So, you need a new entry door. Which kind of door should you choose? It can be a tough choice, because there are so many different types of entry door products available these days, and you know you want to find the perfect fit for your home, in terms of functionality, safety, and style. So what to go with? Perhaps the best place to start is in choosing your preferred entry door material, and two of the best materials out there for entry doors are steel and fiberglass.
We ask more of our exterior doors than we do our interior doors. Exterior doors must be built to provide built-in security, and must also be engineered to be weather-resistant, as well. In the past, wood was really the only option for exterior doors, but now there are other equally viable choices on the market. Both modern steel and fiberglass entry doors can provide some significant curb appeal. Both steel and fiberglass (also known as composite) are also available in various design configurations, and also offer various options for glass panels. Which option could be right for you? Let’s look at each in closer detail:
Steel doors are a very common choice for commercial property owners. In fact, steel doors account for roughly half the entry door market in the U.S. But steel doors aren’t just appropriate for commercial settings; some steel door products are well-suited for residential applications, too. Here are some features you should know about steel entry doors:
You probably know that many steel entry doors come with a smooth finish, but there are also steel doors available in wood grain-like textures with many different paint finishes. They come in a variety of door style options too, including some which incorporate glass features.
This is one of the key advantages of steel doors. Steel is both incredibly strong and resistant, and won’t warp, crack, or rot. In fact, doors made with 20-gauge steel (e.g., the Legacy Line of ProVia doors) are some of the strongest, most durable entry doors you can buy.
Steel doors are generally low-maintenance. Dents and dings can often be pulled out with a basic auto body repair kit. Scratches aren’t hard to address either, but you have to watch out for deeper scratches. If a scratch should penetrate the galvanized layer, the door will have to be refinished to prevent possible rust formation.
You probably know that steel is a conductor (and thus a poor insulator), but steel entry doors are actually more energy-efficient than wood doors. Why? It’s because the steel door shell is filled with some very effective insulation. You may be surprised to learn that many steel entry door products are actually ENERGY STAR certified!
If home or building security are a prime concern for you, then you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better solution than a steel entry door. No other entry door option is stronger or more secure.
Price is another attractive feature when it comes to steel doors. Among wood, fiberglass, and steel options, steel doors are certainly the most affordable. Steel doors offer significant long-term value, as well. Specific cost will depend upon the style of the door you choose, along with which customization options you want to include.
Fiberglass entry doors have become increasingly popular for residential applications, as well. In fact, fiberglass doors are now the #1 replacement choice for homeowners across America, and they’re particularly well-suited for single-family residences. Why are fiberglass entry doors worth your consideration? Here are a few key facts you should know about fiberglass doors:
Fiberglass entry doors provide more style and texture options than steel doors. Fiberglass can be engineered to more closely resemble the look and grain of many popular types of wood, including oak, mahogany, fir, and cherry. And where a steel door can typically only be painted, fiberglass doors offer the option for both painting and staining, so they can be made to look virtually indistinguishable from natural wood. Fiberglass doors also offer more options for including glass features, including decorative glass.
Unlike comparable wood doors, fiberglass doors won’t warp, shrink, split, or delaminate. Fiberglass is also very resilient to moisture, so these doors are ideal for particularly humid or harsh climates. The only real threat to fiberglass is a crack from forceful impact. But in general, fiberglass is a very long-lasting material, and fiberglass entry doors usually come with some of the best available warranties.
Fiberglass doors require the least amount of maintenance among common entry door material choices. They resist denting and scratching better than steel doors, as well. About the only regular maintenance you’ll need to do with a fiberglass entry door is to wipe it down it every so often. Down the road, you can also choose to refinish a fiberglass door, too. Just know that fiberglass finishing isn’t a typical DIY project, and is probably a task better left to a qualified professional.
Another positive to fiberglass doors is the fact that they’re specifically engineered to be very energy-efficient. Not only is fiberglass a good insulator itself, but the door core is filled with a layer of effective insulating material as well. As long as the weatherstripping and seals are maintained, a fiberglass door is hard to beat in terms of energy efficiency.
Modern fiberglass entry doors are manufactured to offer as good or better security value than most typical wood entry doors. If door security is one of the highest ranking factors on your door selection list, though, a steel entry door is still your best solution in terms of security and home protection value.
One potential negative feature about fiberglass entry doors is the cost. Fiberglass doors are comparable to natural wood doors in price, and can even cost more, depending upon the design features and customizations you choose. And fiberglass doors are significantly more expensive than steel doors. Even so, a fiberglass entry door is a sound investment to make, and offers some of the best ROI of any entry door material available.
So, what’s the best entry door for you? The answer will really depend upon what your preferences are in terms of looks, features, and performance, as well as your available budget for door replacement. But the good news is that you’ve got plenty of good options available. And the even better news is that if you’re in NC or VA, Skywalker Windows & Siding features & installs only the best exterior door products, including ProVia entry doors, along with an assortment of entry door, patio door, and storm door products from both Pella and West Window Corporation.
And Skywalker can help you with more than just exterior doors, too. We also provide windows, siding, & gutter installation, porch/deck additions, and blown insulation services. And our sister Skywalker Roofing team offers the best roof installation and replacement services in NC & VA! Connect with us today, and experience the Skywalker difference for yourself!
Luke Wilson started working on roofs with his dad when he was a teenager, and eventually launched Skywalker Roofing in 2003. Skywalker operates in 5 locations across NC & VA, and now includes windows, siding, and other exterior services. Luke also hosts the popular Roofing Mythbusters series on YouTube.
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