Your exterior door plays an important role in your home for many reasons. It sets a design standard that shapes the aesthetic of your entire exterior. An exterior door welcomes guests and keeps unwelcome visitors out. The material you choose will affect the performance of your home as well, so finding the right exterior door is slightly more complicated than just choosing what looks good. There are four main materials used in exterior door construction, and each has different benefits.
Choosing the right material for your new exterior door starts with looking at your existing door. Does it get the hottest sun of the day? If so, avoiding glass panels is a good choice. Is it starting to rot from getting hit by inclement weather day after day in the winter? You may need to consider a non-wooden option, and while you’re at it, check the door frame for any signs that might need replacing too.
Because exterior doors are the entry point to your home and the barrier that keeps your home safe from the outdoor environment, quality matters, and there is a variation in cost across materials used. Still, good advice is to consider the quality rather than the price point. Don’t worry, though; high quality no longer means high pricing. There are a lot of affordable, high-quality options available in today’s market.
Steel doors are the most affordable option available and are stronger than both wood and fiberglass. Steel doors are usually part of a pre-hung system, so if you have an existing frame, your builder must match up the hinges to hang the door. One of the benefits of steel doors is the lack of cracking or warping. Still, they need periodic repainting due to the polyester finish that chips over time, particularly in high-humidity areas.
Wood doors are the most common type of exterior door, but they also require the most maintenance. Solid wood doors can be expensive, but the timeless style of a handcrafted mahogany or walnut door cannot be matched by other materials. Wood requires repainting fairly frequently and varies widely in quality so take care to look for the thickness of panels and the intricacy of molding and carving features.
When you are looking for an affordable, durable option, fiberglass doors may be the solution. Fiberglass is great for harsh or humid climates and doesn’t require regular repainting, so it is generally considered a low-cost, low-maintenance option. Designs vary but can include imitation wood designs and are insulated with foam to avoid heat loss through the door. Because they are low cost, fiberglass can be a good option if you like to redecorate frequently.
Aluminum doors are a more expensive, low-maintenance option that almost always comes with a 20-year warranty. Part of the reason these are a more expensive option is that they are made to order, meaning you will need to talk to your builder if aluminum is your choice. With an insulated core and an enamel finish, these doors never rust or need repainting, so a one-time investment can last you and your home a long time.
Buying an exterior door can feel like a big decision. After all, first impressions matter and your exterior door is often the first impression guests will get of your home. Choosing the right material for your door is imperative. If you’re unlikely to maintain the door, choose a material that requires little or no maintenance. If you want something high quality, look for the right material that gives you function and a classy design. Whatever you decide, at Colorado Classic Exteriors, we can help you source the right door for you and take pride in installing it perfectly.