The Front Door Overhang: Unsung Heroes of the Home Entry

A beautiful front door welcomes you home in style and makes a great first impression on your guests. Also important and far less discussed is the overhang directly above it. Overhangs not only complement your entry but also serve a number of important functions. The right front door overhang can instantly boost the curb appeal of your home and significantly prolong a front door’s life, making it essential for many homes.


Overhangs for Every Design Style


The obvious benefit of an overhang is the aesthetic upgrade it gives your home: Overhangs increase the sense of depth of an entrance as well as provide a heightened contrast. They work to emphasize the door as a focal point.


Front door overhangs come in a variety of shapes, sizes and styles. Often they double as a large porch covering, which is especially fitting for modern farmhouse-style exteriors.


Another popular style of front door overhang mirrors the design of a gabled roof. Overhangs of this style can vary dramatically in size, from a small gable directly over the front door to a large extension of the actual roof.


Overhangs for contemporary homes can be simple in design: A straightforward horizontal slab overhead provides maximum protection in a minimalist fashion. These front door overhangs sometimes double as second-floor balconies for increased functionality.


Benefits of Front Door Overhangs

Besides looking great, overhangs offer plenty of practical benefits to homeowners. Repeated exposure to moisture can, over time, put a door or frame at risk for water saturation and damage the door’s finish. The right overhang significantly reduces the amount of water that comes into contact with the door, lessening any risk of damage.


Come summertime, an overhang can protect your front door and home from solar heat gain and uncomfortable temperatures by providing a solid source of shade. Steel doors in particular are susceptible to heat absorption and benefit greatly from the added protection. An overhang will also shield your door from harmful UV rays that can cause color fading, cracking and other damage, especially to wood doors.


Your family and friends will appreciate shelter from the elements while they wait to enter. An overhang above your front door gives a warm first impression to guests visiting your home.


What You Need in a Front Door Overhang

While a variety of styling options exists, there are some universal rules to keep in mind. Overhangs are absolutely necessary for maintaining Authentic Wood doors, and they are highly recommended for doors of any material, such as the woodgrain-replicated fiberglass doors of our Architectural™ Collection (shown above).


Correct measurements are crucial for ensuring the efficacy of an overhang. These measurements are dictated by the region’s climate and the direction the door faces. Doors with western and southern exposure usually face the harshest and most potentially damaging conditions, and thus require overhangs with the largest depth. With western exposure, the door receives direct sunlight during the hottest time of the day. With southern exposure, the door receives direct sunlight from sunrise to sunset.


The chart above provides formulas for determining the correct depth (D) of an overhang in comparison to the door’s height (H) based on climate and direction. For example, a north-facing door in a desert climate should have an overhang depth half the size of the door’s height; if the door is seven feet, the depth of the overhang should be at least 3-1/2 feet.


Front door overhangs add comfort, significantly extend the life of your door, lessen the amount of maintenance required over the years and, last but certainly not least, look great. Give your exterior door the care and protection it deserves with the proper overhang.

Discover our Architectural™ Collection premium fiberglass doors, featuring dozens of styles that work beautifully with front door overhangs.