Whether you’re planning to stay in your home for years to come or you’re thinking of putting your home on the market, replacing your home’s front door is a great way to improve your home. Your front door is a very important part of your home. It’s one of the first things people see when they visit your home, so your front door is an opportunity to reflect your home’s style and personality. If you’re selling your home, replacing your entry door typically has a great return on investment, according to the 2016 Cost vs. Value report. But since your door is exposed to the elements, you need to find a type of door that’s both decorative and durable. And of course, you have to remember that your door doesn’t just impact the appearance of your home, it also makes a difference in your home’s security and energy efficiency.
If you’re in the market for a new front door, there are three main types of materials to choose from:
For a timeless and luxurious look, it’s hard to top wood doors. Wood doors look great with many different styles of decor and architecture, so you’ll have an easy time finding one that will look great on your home. Unfortunately, wood doors are also the most expensive type of entry door available. Wood doors can also warp or swell in humid conditions and require the most maintenance to stay in good shape. However, there are doors made with a wood veneer over an engineered-wood core which can help you save money and avoid the inconveniences and maintenance that comes with solid wood doors. If you’re interested in one of these types of doors, This Old House recommends looking for a door with a furniture-grade veneer at least 1/16th of an inch thick.
According to Consumer Reports, steel doors account for about half of the entry door market and it’s pretty easy to understand why. They’re pretty affordable and don’t require much maintenance. They may need to be repainted occasionally and if a steel door gets dented or scratched, it can be repaired. Since steel can rust, steel doors don’t typically hold up as long as wood or fiberglass doors, but they do offer great durability and security at an affordable price.
As far as price goes, fiberglass doors fall somewhere between wood and steel doors. They’re very durable and are virtually maintenance free. Some styles of fiberglass doors even replicate the look of real wood, so they’re another option if you like the look of wood doors but can’t afford solid wood doors and want less maintenance. And while fiberglass doors feel lightweight, they’re very strong.
Which material you want your new door to be made out of is just one choice you’ll have to make. If you’re interested in making your home more energy efficient, you’ll want to look for a door with a low U-factor, solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC), and air leakage rating. As far as appearance goes, look for a door that suits the architectural style of your home and reflects your own personal style.