We’ve spent the last few weeks exploring the aesthetic appeal, safety, and energy efficiency the right entry door can bring to your home. While we have touched on the upsides and drawbacks of a variety of entry door types within these posts, this week we’ll focus on an overview of each entry door option on the market. Armed with the knowledge of the specific characteristics and materials each door features, you can narrow down your search and come one step closer to walking through your new entry door.

Your Entry Door Options

You can expect to encounter a few different types of entry doors on the market. The most common offerings, though, are fiberglass, steel, or wood. Let’s take a look at each one.

Fiberglass Doors

Fiberglass doors offer consumers versatility and good resistance to wear and weather. They can be painted or stained for a custom curb appeal, and as we discussed in our last post, often offer a look indistinguishable from real wood. Equally important, fiberglass doors are durable and resistant to dents and dings. They are also easily cleaned with soap and water, making this entry door option a low-maintenance one.

But what is fiberglass? This material is a reinforced plastic which is made up of glass fibers embedded in a resin. It is strong and lightweight. Fiberglass doors are molded atop a wooden frame and are equipped with a foam insulation core that provides a high degree of energy efficiency. They do not warp or crack like wood.

Fiberglass doors are a good investment all around, but this option is particularly well suited to those who have a busy home with children and pets, as durability and ease of care are essential for these families. A fiberglass door could also be a particularly smart choice if your climate is a warm, humid one, as you will not experience the difficulties that come with warping wood in these climates.

Wood Doors

Wood doors offer a charm all their own and provide the consumer with the greatest degree of options and customizability. These plusses are balanced by an array of factors that make wood doors a much higher maintenance option than fiberglass or steel.

Wood is a beautiful natural material, and like most products crafted from natural materials, it requires ongoing care to maintain its quality and functionality. Wood doors are susceptible to the elements. Sunlight will fade finishes over time, requiring regular repainting or restaining. Humidity and moisture cause wood to swell and warp, which introduces the possibility of your door being ill-fitted to its frame. This can lead to problems with weatherproofing and reduced energy efficiency. For these reasons, wood doors often come equipped with shorter warranties than other entry door options.

A wood entry door might be a good option for your home if you are looking for a natural material and value the aesthetic appeal of a natural wood door and if you are not fazed by completing the regular maintenance that comes with maintaining a wood door’s beauty.

Steel Doors

Like fiberglass doors, steel doors are a good option for consumers seeking an entry door that is durable and able to be easily adapted to match a home’s existing architectural style. They withstand a good deal of wear and tear, and, as this helpful article from This Old House explains, “any dents or dings on these doors can be pulled and puttied with an auto-body repair kit.” You can paint steel doors, and they also can be embossed to create a faux wood grain.

Steel doors are equipped with an inner frame made of wood or steel and filled with the same type of foam insulation you would find in a fiberglass door. This entry door option does present the possibility of rust should the steel surface be exposed or scratched, but a quality finish or primer and paint will guard against this. For this reason, steel doors are not entirely maintenance-free.

If you’re in the market for a door which shares many of the benefits of a fiberglass door while offering an added advantage of greater security, a steel entry door might be the right option. Steel doors, when paired with a steel frame, are the best defense against potential intruders.

As you can see, each entry door option presents the consumer with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Next week, we’ll talk about the cost factors which will influence any homeowner’s final decision.