When it’s time to install a new front door, you’ll have many choices to make such as the architectural style, the incorporation of glass panels, and the color, to name a few. But the first decision you’ll need to make is what type of door material is right for your home.
The three most popular material choices for front doors are wood, fiberglass, and steel. And there are actually quite a few things to consider when you’re choosing a door material. We will outline how these doors stack up against each other in aesthetics, maintenance, longevity, energy-efficiency, and cost to help you make an informed decision.
With thousands of options for stains, glass inserts, and beautiful artistry, wood doors are often chosen for their aesthetics. From traditional to modern designs, you can find a wood door to add curb appeal to any home style. And while they can get dented or scratched, it is relatively easy to sand down and re-stain a wood door to keep it looking brand new throughout its lifetime. Wood is also an easy material to paint and stain different colors to change up the look.
But these great aesthetics do come with a price. Wood entry doors will usually be the most expensive option, especially for premium wood like mahogany or walnut. And while a wood entry door looks beautiful, it didn’t even make the list for Remodeling Magazine’s cost vs. value analysis, so it’s tough to say how much of your project cost will be recouped in home value.
Wood entry doors also require regular maintenance – sanding and re-staining or painting every few years – or they can warp and rot from the natural elements. But if you take care of your exterior wood doors, they can easily last over 30 years and much longer in some cases.
Fiberglass composite doors are insulated with foam for excellent energy efficiency. When compared to wood and steel, they are also better at resisting dents and scratches. Plus, aesthetically, they can be made to look just like a wood door without the maintenance. You can even expect a fiberglass door to last upwards of 15 to 20 years without needing repairs.
However, fiberglass doors can pose an installation challenge if you don’t have a specific type of opening in your home. In many cases, homeowners find out that a fiberglass door cannot be installed in the way they hoped.
Additionally, make sure that you are purchasing a high-quality fiberglass door, as with anything manmade, you’ll get what you pay for. And fiberglass doors can be quite expensive. In most cases, more than steel doors and sometimes even more than a wood door. But with a decent project value, according to Remodeling Magazine, you could recoup over 70% of your fiberglass door replacement in home value.
Steel doors are an excellent choice if you are looking for a strong barrier against intruders or pests. High-quality steel doors like those from Provia are also energy-efficient, insulating warm air during the winter and cold air during the summer. With a range in pricing and style, you can find steel doors that fit most any budget.
However, steel doors do conduct temperatures at a higher rate than wood or fiberglass. If they are in direct sunlight, you may need to choose a lighter color to avoid too much heat absorption. And even high-quality steel doors are vulnerable to dents and knicks over time. Unlike a wood door, these issues can’t be sanded out and could lead to rust. But with proper maintenance, steel doors can last an incredibly long time, well over 50 years.
While the price of steel doors has risen over the past few years, according to Remodeling Magazine’s cost vs. value analysis, you can expect to recoup over 68% of the project cost of installing a steel door in your home value.
Are you considering a front door replacement? If you have noticed drafts, higher energy bills, a warping door frame, or your door is over 30 years old, then it’s likely time for a new energy-efficient and secure entry door.
Brothers Services and our partner manufacturers are committed to the impeccable craftsmanship and installation of high-quality entry doors of all three materials above. Ready to replace your front door? Schedule a free, no-pressure consultation with one of our experienced craftspeople today!