Choosing An Entry Door
If you are looking for a new exterior door, there are a number of options in terms of materials, styles and price points. Exterior doors are made from wood, steel and fiberglass/composites.
Wood doors have always been the bellweather of natural beauty and performance. The drawback to wood is they are not necessarily as energy efficient as insulated steel or fiberglass products. Wood is also prone to movement, which can cause swelling in humid weather and a loose fit in the dryer heating season. In recent years, however, wood door manufacturers have taken steps to improve the stability and performance of their doors. Now many wood doors offer both the detailing and design of traditional wood doors and the engineering of the man-made, more densely insulated products. Pricing for wood doors depends largely on the wood species and detailing.
Steel doors have been manufactured for years and perform well as utility doors such as back doors or basement doors. They have a stamped panel layout, which tends to not have the crisp edges and traditional design of wood. Steel doors are generally well-insulated and economical, however, lack some of the detailing available in wood and composite products.
Fiberglass doors are the relative newcomer to the door product market and they offer a lot of pleasing benefits which bridge the gap between wood and steel. Fiberglass doors are manufactured with an insulated core so they are very energy efficient.
Unlike wood doors, which are assembled with stile and rail components, fiberglass doors are made from one exterior and one interior “skin” which is bonded to a perimeter rail. This results in a uniform, stable door panel, which resists twisting, warping, cracking and checking. The fiberglass skin comes either with a woodgrain texture which will accept a stain or a smooth surface for a paint finish. Add a myriad of insulated decorative glass options and you have a door for every style! Fiberglass doors offer a wide array or pricing options, largely driven by detailing and glass options.