Front Doors For Homes

Three major materials are used in modern front doors for homes

In the U.S. and many other parts of the world, three major types of materials are used to make contemporary front doors for homes. These three materials are steel, wood and fiberglass. The three differ in terms of cost, complexity of maintenance, flexibility of aesthetics, and popularity.

Within each category there are again gradations in terms of cost. For example, a low quality, single panel fiberglass door will go for a few hundred dollars, whereas a double configuration with transom and side lites costs over several thousand.

Steel front doors for homes

Currently steel is by far the most popular choice for exterior entry doors according to most statistics. The number given ranges from 60 to 70% of all homes. One reason why steel is popular is that it is low in price yet high in durability. Steel does not tend to warp like wood, so will open and shut smoothly for a long period of time. The gauge of the steel is one important factor when selecting a steel door. The thicker gauge means a sturdier door. However homeowners will have to contend with rust or denting that is hard to repair. Front doors for homes

Wood doors are traditional but require upkeep

Wood front doors for homes

Industry figures put the number at around 20% of all homes as having wood for their exterior entrance. Wood is a material that gives off a traditional feel. The exterior style is highly flexible, as there are many types of wood as well as finishes that yield a range of hues. Wood doors tend to be expensive with very short warranties. This is because they need to be refinished and restained every now and then, with warping not an uncommon problem so that old ones have trouble closing or closing.

Fiberglass front doors for homes

Although fiberglass is one of the newer materials, it has become so popular in recent years that is comprises some 10 to 15% of all home exterior entrances. This is because it has some of the advantages of steel and wood combined. Except for the cheaper, brandless kinds, fiberglass does not warp like wood nor does it rust like steel over time. Its exterior surface when stained with enough complexity resembles the depth of colors found in natural wood. Fiberglass doors also have very long warranties (thirty years or more) because of their longevity.

Go for steel exterior doors if you are on a budget

Steel doors provide the best functional bang for the buck. By this we mean that steel lasts a long time, serve well as an entrance, but cost less than any of the other types. A few hundred dollars will net a high quality steel door.

Aesthetics, energy efficiency and level of maintenance determine the rest

If money is not an issue, then the homeowner has to decide between a combination of how the door looks (aesthetics), whether it has a high R-factor (insulating capacity) and how much upkeep such as refinishing or repainting is required over the long run. Price usually plays a role in determining these. All three types come with insulating polyurethane cores that have equivalently high R factors. Both fiberglass and wood approximate each other in looks although some high end would-be home owners will demand real wood.

Double configuration

Doors can come in a double configuration. Moreover, "side-lites" can be added to adorn the frame of the door.


Depending on your home, your door can be customized to include a "transom" that runs over the top.

Robust to Weather

Regions with changeable climates that see wintry rain and snow can be ideal for non-wood doors.

(C) Copyright 2015 Fiberglass Entry Doors

photo by jdickert via CC 2.0

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