Front Doors and Sidelights: Enhance Curb Appeal

Front Doors and Sidelights: Enhance Curb Appeal
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3 weeks ago
Reviewed by Bryan Baeumler

As the President of Brand & Marketing at Canadian Choice Windows and Doors, one of my favorite ways to instantly upgrade a home’s curb appeal is with a stylish new front entry door with sidelight panels. These glass panels flanking the door bathe your home's entryway in warm, natural light while adding architectural interest.

Sidelights are a brilliant solution for enhancing both the interior and exterior aesthetic. From the outside, they create a welcoming, open look. Indoors, they brighten up the foyer and allow light to travel deeper into the home. For rooms with limited windows, sidelights help alleviate that closed-in, dark feeling.

Key Takeaways

  • Adding sidelights is an excellent way to enhance curb appeal and let in more natural light.
  • Front doors with sidelights come in a variety of styles from modern to traditional to suit any home.
  • Materials like fiberglass, steel, and wood offer different combinations of energy efficiency, durability and customization.
  • Double sidelights provide even more glass and openness compared to single sidelights.
  • Features like decorative glass, privacy blinds, and hardware finishes let you personalize the look

Explore Design Styles to Suit Any Home

One of the great things about front doors with sidelights is that they come in a wide range of styles to complement any type of home - whether you have a sleek, modern build or a more traditional design.

Modern & Contemporary

Modern & Contemporary

A modern front door with sidelights can enhance the overall aesthetic of your home while allowing additional natural light into the interior. Minimalist, straight lines paired with wide glass panes create a very current, on-trend look. Opt for full-light glass or privacy glass in either clear or tinted varieties. An increasingly popular choice is a Eurostyle front entry with sidelights extending from floor to ceiling.

"Homeowners are gravitating towards wider doors and bigger glass areas to allow for more natural light and create that open concept, indoor/outdoor living feel," remarks Sales Manager Tony Wong.

Traditional & Craftsman

Traditional & Craftsman

These styles aim for a warmer, more classic aesthetic with design elements like

"You can mix and match components to put your own spin on a timeless look. For example, pair an oak woodgrain steel door with brass accessories for a rich, inviting vibe. “With so many sidelight options available, it’s easy to customize the perfect front entry for your home. You can choose everything from the size and number of glass panels to obscure or decorative glass designs," says Sales Rep Norman Verblonski.

Modern Styles Traditional Styles
Full light glass panes Decorative grillwork
Sleek handles Raised or flat panels
Aluminum frames Arched transoms

Of course, you’ll also want to factor in your climate, budget, and home’s architectural style when choosing a front door with sidelights.

Pick the Ideal Front Door Material

Three of the most popular front entry door materials in Canada are:


  • Affordable yet extremely durable and low-maintenance
  • Can mimic the look of wood with woodgrain fiberglass texturing
  • Excellent insulation value with foam core construction
  • Available in smooth or wood stain finishes


  • Maximum security and strength
  • Prehung option for easy installation
  • Can have a woodgrain textured face or smooth, glossy finish
  • Often has polyurethane foam insulation for energy efficiency


  • Most expensive option but unmatched in natural beauty
  • Various hardwood species like oak, mahogany, fir, etc.
  • Higher maintenance with refinishing & checking for cracks/warping
  • Not as energy efficient without added door lites/storm doors

"Steel is a great entry door choice for adding character while keeping maintenance to a minimum," advises Sales Manager Helen Sin. "The woodgrain texture looks just like real wood but with the durability of a manufactured door."

Material Cost Insulation Security Maintenance
Fiberglass $$ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Steel $$ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Wood $$$ ⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐

Looking for some inspiration? Check out this gallery of beautiful front doors with sidelights from our past projects. You'll find tons of styles to spark ideas.

Single vs Double Sidelights - More Glass for More Openness

Single Sidelight

While single sidelights are the most common configuration, you can really maximize natural light by choosing double sidelights - having glass panels on both sides of the door. This is an excellent option if you have wall space in your entryway or foyer.

Double Sidelightes

Double sidelights:

  • Make the space feel brighter and more open
  • Create better interior views from other rooms
  • Allow sunlight to penetrate deeper into the home
  • Can incorporate transom windows above for an even grander look

Of course, more glass reduces privacy unless you choose obscure or decorative glazing. But you can always add interior blinds or shades down the road.

"I love the double sidelight look for its incredible brightness and openness. It almost feels like you're outside!" remarks Angelo Kociper, Sales Manager. "They're particularly nice for hallways or connecting rooms where you want to keep lines of sight open."

Personalize with Decorative Elements

The beauty of doors with sidelights is all the personalization options available to customize your ideal front entry. Mix and match stylish elements to perfectly suit your home.

  • Decorative door glass: Obscured, glue chip, seeded, beveled, coloured, specialty shapes, and more. Great for adding privacy while still allowing light through.
  • Grilles and grillwork: Add classic design elements like grilles over the glass panels, sidelight grilles, or full grille patterns covering the entire sidelight. Choose from various grid patterns, colours , , and materials.
  • Hardware finishes: From classic brass to sleek stainless steel to matte black, your choice of hardware finish puts the finishing touch on the look.
  • Sidelight blinds: Install interior blinds or shades for when you want privacy but still diffused light.
  • Kick plates: A protective kick plate is both functional and stylish, available in different materials and finishes.

With such a wide array of styles, materials, and decorative options, it's easy to create a unique front entry with sidelights that enhance your home's aesthetic and catch the eye of guests or potential buyers. If you'd like some guidance, just ask one of our experts to help design your perfect look!

Let the Light In While Keeping Costs Down

Let the Light In While Keeping Costs Down

Despite adding architectural appeal and boosting resale value, you may be concerned that front doors with sidelights will be too pricey. While they can cost more than a basic single door without glass, premium front entries are still surprisingly affordable, especially considering how they upgrade your home's facade.

fiberglass door

To keep costs down, go with fiberglass over steel or wood doors. Fiberglass is lightweight yet extremely durable and energy efficient. And don't feel you need decorative glass if privacy isn't an issue; clear glass sidelights maximize light while staying low cost.

"If you think installing a front door with sidelights will bust the budget, you'll be pleasantly surprised at the affordable options available," reassures Angelo. "And the value this simple upgrade adds in terms of both function and looks makes it a worthwhile investment."

So whether your priority is improving energy efficiency, boosting curb appeal or just allowing more natural light into your living spaces, a front entry door with sidelights is a stylish choice worth considering.

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Unlock Your Home's Potential with a New Front Entry

In summary, adding sidelights to your front entry door is an easy way to dramatically enhance natural light, aesthetics, and curb appeal - all while boosting energy efficiency and home value. With a wide variety of styles offered in durable materials like fiberglass and steel, you can create a look that perfectly complements your home at a reasonable price point.

Whether you want a grand double door with sidelights setup with decorative glass or something more minimalist, our experts at Canadian Choice Windows and Doors will guide you through the numerous customization options. We’ll ensure you end up with a front door system that combines beauty, functionality, and long-lasting performance.

Don’t settle for a basic entryway when transforming it into a bright, inviting focal point is so achievable. Discover how new front doors with sidelights can elevate your home’s first impression and let the natural light pour in. Reach out today to explore the possibilities with one of our experienced team member

FAQ: Front Doors with Sidelights

What is a front door with sidelight?

A front door with sidelight refers to an entry door system that includes glass window panels on one or both sides of the main door. These sidelights allow more natural light into the home's entryway while adding architectural interest.

What styles of front doors with sidelights are available?

You can find both modern and traditional style front doors with sidelights. Modern options feature sleek lines and expansive glass panes, while traditional designs incorporate decorative elements like grillwork, raised panels, and transoms above the door.

Are double doors with double sidelights an option?

Absolutely, double entry doors flanked by sidelights on both sides create a grand, luxurious entrance. Double sidelites maximize natural light and openness compared to a single sidelight configuration.

How can I add more privacy with sidelights?

To increase privacy while still allowing light through, choose obscure, frosted, or decorative glass for the sidelights. You can also install interior blinds or shades over the glass panels.

What materials are used for front doors with sidelights?

The most popular materials are fiberglass, steel, and wood. Fiberglass offers an excellent mix of affordability, low-maintenance, and energy efficiency. Steel is extremely durable and secure, while wood provides classic beauty.

Can I customize the style of my front door with sidelights?

Yes, there are numerous ways to personalize the look, from choosing different glass designs and finishes to picking hardware styles and colours. You can create a completely unique entryway to suit your home's exterior aesthetic.

Simon Pozneris, President of Brand & Marketing
Simon Pozneris, President of Brand & Marketing

As founder and President at Canadian Choice Windows and Doors, I've turned my passion for home improvement into a national brand. From our humble beginnings as a single store, we've expanded to six locations across Canada, specializing in windows, doors, and energy-efficient home solutions.

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Reviewed by Bryan Baeumler

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