- Home Improvement
Best Exterior Doors: Types of Front Entry Door
Choosing the best exterior doors for your home involves taking into account a number of important factors, balancing budget, security and style. A good front entry door will protect your home from criminals while adding elegance and value, especially if augmented by complementary door furnishings. A well-selected door can add an individual touch, making your home stand out and creating a great first impression.
Depending upon your exact needs, you can select from a number of types; the traditional elegance of wood; the extra security of steel; versatile aluminum; or cost-effective fiberglass and vinyl. All of these front entry door types have their own unique strengths and weaknesses, and you will be able to find the best exterior doors for your home, quickly and easily.
Wood Exterior Doors
Wood Entry Doors
In terms of elegance and style, nothing can beat the traditional wood entry doors, which are available in a huge range of finishes and styles, from traditional Victorian to minimalist contemporary. Stains, varnishes and paints can enhance the beauty of wood and help you augment your external architectural theme perfectly. They are easily to customize with carefully selected door fittings, decorative glass, doorknockers, and doorknobs, developing a delightful theme to welcome visitors to your home.
Wooden exterior doors are easily available, and can be easily made to order, fitting any size doorframe. However, wooden entry doors also carry a number of disadvantages. Firstly, they are very susceptible to adverse climates, and damp conditions can cause the wood to rot if they are not painted or varnished annually.
Conversely, hot climates often cause the door to expand and warp, causing the door to stick in the summer and shrink in the winter, leaving gaps that will compromise the efficiency of your insulation and central heating. Wooden doors are usually sturdily constructed, but can be kicked in or forced open; as a result, they are not the best option in areas where security is of paramount importance.
Steel Entry Doors
Steel entry doors are a great option where security and durability are your primary concerns, deterring criminals and resisting anything that the elements can throw at your home, even a harsh Canadian winter or a Florida hurricane. They will not warp, crack, or chip, and steel exterior doors are easily the best option where fireproofing is important. Considering the long lifespan of these doors, they are extremely cost effective and will protect your home or business for many years.
The main drawback of steel entry doors is the appearance; while they are available in a huge range of colors, including imitation wood grain, and can be fitted with decorative glass and door fittings, they cannot match the elegance of traditional wood. The other disadvantages are the sheer weight, the difficulty of fitting door adornments, and the poor insulation qualities; I find that in the Greek summer, these doors radiate heat inside your home.
Fiberglass Doors and Aluminum Storm Doors
Fiberglass Exterior Doors
As a good compromise between budget, insulation, security, and aesthetics, the fiberglass exterior door is an excellent choice. Fiberglass doors look almost as good as wooden doors, and they will not crack, warp, swell, rot or peel, and fiberglass doors are up to three times stronger than their wooden counterparts. Fiberglass entry doors are also resistant to attack by insects and microorganisms, without the need for constant maintenance.
Fiberglass exterior doors are usually molded to imitate the texture of wood grain, and they can usually be finished and stained in the same way. The extra security, durability, and superb insulation make fiberglass doors a great all-round option, but they are also the most expensive option, costing up to five times more than a steel door.
Vinyl Entry Doors
Vinyl entry doors are a decent budget option, covering all of the basics and providing security and durability at the expense of style. uPVC exterior doors are resistant to rotting in wet, damp climates, and they provide excellent insulation against heat and noise.
Vinyl doors are possibly the ugliest option, and they are difficult to individualize with door embellishments. Finally, uPVC is degraded by strong sunlight, which will discolor your door and eventually cause it to crack and crumble, one of the reasons why this type is rarely used in hot climates. uPVC external doors are an extremely cheap option, but this has to be weighed against the distinct disadvantages.
Aluminum Exterior Doors
Aluminum exterior doors are growing in popularity, as a reasonably priced alternative to the other types. They share many of the characteristics of steel doors, but are more resistant to corrosion and rusting. Aluminum is the most common material used for making sturdy storm doors, which fit outside your regular external door and protect it from damage by storms and adverse weather.
Aluminum external doors are much lighter than steel doors, although they are much more prone to denting and physical damage, especially around the corners of the door, because aluminum welds are much weaker than steel welds. Aluminum entry doors are expensive, and they suffer from the problem of poor heat insulation.
Best Exterior Doors: Types of Front Entry Door
Balancing the various factors that go into finding the best exterior doors for your home can be tough, and you should avoid using price as the only factor. From the added security of steel or aluminum doors, the insulating qualities of fiberglass and vinyl, or the timeless elegance of wood, you can find the perfect front entry door for your home.
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