There are many reasons why someone might consider replacing their front door. On top of that list you would find that replacing a front door can pay for itself by increasing the value of the home, tax credits may be available for choosing an energy efficient door, and so on.
That being said, how does a person know which type of door material is right for them? What are the pros and cons of each type of door material? Let’s answer these questions and get you on the right track to choosing the best exterior door for your home.
For the do-it-yourself money savers, steel doors are king. They come at relatively low cost and are slightly a stronger barrier against intruders compared to fiberglass and wood. Still interested in saving money? Great! Steel replacement doors have been proven to preserve the value of a home and return about 73% of the cost on average.
Watch out, penny pinchers, because not every penny saved is a penny saved most wisely. The typical lifespan of steel doors is a bit shorter than wood or fiberglass doors. Consumers in areas with salty air or heavy rains and humidity should probably stay clear of steel doors. Also, steel did not hold up as well as fiberglass and wood in normal wear and tear tests performed by Consumer Reports. Dents can occur with heavy use and are difficult to repair.
Often mimicking the appearance of real wood, fiberglass doors come in many styles. One of the main benefits of fiberglass doors is that they require little maintenance, which is a huge benefit compared to wood. While no door is maintenance-free, fiberglass is as close as they come, and it lasts about twice as long as wood or steel.
In regard to weather changes and conditions, fiberglass hold its own. It doesn’t expand or contract like wood does, and can go years without needing a paint touch-up. Fiberglass doors do feel light in hand, but its coating is extremely durable and hard for an intruder to penetrate.
Right in the middle of the road in terms of cost up front, fiberglass doors will not generate as high a return as steel doors. They tend to return about 56% via home value increase.
Wood is widely considered as the default choice for more high-end locations. It carries a luxurious appeal and its substantial weight can’t be reproduced well by steel or fiberglass. If your ideal entryway is a classic, stunning, grandiose entryway, wood is definitely the best material choice for you.
While wood is typically the most expensive of the three options and requires the most maintenance, it is easier to repair scratches in wood than it is dents in steel or fiberglass. Wood doors need to be repainted, refinished, or re-stained about every year or two in order to prevent splitting, warping, and weather damage.
A closing note on energy efficiency
Doors claiming to be energy efficient should carry the Energy Star seal. This seal shows that the door meets governmental regulations that improve both the manufacturing process used to create the door, as well as the energy efficiency of the door itself when installed in a home. The more care taken in getting to know the pros and cons of different types of materials, the better the choice you’ll make when selecting the right door for your home.