are located on the right side of the door from the exterior view of a home.
  • Left-hinging — Door’s hinges are located on the left side of the door from the exterior view of a home.
  • Light — A pane of glass in a door. Available as clear or numerous decorative styles.
  • Glazing — A term used to describe the infill material, such as glass, plastic or other transparent or translucent material, used in a door panel. Energy-saving, argon-filled, low-emmisivity (Low-E) insulating glass reduces fading caused by the sun. Low-E glazing helps keep the home warm in the winter and cool in the summer by reflecting selected ultraviolet (UV) rays.
  • Sidelight — A panel containing glass that flanks or adjoins a door. Available on one or both sides of a door.
  • Transom — A panel of glass in a frame installed above a door.
  • Caming — Decorative metal strips placed between glass pieces to create a design.
  • Active panel — With a double door, this is the door panel that routinely opens.
  • Inactive panel — With a double door, this is the door panel that usually remains closed, but can be opened by disengaging special hardware on the door.
  • Grille — Feature that divides the panes of glass. A wide variety of materials and styles are available. Can be attached directly to the glass, installed between the panes of glass or be removable.
  • Tempered glass —  Glass that has been heat-treated to withstand higher than normal forces on its surface. When it breaks, it shatters into small pieces for greater safety. Typically used in doors and other applications as required by building codes.
  • Cladding — Aluminum that covers the exterior of the door frame to protect it from the elements.

Entry doors

Virtually all Pella® entry doors meet or exceed ENERGY STAR® requirements in all 50 U.S. states. Selecting ENERGY STAR qualified doors helps save energy and lower heating and cooling bills. Pella entry door panels are made from premium steel or fiberglass with EnduraClad® finished aluminum or primed wood exterior frames. Pella storm doors are designed to be compatible with the installation of a Pella entry door. The Pella entry door system is designed to be compatible with the installation of a Pella storm door.

  • Premium steel
    • Factory-assembled and pre-hung for quality assurance and easy installation.
    • Features the strength and durability of superior 24-gauge steel to resist dents and dings.
    • Available with Pella’s exclusive AdvantagePlus™ system that delivers a durable, low-maintenance frame and brick mould solution.
      • EnduraClad finished aluminum exterior frame protects the entry system from the wet, cold and wind. Cladding is available in a wide range of popular colors.
      • The rot-resistant design allows the frame to sit on top of the threshold so it won’t absorb water.
      • Aluminum brick mould provides a durable, low-maintenance solution compared to a traditional wood brick mould.
    • Made with an energy-efficient and environmentally safe foam core that provides outstanding comfort and stability. Foam core also helps provide up to five times the insulating value of wood.
    • Available in a variety of highly-detailed, embossed panels and decorative glass options.
    • For added convenience, can be purchased predrilled for handsets and locks. Optional Pella hardware finishes include satin nickel, oil-rubbed bronze and bright brass.
    • Door panels are primed and ready for the finish of your choice.
  • Fiberglass
    • Provides warm, rich look of wood with the low-maintenance benefits and outstanding performance of an advanced composite material that can be stained or painted.
    • Available in oak, fir or mahogany wood grain finishes or a smooth-grain finish.
    • Available in a variety of highly-detailed, embossed panels and decorative glass options.
    • Resist dents and corrosion.
    • Available in a variety of highly-detailed, embossed panels and decorative glass pattern option combinations.
    • Available with Pella’s exclusive AdvantagePlus™ system delivers a durable, low-maintenance frame and brick mould solution.
      • EnduraClad finished aluminum exterior frame protects the entry system from the wet, cold and wind. Cladding is available in a wide range of popular colors.
      • The rot-resistant design allows the frame to sit on top of the threshold so it won’t absorb water.
      • Aluminum brick mould provides a durable, low-maintenance solution compared to a traditional wood brick mould.
    • Made with an energy-efficient and environmentally safe foam core that provides outstanding comfort and stability. Foam core also helps provide up to five times the insulating value of wood.
    • For added convenience, can be purchased predrilled for handsets and locks. Optional Pella hardware finishes include satin nickel, oil-rubbed bronze and bright brass.
    • Doors can be pre-finished at the factory or stain kits for mahogany-, oak- and fir-grain fiberglass doors and sidelights are available from Pella. 
    • Finishing kits are also available in six colors and come with a variety of supplies, including stain, clear topcoat, application tools and complete instructions. As with all hand finishing, some variation is expected.

Patio doors

Pella patio doors help frame a beautiful view and provide convenient access for enjoying the great outdoors.

  • French patio doors
    • Hinged doors available as single or double doors. 
    • Can open from the right or left.
    • Traditionally made of wood that can be protected by a virtually maintenance-free EnduraClad finished aluminum exterior cladding (available in Architect Series®, Designer Series® and ProLine®).
    • Pella’s exclusive multipoint locking system secures the door at the top, middle and bottom, earning the industry’s highest-recognized security rating.
    • Hardware finishes include satin nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, polished brass and white.
    • Comes standard with tempered glass.
    • Available with grilles attached directly to the glass, installed between the panes of glass or removable.
    • Available with snap-in between-the-glass shades and blinds (Designer Series patio doors only). Window fashions are cordless so they are safer for children and pets. Ideal for commercial settings. When used with triple-pane glass, outside noise can be reduced by up to 80 percent.
    • Available with a traditional insect screen.
  • Sliding patio doors
    • Door made with one panel that conveniently slides to one side.
    • Available with two, three or four panels.
    • Available with a variety of grille styles. 
    • Traditionally made of wood that can be protected by a virtually maintenance-free aluminum exterior cladding (available in Architect Series, Designer Series and ProLine).
    • Also available in other materials, such as vinyl (ThermaStar by Pella® or Duracast® (Pella Impervia®).
    • Available with a traditional insect screen or patented Pella Rolscreen® retractable insect screen that is there when you need it and out of sight when you don’t. 
    • Hardware finishes include satin nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, polished brass and white.
    • Comes standard with tempered glass.
    • Available with grilles attached directly to the glass, installed between the panes of glass or removable.
    • Available with snap-in between-the-glass shades and blinds (Designer Series patio doors only). Window fashions are cordless so they are safer for children and pets. Ideal for commercial settings. When used with triple-pane glass, outside noise can be reduced by up to 80 percent.

Storm doors

A Pella storm door offers a great solution for letting air and light inside a home, while keeping the weather out. According to testing conducted at an independent laboratory, a storm door added to an entryway can reduce energy loss through the entryway by up to 45 percent. The Pella entry door system is designed to be compatible with the installation of a Pella storm door.

  • Construction
    • Extruded construction doors feature contemporary frames, rigid foam insulation, reinforced corners (to keep the door square and frame tight.)
    • Solid core doors feature an aluminum exterior and interior permanently bonded to a solid-wood core, resulting in a low-maintenance surface with a heavier feel suitable for high-traffic entryways.
  • Frame styles
    • Fullview — features full-length glass, allowing the maximum amount of light into the entryway. Available in three sizes of aluminum frame, with interchangeable glass and screen allowing the ability to switch from glass to full screen.
    • Midview — combines the increased durability of a taller bottom panel while providing excellent light and ventilation.
    • Highview — offers the greatest amount of privacy and screen protection, perfect for high-traffic entryways.
  • Ventilation options
    • The patented Pella Rolscreen retractable screen is there when you need it and out of sight when you don’t.
    • Flexible design features interchangeable full glass panels that can be switched for a full screen (screen comes with doors) with vinyl locking strips that hold the glass or screen in place, and snap in and out for easy changes (available in the fullview frame style).
    • One-touch® ventilation glass panels that glide up, down or stay in any position with single-hand operation.
    • Self-storing style in which the glass panels and screen stay in the door together year-round (available in all frame styles).
  • Pella’s Express Install®
    • Simplified storm door installation gives customers the pre-assembled parts.
    • No cutting is required and pre-drilled installation and assembly holes eliminate any guesswork.
    • Only five tools are needed to complete the storm door installation. With the Express Install door all the tools required are:
    1. Tape measure
    2. Pencil
    3. Power drill with 3/32” drill bit
    4. Phillips Screwdriver #2 
    5. Scissors
    • Storm doors with Express Install also feature a keyed multipoint lock which secures the door in two places.
  • Touch ‘n Hold® closer
    • Located on the storm door’s bottom closer, this convenient device holds the door open to any position with the touch of a button. 
  • Hardware finishes — includes satin nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, bright brass, brushed brass and antique brass.