If you're looking for a great way to improve the curb appeal of your home and create a warm, welcoming first impression for visitors, consider installing a brand new entry door. While entry doors should be attractive, they must also be resilient, weather tight and able to withstand exposure to the elements throughout the year. At Re/Max at the Beach we think an entry door says a whole lot about the people that live inside. Keep that in mind when shopping for a new entry door.
If you’re interested in replacing your entryway door, you’ll have to decide which type of door to purchase. Entry doors are available at home improvement centers in three different types: wood, steel and fiberglass.
All three types come in a wide range of sizes, styles and prices, so it won’t be difficult finding a door to fit your budget and existing doorway.
The more difficult decision is choosing which door type best suits your home’s style, your own personal taste and your lifestyle. To help make that decision easier, below you’ll find detailed descriptions of each door type including the benefits, drawbacks and important features worth considering.
Doors made of wood are commonly available in a variety softwood and hardwood species, including fir, pine, hemlock, mahogany, oak, cherry and walnut. Most wood doors feature frame-and-panel construction, and can be ordered with or without “lites” or windows.
Solid wood doors are constructed entirely out of solid pieces of wood. Veneered doors have a solid wood frame that’s covered with a wood veneer. Solid wood doors are often heavier and more expensive than a wood veneer door, but they’re also stronger and more durable.
Homeowners love wood doors because it’s hard to beat the natural beauty and warmth of real wood. Plus, they can be painted, stained or finished with a clear topcoat. However, wood requires a certain amount of maintenance to keep a fresh, like-new appearance.
When exposed to the elements, wood can swell, shrink, crack and warp. Paint and clear topcoats will eventually blister and peel. Doors made of wood are best suited for recessed doorway openings, where the door is protected from the weather by a large overhang or deep alcove.
If you’re planning on painting your new wood door, order the door with a factory-primed finish. That will save you from having to prime the door before painting.
Steel doors are popular with both homebuilders and homeowners because they are extremely strong and secure. They’re durable and weather-tight, especially when fitted with magnetic weather stripping. Steel doors are also the most affordable type of entry door.
Steel doors come primed ready for paint, but many places now offer pre-finished steel doors in a wide choice of factory-applied paint colors. While most steel doors have a smooth surface, some models feature an embossed wood-grain finish.
The main drawbacks to steel doors are that they dent and rust. You can fill dents with auto-body putty, but rust must be completely removed to prevent the corrosion from spreading.
There’s no such thing as a maintenance-free door, but a fiberglass door comes pretty close. Fiberglass is tough and resilient, and particularly well suited for harsh, humid climates. It’s also highly resistant to warping, splitting and cracking. Fiberglass doors won’t dent, rot or rust.
Many fiberglass doors have a realistic wood grain finish that can be stained to resemble a wood door. If you like the rich look of a solid mahogany door but not the price tag, buy a fiberglass door and apply a mahogany stain.
The main drawback to fiberglass doors is that they’re relatively expensive. Only high end solid hardwood doors cost more.