When I decided to change the door in my home, I asked a few friends about what is the best material for the front door I can use. Plus, I read dozens of articles about the subject before making a final decision. Basically, the primary criteria for this are your taste, your current needs, and the budget you have at your disposal for this project.
In most cases, you can choose between wood, steel, fiberglass, and glass, but there are many more options these days. I like the combination of several materials, but the final choice should always depend on a few crucial issues, including visual appeal, insulation, and security. Pick out the best front door you will be proud of and enjoy!
Best Material for a Front Door
Nowadays, you can choose among numerous materials when you decide to purchase a new front door for your home. Let’s see the available options.
The best material for the front door
|excellent (when maintenance regularly)||good||very good||very good|
|Efficiency||excellent (worsen over time)||very good||good|
|medium to high||low||low|
Wood is a traditional choice for the front door, usually made of mahogany, pine, maple, fir, or oak. This material is also highly popular these days since you can order a customized model of desired style, size, and shape.
Another advantage is the possibility of personalizing the door with decorative glass accents, ornaments, or sidelights. Although wooden models are an attractive, eco-friendly, and secure option, they are quite expensive.
Wood also requires regular maintenance since this material is prone to warping, rotting, and fading over time. So, you will need to take care of your door, replace it from time to time, or pick out a less expensive solid-core wooden veneer that is less prone to decay.
This material offers the ultimate look of wood in combination with durability, resistance, low maintenance, and high energy efficiency. You can choose between a variety of colors, textures, and style options.
Thanks to an insulated core, you will get additional protection from adverse weather. Keep in mind that more expensive models will save you money in the long run. On the other hand, low-quality fiberglass doors may crack in winter or under the hard impact and fade in summer.
PVC doors have become quite a popular option recently. It is a lightweight, energy-efficient, durable, and cheap material that requires low maintenance. Since it is resistant to rust and moisture and recyclable, it is an ideal option for contemporary homes.
PVC has excellent insulation properties, so such a door can higher the energy efficiency of your home. The downside of this material is the lack of styles and colors compared to the other frames.
It is also complicated to install new hardware since vinyl cracks under more substantial pressure or impact. Once cracks occur, it is almost impossible to repair it.
By picking out a steel front door, you will get one of the safest, most reliable, and most attractive options. Modern models are energy-efficient thanks to insulated foam between two steel panels. Plus, these doors are inexpensive, stylish, and available in various colors.
Unfortunately, once you damage steel, the reparation will be hard, and you will probably need to replace the entire front door. On the other hand, you can solve the problem with scratches and rust with regular painting. Keep in mind that steel doors won’t perfectly fit every existing frame, so you need to spend more money on the adequate one.
5. Wrought iron
The door made of wrought iron is a durable, attractive, customizable, and ultimate safe option for your home. High-grade features of this material make this door sturdy, which means that it is highly difficult to damage it over time.
Also, it is practically impossible to penetrate this door with force, fire, or water. It will protect you home from strong winds and keep it warm during adverse weather conditions.
Ironworkers hand forges these doors and beat the material into the desired shape, which makes them more durable than those mechanically created of steel. Unfortunately, you should count on the high price since this door is a sign of prestige.
More and more people purchase aluminum front door because of its durability, moisture-resistance, and strength. It doesn’t require much maintenance and won’t rust. Most manufacturers offer doors made of this inexpensive but convenient material for patio door frames and storm doors.
The primary disadvantage of this material is the occurrence of ugly water stains. Plus, any damage to the surface layer will affect the aesthetic appearance of the door. They don’t have insulating properties and are not cheap, but most people can afford them.
Keep in mind that an aluminum front door is an excellent option if you look for the material with a long-lasting warranty.
You can install a front door made of solid glass if you live in a region with warm temperatures and a mild climate. This option will offer an excellent view and a lot of natural light inside your home.
On the other side, it will be a disadvantage if you are an introvert and don’t like it when other people peek inside your home. An excellent thing connected with this type of material is the possibility of numerous combinations you can pick out. So, you can get the view and enough privacy by incorporating a glass panel in wood, steel, or fiberglass.
Keep in mind that these glass inserts look stylish and attractive, but raise the price of the chosen door. Plus, you probably need to mount a double-cylinder deadbolt lock to prevent burglary. In the end, be prepared that glass is not an excellent insulator except you want to pay more for double- or triple-panel glass.
This type of door is the newest one on the market. You can find those made in a combination of several materials, such as PVC, glass-reinforced plastic, insulating foam, or wood. That makes them strong, durable, and secure.
The secret of their quality is in a selective combination of the best features of each material. Thanks to a foam core, these doors offer excellent insulation. The attractive wooden effect is aesthetically pleasing, plus they won’t lose color, fade, and warp.
Also, this front door won’t require too much maintenance. The primary disadvantage of this choice is the price, but you can expect that these doors will become cheaper over time.
Door Shopping Tips
Regardless of whether you decide to purchase your new front door at a local store or online, it is an excellent idea to check available models on the Net first. That research will save you time, and you will get an idea of what you actually want.
Most manufacturer sites offer catalogs, which will help you pick out the best material for your home and the nearest local retailer’s address. So, you can go to this particular store to check what the door you want looks like in reality.
This particular feature will depend on the material you choose to fulfill your needs. For example, if you live in a cold area, you should consider buying a door made of a material that is an excellent insulator, such as steel or fiberglass.
The fact is that their insulating value is far better than the one a wooden or aluminum door can provide. Always choose adequately tested and certified doors with energy-efficient cores and tight-fitting frames.
If you want to install a model with glass, you should find the one with double- or triple-panel insulating glass. That way, you will get the door that can reduce heat transfer and save you money in the long run by decreasing electricity bills.
Once you decide to replace your old front door, you need to find the new one of the same sizes. Only that way you can quickly replace it on your own.
Otherwise, you will need to ask for professional help, especially when your new door is more extensive, which requires breaking the part of the wall. Luckily, most home centers offer installation within their offer.
One of the best ways to deter burglaries from breaking inside your home is to mount a quality door lock. There is no too much difference in the strength of various door materials. In fact, the doorjamb is the part that splits near the lock’s strike plate.
So, you can increase a kick-in resistance of your front door by:
- Improving quality locks and strike plates
- Using a lock with a 1 inch (2.5 cm) long deadbolt
- Using a reinforced metal box strike
- Lodging 3 inches (7.6 cm) long mounting screws in the frame
Don’t forget to secure the door that connects the garage with your home.
Once you decide to purchase a new front door, you should consult a door expert about the best options available. What material type will most suit your door will depend on the region you live in, weather conditions, the security of your neighborhood, and the style you prefer.