When selecting an entry door, what matters most is the sturdiness of the material. The one you choose should be able to withstand wind, rain, and the scorching sun, yet be appealing enough to enhance the appeal of your abode. Most traditional doors are made of wood or wood veneer, both of which face wrapping and cracking problems with time, due to exposure to the elements and normal wear and tear. Metal doors don’t last forever either, as peeling is a common problem after they complete their tentative lifespan. Although functionality too is crucial when choosing an exterior door, to narrow down your search, first select the material of the door. To help you decide on the right option, this post discusses three popular exterior door materials available on the market, and their pros and cons.
1. Steel Doors
Steel is one of the least expensive front door options and an ideal choice if security and durability find top slots on your list of prerequisites. Steel doors are sturdier than wood or fiberglass doors and don’t crack or warp like wood. In fact, you can easily repair any dents and dings on the surface just by using an auto-body repair kit, which is easily available on the market. The inner surface of some steel doors is made of wood that offers strength to the frame, and the cavities within the frame are filled with high-density foam insulation to ensure optimum energy efficiency.
The downside of steel doors is that they are prone to rust, and therefore, have a shorter lifespan than fiberglass and wood doors, especially in humid climates. Steel doors, therefore, don’t make an ideal choice for homes subject to damp or harsh weather conditions. In addition, being good conductors of heat, steel doors are unsuitable for extremely hot climatic conditions. If your exterior door is exposed to any of these problems, it is advisable to go for a different choice.
You can go for steel doors that come with a baked-on polyester coating, although they require periodic repainting to prevent rust. Another option is to go for options such as vinyl coating or a laminated wood veneer that offers greater weather resistance.
2. Wood Doors
Wood doors are probably the most commonly-used option for front door installations. If you invest in a premium wood door, its natural beauty may last for years. You can choose from an array of custom wood doors, including oak, cherry, maple, fir, pine, mahogany, and walnut. Although wood is the most expensive of the three options we have covered; if maintained properly, it can last much longer than other materials.
The downside of wood front doors is that they are sensitive to dampness and moisture, which can distort the shape of the door or cause them to warp, or crack. You need a routine maintenance regime for a wood door to ensure they deliver optimum value. Repaint and refinish wood doors at least once every year to prevent them from splitting and warping.
When selecting a pre-finished wood door, look for durable stains or high-gloss/ clear finishes, as they prevent a wood door from absorbing moisture and swelling. Contemporary wood doors are usually feature a veneer skin over a wood core, which prevents warping. For contemporary type of wood doors, look for furniture-grade veneers that are at least 1/16 inch thick. Anything thinner than this is prone to damage.
3. Fiberglass Composite Doors
Fiberglass doors are easy on the pocket, and a preferred choice for their durability and the fact that they require little to no maintenance. They are resistant to denting, warping, rusting, rotting and other issues that affect wood and steel doors, making them a natural choice for harsh and humid climates. They are easy to stain to give the appeal of wood doors such as oak, cherry, and walnut. Voids in the framework are filled with polyurethane-foam that offers better insulation than wood, and the doors come with extended warranties.
The only downside of fiberglass doors is that they don’t work in old homes as they are manufactured with the door frame. This means installing them in non-standard doorways may not be possible without deep professional expertise.
When installing a fiberglass door, make sure the hinges are in alignment with the existing frame. If you are planning to replace your existing door with a fiberglass front door, you need professional assistance for the perfect installation.
In addition to choosing the right material for your front door, it is also important to examine the terms in the manufacturer’s warranty. We, at Jancon Exteriors, with our years of experience in door installation, replacement and repair services, can guide you through the process of front door selection, make sure it’s a perfect fit for your home, and the job is done well within your budget. If you wish to learn more about our door installation services, feel free to contact us at our helpline number (508) 520-3935 or fill out our contact form.