What is the purpose of a front door?
The front door of your home serves as the main entranceway, which most people will use to approach, enter and leave your home. It usually faces the street, so it needs to be secure, weatherproof and soundproof - especially if it's close to the road. The front door's also among the first things a visitor will notice, so your front door should exude a sense of style and character in fitting with the rest of your home.
What qualities should a good front door have?
Don't be too tight with money when it comes to your front doors. The best locks, framing and door material will give you an entryway that will impress down through the ages. Your front doors will get a lot of use and abuse - they need to be strong and secure, so paying for quality in the first instance will help to ensure that you aren't fixing or replacing things a few years down the track.
Aesthetics are also highly important; an ugly looking front door will detract from the whole façade of the building. Make sure to match the colour scheme with the roof as well as the walls. If you're installing a security screen door, factor this in too - different designs and paints can be used for a variety of different visual effects.
What sort of doors are appropriate for front doors?
Hinged doors are the most popular choice here, as they are generally more secure than sliding doors (although this does depend on the specific product you're looking at). For materials, a heavy solid wood is fairly standard, though UPVC and fibreglass doors are increasingly popular alternatives.
Glass panels and insets can also add some character to the front door without compromising security. For the sake of security, it's a good idea to install a door viewer of some kind, and a deadbolt or a mortice lock. Keyless entry locks are also becoming more popular, and if you're after something different, this may be an option worth considering.
Is it worth getting a security screen door?
Security doors and screen doors are great for blocking insects out, for allowing some ventilation, and as a deterrent to intruders when your front door is open. They're ideal in warmer climates where you may want to keep your doors open a lot of the time - particularly in the elevated houses in the tropical northern parts of Australia which rely on wind ventilation by design, and where mosquitoes are everywhere.
They're not as important elsewhere (particularly in cooler climates), but If you do want a security screen door for your home, do your homework and make sure the door is constructed to meet the relevant Australian Standard (AS 5039), and also that it's installed in accordance with the Australian Standard (AS 5040). If it's not, chances are that it won't offer the protection you expect from it.