Like a sentry, your front door stands at attention performing its duty day after day from year to year. If your door is showing signs of wear and tear or you would like to take your entrance from non-descript to simply spectacular, maybe it’s time to replace your old door with a newer model. This Old House gives us a run-down of the top material choices you have for your front door.
Wood. Wood is the most common material for doors. The category of wood contains everything from stock wood doors to solid wood doors. Some of the more common types of wood used for doors include oak, pine, mahogany, cherry, fir, maple and walnut. Stock wood doors are often an outer veneer of wood with the inner part of the door being made of engineered wood. These are the cheapest of the wood doors. Solid wood doors are much more expensive. Plan on a couple thousand dollars to get a pre-hung door in its frame and all the accessories. Solid wood doors have thicker panels and more intricate detailing than stock wood doors do.
Steel doors. If your main concern is durability and security, than a steel door is the way to go. Steel does not have the problems with warping and cracking that wood doors have, and any dents they may get can be repaired. Steel doors have an inner frame made of either wood or steel and are filled with foam for insulation. The lower end steel doors are generally cheaper than the stock wood doors, but the higher end models can get pricey.
Fiberglass-composite doors. These types of doors are known for their resistance to humid or harsh climates, their durability and the fact that they don’t require any maintenance. Their outer shell looks like wood, while the inner part is wood fill with foam insulation. The doors themselves are economical, but, again, to get all the required accessories puts the price on par with wood and steel doors.
Aluminum doors. Aluminum doors are similar to steel doors in that they have a foam insulation in the middle with a metal outer frame. These doors, however, must be purchased through dealers and are custom built to your opening. They require no maintenance and many carry long warranties. They can be fairly pricey. You may want to discuss your door install with a general contractor for advice or help with the installation.
Taking the time to weigh your options for your new door install just makes sense. You want something that gives a finishing touch to and accents your house, while still being sturdy enough to protect your and your family.