3 Common Materials For Exterior Door Replacement

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A home’s facade is often defined by its entryway, and central to that is the material you choose for your front or exterior door. Across the centuries, wood has remained a beloved classic, imbued with timeless beauty and rich versatility. Yet, as we navigate the modern era, innovative materials like versatile fiberglass and durable steel have risen in prominence, each bringing advantages and challenges.

Whether you prioritize aesthetics, strength, or maintenance, understanding the nuances of each material, wood, steel, and fiberglass, is crucial in selecting the exterior door that elevates your home’s appearance and meets your practical needs.

Fiberglass Exterior Doors

Fiberglass exterior door

Fiberglass exterior doors combine the natural beauty of wooden doors without the demanding care, making fiberglass doors both functional and stylish. Available in a broad palette of colors, matching your home’s style is a breeze.

Benefits of Fiberglass Exterior Doors

  • Strength and Longevity – Fiberglass doors are built to withstand everyday wear and tear. They stand up to bumps, scratches, and even the playful antics of kids or pets to remain in top condition.
  • All-Weather Friendly – Be it rain, scorching heat, or high humidity, fiberglass doors remain undeterred. They won’t twist, decay, or expand, providing lasting performance no matter the weather.
  • Hassle-Free Care – Forget about regular painting, staining, or sealing. Fiberglass doors retain their pristine look with little to no upkeep.
  • Keeps Your Home Cozy –  These doors are champions in energy efficiency. Designed with insulating properties, they ensure your home stays warm in the winter and cool during summer, cutting down on energy bills.

When it comes to energy efficiency, fiberglass doors are top contenders. Many are fortified with polyurethane insulation, offering stellar defense against external elements. They reduce temperature flux, ensuring your home’s interior remains cool and comfortable. To put it in perspective, a typical fiberglass door insulates up to five times better than its wooden counterpart!

Steel Exterior Doors

steel exterior door

Steel exterior doors are widely recognized for their unmatched resilience. When we think of steel, we imagine strength, and that’s precisely what a steel door offers. Unlike some metal alternatives, such as aluminum, which might deform under pressure, steel doors consistently rank high in security tests. It’s little surprise they’re the top pick for institutions like government buildings, schools, and safety-conscious homeowners.

Benefits of Steel Exterior Doors

  • Fire Protection – Steel doors excel in their fire-resistance capabilities. They can endure high temperatures, helping to confine fires and granting precious evacuation time.
  • Aesthetic Flexibility – Far from being limited to plain, industrial designs, steel doors come in various styles, designs, and finishes. Whether you’re after decorative glass patterns or specific panel designs, steel doors can be tailored to match your home’s character.
  • Built to Last – Durability is a hallmark of steel doors. Designed for prolonged use, they resist everyday wear and tear better than many other door materials, promising longevity.
  • Peace and Quiet – Enjoy a tranquil indoor ambiance. Steel doors are excellent noise insulators, helping to mute external disturbances and ensure a serene indoor environment.

Now, you might picture steel doors as bland, gray barriers reminiscent of old-school institutional doors. But modern residential steel doors can easily rival the aesthetics of wood or fiberglass doors. Some steel exterior doors even replicate woodgrain finishes, complete with grooves, and can be personalized in a spectrum of colors to align with your home’s facade. While they might slightly lag behind fiberglass doors in energy efficiency, they surpass wooden doors due to their insulated cores. 

Wood Exterior Doors

Wood exterior door

For ages, wood has been the go-to material for exterior doors. Their popularity is unwavering despite the rise of modern alternatives like fiberglass and steel. For many, the allure lies in wood’s authentic charm. With many wood types available, wooden doors exude a grandeur that modern counterparts often struggle to replicate. Their substantial feel, the desire to maintain historical authenticity, or the belief that natural materials carry an inherent luxury keeps homeowners returning to wood.

However, wood doors have certain drawbacks compared to fiberglass and steel doors.

Pros and Cons of Wood Exterior Doors

  • Unmatched Elegance – Wooden doors radiate a classic, warm beauty. Their distinct grain and rich colors can elevate your home’s facade.
  • Design Versatility – One of wood’s strengths is its adaptability. Wooden doors can be tailored to your taste, whether you want a particular stain, a fresh coat of paint, or a specific varnish.
  • Upkeep Requirements – Wooden doors demand regular care to look their best. This might mean periodic sealing, staining, or painting to combat potential issues like warping or decay.
  • Weather Sensitivity – Wood is more vulnerable to the whims of the weather. Elements like moisture, temperature swings, and humidity can take a toll, leading to warping, swelling, or gradual wear.

Wood exterior doors are typically more expensive than fiberglass and steel doors and usually require the most maintenance, which is probably why they’re the least popular of the three options.  Some see the periodic need for a repaint not as a chore but as a chance to rejuvenate their home’s exterior with a fresh hue.

Schedule Your Exterior Door Consultation Today!

Still trying to decide which kind of exterior door is right for your home? Contact the home improvement professionals at AAA Screen & Window Co. to learn more about the features and benefits of fiberglass, steel, and wooden exterior doors!

FAQ About Exterior Door Replacement

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The “best” material often depends on your specific needs. If you value aesthetics and natural beauty, wood might be your top choice. If strength and security are a priority, steel could be the ideal material. For a balance of appearance and durability, fiberglass is a strong contender.

Steel doors typically come at a lower initial cost compared to wood and fiberglass. However, it’s essential to consider long-term maintenance and potential replacement costs when determining overall affordability.

While wood has historically been a popular choice for its classic appeal, modern trends see a rise in the use of fiberglass and steel due to their durability, low maintenance, and variety in design options.

The three most common materials for exterior doors are wood, steel, and fiberglass. Each offers unique advantages and potential drawbacks based on aesthetics, durability, and maintenance requirements.

For wood doors, polyurethane sealants or exterior-grade varnishes are among the most durable finishes, offering protection from the elements. Fiberglass and steel doors often benefit from factory-applied finishes designed specifically for durability and longevity.

While deals and discounts can pop up throughout the year, many homeowners find that late spring and early fall are ideal times. These periods often see home improvement sales, and the moderate weather is conducive to installation.