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Exterior Doors – Guide to Buying the Best Exterior Door

Updated on May 3, 2012

Exterior doors are the most important feature of any home and business premises, the first part of your premises that visitors will encounter. To generate a positive first impression, you should select exterior doors that are elegant and stylish, even under the worst weather conditions. A well maintained, modern exterior door speaks highly of your professionalism and pride, so it is important to spend your money wisely.

Aesthetic appearance is not the only important factor determining the best exterior door for your needs, because high security and budget are equally important. Exterior doors must be able to withstand the attentions of determined criminals, protecting your premises, possessions and family from harm. Exterior doors are available in huge range of materials, styles and colors, all with their own inherent advantages and disadvantages.

Wooden Exterior Doors – Traditional Beauty

Wooden exterior doors are still one of the most popular types, providing a good blend of strength and elegance. Wooden doors are available at a relatively affordable price, depending upon the type and quality of wood used. Wood is certainly the most beautiful option, but wooden exterior doors do have some disadvantages. Wood must be treated regularly, with preservative, paint or varnish, to protect it from the ravages of wind and rain. Neglecting this will cause rotting, and you will need to replace the door after just a few short years.

Wooden doors are very reasonably priced, but going for the cheapest option is false economy, because low quality wood has the tendency to expand in the heat and contract in the cold. This eventually leads to the door sticking and jamming in the summer heat, yet leaving huge gaps in the winter, allowing cold draughts to bypass the insulation.

Good quality wooden exterior doors are constructed from pressure treated timber, containing preservative to make the wood weather resistant for many years. The other downside of wooden doors is the security aspect: Whilst they are strong enough to deter most criminals, determined thieves can force their way in, by breaking the door or the frame.

Steel Exterior Doors – The High Security Door

Where security is the overriding concern, steel exterior doors are an excellent option, traditionally consisting of a steel skin covering the outside of a sturdy wooden frame. Steel exterior doors are expensive, and the extra weight requires an exceptionally strong doorframe, which requires a specialist contractor to fit. Modern variants of the steel door now use stainless stell to create a beautiful door inlaid with glass and intricate details.

Steel exterior doors are extremely resistant to adverse and rough treatment, making them a good option for industrial premises – often; the saving on insurance premiums soon pays for the installation. Aside from the high price, steel doors are not particularly attractive and are very difficult to modify. If you want to fit doorknobs, doorknockers or locks, drilling and cutting the toughened steel is not easy.

UPVC Exterior Doors – Secure and Reasonably Priced

Many modern buildings, especially those with uPVC double-glazing installed, incorporate an exterior door constructed from the same material. This material is durable and strong, and most uPVC exterior doors possess intricate internal locking mechanisms, which engage bolts at the top and bottom of the door. These security bolts ensure that the door is virtually unbreakable when the locks are engaged. UPVC exterior doors are reasonably priced, and are the best choice for energy efficient homes; their tight fit and insulated internal structure allow little heat to escape.

The main disadvantage of uPVC exterior doors is that they can be extremely unattractive, especially if the uPVC discolors with time. The other potential problem is that uPVC breaks down in strong, direct sunlight, and the door will become brittle and crack, if it is not protected.

Aluminum Exterior Doors – A Good Compromise

Aluminum exterior doors are an excellent compromise, combining the advantages of the other types whilst providing fewer disadvantages. Aluminum is a lightweight and functional alternative, combining elegance and practicality. Aluminum doors are painted or powder coated, giving an attractive finish, and aluminum is immune to extremes of weather.

Aluminium exterior doors combine the high security of steel with the internal sliding bolt mechanisms of uPVC doors. Aluminum doors also contain integral insulation, providing excellent energy efficiency, and aluminum is easier to work than steel if accessories are needed. Aluminum exterior doors are an excellent general-purpose door, blending reasonable price and practically. The only minor disadvantage is that aluminium exterior doors lack the natural elegance of wooden doors, but this is far outweighed by the numerous benefits.

Conclusion – Finding Exterior Doors

Exterior doors are available in a wide range of styles and finishes, so there will be a door that combines the right blend of budget, appearance and practicality to suit your home or business. Armed with an idea of your requirements, you will be able to find the perfect exterior doors at a local supplier or online.

Exterior Doors

Fiberglass Exterior Doors – Fiberglass Entry Door Pros and Cons – Fiberglass exterior doors are a new addition and they have rapidly grown in popularity. Blending the durability of steel with the elegance of wood, they are a great choice if you are seeking to install a new front door.

Steel Exterior Doors – Steel Entry Door Pros and Cons – Steel doors are still the best option where security is the prime concern, protecting your property and family from harm. This guide explains what to look for in a front entry door.

Find The Best Accordion Doors Online – Accordion doors are a practical solution where floor space is an issue, and they have moved on from the cheap and tacky vinyl accordion doors of yesteryear.

Door Accessories

Home Improvement Guide – Finding the Perfect Exterior Door Handle – Finding the perfect exterior door handle can be a tough chore, especially with the sheer range of options available. This guide shows you how to balance security, elegance, durability and budget to find the perfect entry door handle.

Home Improvement Guide – Best Exterior Door Hardware – This guide shows you how to select a theme for your exterior door hardware, blending durability, security, budget and elegance. Good exterior door hardware can rejuvenate the front of your home, making it stand out.

Find The Best Doors Online

Exterior Doors – Guide to Buying the Best Exterior Door: This article is designed for homeowners wishing to buy a new exterior door, helping them to choose between the various different types. Balancing budget, security and appearance is the key.

Best Exterior Doors: Types of Front Entry Door – This article explains the differences between the various types of front entry door, explaining their advantages and disadvantages. This will allow you to balance budget, security and style, helping you to find the perfect door for your home.


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    • Sufidreamer profile image

      Sufidreamer 7 years ago from Sparti, Greece

      Thanks, Dawn - There are quite a few different types!

      Take care :)

    • dawnM profile image

      Dawn Michael 7 years ago from THOUSAND OAKS

      very informative hub and who knew how many types of exterior doors there were.

    • Sufidreamer profile image

      Sufidreamer 7 years ago from Sparti, Greece

      Thanks for commenting :)

    • profile image

      upvc french doors 7 years ago

      Great article. I would always go for security over syle with mine.

    • Sufidreamer profile image

      Sufidreamer 7 years ago from Sparti, Greece

      Thanks photomaniac - that might be a good topic for another Hub :)

    • profile image

      photomaniac 7 years ago

      Yeah, really great info there! no mention of folding doors though - I'm getting obsessive about them :)

    • Sufidreamer profile image

      Sufidreamer 8 years ago from Sparti, Greece

      Thanks for dropping by, Lgali

    • Lgali profile image

      Lgali 8 years ago

      lot of nice info thanks

    • Sufidreamer profile image

      Sufidreamer 8 years ago from Sparti, Greece

      Hi SEM - Thanks for the kind thoughts and prayers. Greece needs al the help it can get. We are some distance away, and have not been affected by fires this year. I just wrote a Hub about the fires and the devastation caused. Nobody is sure of the extet of the damage yet, but it looks as if many people will need new homes. An absolute tragedy, and we can only hope that no lives are lost.

    • SEM Pro profile image

      SEM Pro 8 years ago from North America

      Just heard on the news that this years wildfires have gotten out of hand with 10,000 evacuated in Athens. Very much hope where you are is not one of the outer islands that might be affected. Your hub is as thorough as usual and many will need it. I suspect the next might be on replacing the entire building? Please let us know what's happening there Sufi - Greece (and especially you) are in our prayers...