One of the first things guests and people passing by notice about your home is the exterior entry door. A high-quality door can greatly contribute to the curb appeal of your home, as well as provide the strength and security necessary to protect your home and family. There are countless styles to choose from within the three main categories of entry doors: steel, wood and fiberglass.
Steel entry doors are the ideal choice if you’re looking for strength and durability. Comprised of a wood or steel frame filled with high-density foam insulation, steel doors are covered with a steel skin (usually 24-gauge, though the skin can be thicker on higher-end doors). Standard doors are coated with a baked-on polyester finish, while more expensive doors often have a vinyl coating for superior weather resistance. The downside to steel doors is that they have to be painted periodically, and they are less energy-efficient than wood or fiberglass doors because they conduct outside heat and cold to the inside.
Many people who choose their entry door based on its aesthetic value still go for the beauty of wood. Wooden entry doors can be built from a wide variety of woods, including walnut, cherry, oak, maple and pine. Wood does tend to expand and contract a lot, which can lead to warping, so wood doors should have some sort of protection from the sun and rain, such as a porch or even an overhang. Otherwise, the maintenance required to keep them in shape will be extensive. Some companies make stock wood doors that have a core of engineered wood and a thin wood veneer over the top of it, which helps reduce the shrinking and swelling that leads to warping. To avoid being easily damaged, the veneer on these doors should be at least 1/16-inch thick.
Beneath the outer surface of a fiberglass composite entry door is a wooden frame filled with polyurethane foam insulation. Fiberglass is an excellent option for an entry door because it combines the strength of steel with the beauty of wood. With wood-grain texturing that can be stained to match a variety of different woods, you can enjoy having an entry door that looks and feels like wood, but has the strength of steel and the low-maintenance features of fiberglass. Another bonus is that fiberglass composite entry door systems have excellent warranties when installed by a professional, which are typically longer than those of wood or steel doors.
Need a Door Expert?
If you’re not experienced with door installation, it’s best to leave the job to a handyman carpenter with the experience to make sure your door is installed straight and true for maximum energy efficiency. A quick call to Handyman Connection at 1-800-88-HANDY is all it takes to set up a consultation.