What Type of Front Door Material Is Right for Your House?

Wood, fiberglass, steel or solid glass—there are a variety of options to suit your preference, your style and your budget when it comes to choosing an exterior door.

So, you’re wondering what type of front door material is the perfect choice for your home. You’re not alone. The number of styles and options leave much to your personal taste, but you can narrow down the material choices for exterior doors into four main categories: wood, fiberglass, steel and glass. Read these basics on each of the options before shopping for your next entry door. 


Exterior doors made from wood are a popular choice — particularly because they can be customized to your size, shape, and style preferences. What’s more wood front doors are also easy to personalize with decorative glass accents, transoms, or side lights. One thing to note, however, is that over time, wood can naturally warp due to the elements of the outdoors. This may result in a break in the door’s air-sealing capabilities. Keep this in mind, knowing that you may have to replace exterior wood doors more frequently than those made from fiberglass or steel. 


If you want the look of wood with a bit more durability, consider a fiberglass entry door. These doors can be stained in a variety of colors to give you the same beautiful look of traditional wood. They can also be ordered in numerous hues or painted in any color of your choice. As noted, they are more durable than traditional wooden doors and generally stand up against small dents and nicks. Fiberglass entry doors also have an insulated core, which offers additional protection from the elements. When it comes to cost they may be slightly more expensive than wood options; however, their long-term energy savings may be enough to pay you back down the road. 


If you choose a steel front door, know that you are potentially choosing one of the safest options in terms of intrusions. Metal entry doors have insulated foam with a steel panel on either side. However, while this may make them extremely strong and help to keep cool winds from creeping into your home, if the door does get a dent it can be hard to repair and will likely not pop out of the material. This may result in the need to replace the entire steel entry door. 


Finally, you may choose the option of a solid glass front door for your home’s entry. Glass exterior doors can have a number of pros — perhaps most notably the view you will have from indoors and the amount of natural light they allow into your space. On the flip side, these can also be seen as cons depending on your personal preferences; along with the natural light that streams inside, you may also be bringing in cold air at the cracks of door and the view of the outdoors that you enjoy may also give neighbors a peek at what’s going on inside the home. If these factors concern you, choose a wood, fiberglass or steel door that has the option to install glass sidelights or transoms. You could also pair a glass exterior door on the front of your home with one of these three other options for the best of the both worlds.

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