The 3 Types of Exterior Door Materials – Which Is Right for Your Home?
There are many reasons why you might be looking to replace one or more exterior doors at your home. Maybe your front door is looking a little worse for wear and is dragging down your home’s curb appeal. Or, maybe you’re trying to maximize your home’s energy efficiency and your old exterior doors just aren’t cutting it. Another common reason why homeowners replace their exterior doors is to increase home security. No matter what your motivation is, when choosing new exterior doors for your home, you will have no shortage of options. The three most popular types of exterior door materials are fiberglass, steel, and wood. Not sure which option is right for your home? Read on to learn about the features and benefits of each.
Fiberglass Exterior Doors
If you want a front door that offers the beautiful appearance of real wood but won’t require as much upkeep, then a fiberglass exterior door may be right for you. A fiberglass door will resist nicks and dents much better than a wooden door, and it won’t need to be sanded or painted in order to retain its like-new appearance. Fiberglass doors are available in just about any color you can imagine, so you’ll have endless design flexibility when it comes to choosing a door that suits your home’s aesthetic.
In terms of energy efficiency, fiberglass exterior doors are tough to beat. Most fiberglass doors feature polyurethane-insulated cores which offer exceptional protection against the elements and can dramatically reduce heat transfer so your home stays cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. In fact, the average fiberglass exterior door offers five times the insulation value of a wooden door! A fiberglass door will likely cost a bit more than a steel door, but given its unmatched energy efficiency, it won’t be long before it pays for itself. And, the average fiberglass exterior door yields a return on investment of about 82%, making it a great choice.
Steel Exterior Doors
In terms of popularity, steel exterior doors are right up there with fiberglass, largely thanks to their unbeatable strength and durability. After all, what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about steel? Strength, right? Other metal doors, such as those made of aluminum, are prone to bending or kinking when enough pressure is applied, but steel doors consistently score at the very top of forced entry tests. It’s no wonder steel exterior doors are the preferred choice for government buildings, schools, businesses, and homeowners looking to safeguard their homes. Adding to their durability, steel doors are also the most fire retardant of any exterior door material.
For some, the words “steel door” might conjure up images of an unsightly, gray, institutional-style door with a small wired-glass window. But the truth is, most residential steel doors are virtually indistinguishable from wood or fiberglass doors. In fact, many steel exterior doors are available with woodgrain-style finishes (some even with grooves) and can be customized in a variety of colors to suit your home’s exterior. While steel exterior doors don’t offer quite as much energy efficiency as fiberglass doors, they’re more energy-efficient than wooden doors since they feature insulated cores. And, not only do steel doors typically cost less than both fiberglass and wooden doors but because of their durability and the home security they provide, they offer an impressive 91% return on investment, making them a great all-around home upgrade.
Wood Exterior Doors
Wood has been a popular material for exterior doors for centuries, and there are a number of reasons why it remains in use, even though synthetic materials like fiberglass and steel have come to dominate the market. For many homeowners, there is no substitute for the natural beauty that real wood provides. With numerous wood species to choose from, each offering a slightly different grain, texture, and color, wooden doors provide a grandiosity that neither fiberglass nor steel can match. What’s more, many homeowners like the heft that real wooden doors have. Others may be looking to upgrade their exterior doors while retaining the historical accuracy of their older homes. And then there are some who simply feel that natural materials are more luxurious than synthetic materials.
Wood exterior doors are typically more expensive than fiberglass and steel doors, and they usually require the most maintenance, which is probably why they’re the least popular of the three options. Sure, a wooden door may need to be repainted from time to time. But while one homeowner may view this as “tedious upkeep,” another might see it as an opportunity to change up the color of their front door and give their home’s exterior a makeover.
Contact West Shore Home to Learn More
Still not sure which kind of exterior door is right for your home? Contact the home improvement professionals at West Shore Home today to learn more about the features and benefits of fiberglass, steel, and wooden exterior doors.