Front doors or exterior doors are the ones that lead you inside a home, office, or building. A front door has to bear the effects of extreme climate and conditions.
For this reason, they are prone to degrade much more quickly as compared to interior doors if they are not of a good quality. When choosing a front door, you have to consider some factors which are described below:
- A front door should be strong and sturdy to be able to withstand extreme conditions.
- It should be heat and noise resistant.
- It should be durable.
- It should be strong enough from a safety point-of-view as well so as to prevent any criminal from breaking into your home.
- Cost, design, style, and aesthetics are also some factors which should be considered.
Based on the above mentioned factors, there are a few types of front doors each with its own pros and cons. You will have to evaluate and weigh them to choose the one which best suits you. Some of these types of front doors are described below.
Wood Front Doors
A wooden door is usually the first choice for anyone who wants to have a new front door installed because of the diversity that it offers. It can be combined with glass, fiberglass, and metal to make different designs and styles according to your preferences. The pros and cons of wooden doors are discussed below:
- A wood door offers strength and durability owing to a solid wood core.
- It offers good insulation from sound and heat.
- A wooden door has a classic attractiveness which is depicted through the wood grain.
- It is available in a number of wood shades and patterns. You have the option to choose from a wide variety of tones ranging from ash wood to traditional oak to mahogany.
- You have the option of either maintaining the wood grain effect by finishing with a stain touch or choose a different color by painting the door.
- It offers great customization as it can be embedded with other different materials to create new designs.
- Wood can also be custom cut and adjusted to fit any opening so it doesn’t matter even if you do not have a standard-size, door opening.
- Wood doors require more maintenance and care over the course of time.
- After insulation, they have to be sealed immediately otherwise they have the tendency to absorb moisture. This can lead to the wood swelling or warping with time.
- This sealing has to be repeated every few years.
- Wood is also prone to chipping and fading as time passes. It will then have to repainted or repaired.
- Because of the heavy weight of wooden doors, they can sag over time which would require regular maintenance.
Fiberglass Front Doors
Fiberglass is a relatively newer material of construction that offers greater durability as well as creative designs and colors. Its pros and cons are listed below:
- One of the biggest advantages of fiberglass doors is its durability. It does not warp, rot, swell, or fade with time.
- Fiberglass offers great versatility as it is available in various designs, colors, and finishes. It can even be painted to give the look of a wooden door.
- Fiberglass offers great insulation from extreme weather and noise.
- Fiberglass doors are quite resistant providing you with great safety and security.
- One of the disadvantages of a fiberglass door is that it cannot be custom-cut to fit a smaller door opening. If your door opening is not of a standard size, you will not be able to cut a fiberglass door to fit that opening.
- Because of its durability and versatility, it is a bit expensive when compared to other construction materials (excluding pure oak or mahogany wood). However, they can prove to be cost effective in the long run because of their durability and low maintenance costs.
- Fiberglass doors are not as easy to install as other kinds of doors. The installation process is somewhat difficult which would require a professional’s help.
Steel Front Doors
Steel front doors are a good choice if security and insulation are your top choosing factors. However, steel doors too come with their own set of pros and cons which must be evaluated before making a final decision.
- Steel doors are the strongest and sturdiest of all the different types of door materials available.
- Steel doors are also available in a variety of designs and styles offering an elegant and stylish outlook.
- They offer great insulation if proper insulation foams are used during installation.
- Steel doors are able to keep the heat or cold inside for longer periods, thus resulting in greater energy efficiency.
- Steel doors cannot swell or warp due to moist and humid conditions.
- Steel doors are also less expensive as compared to wooden and fiberglass doors.
- Steel doors require minimum maintenance over the years.
- A steel door cannot be stained to achieve the look of a wood door.
- Steel doors can easily be scratched or dented. A dent is quite difficult to repair which may mean that you will have to replace the entire door.
- A steel door can rust or corrode in humid weather conditions.
- A steel door can itself become quite hot or cold depending on the weather which may be inconvenient to touch.
PVC or Aluminum Front Doors
PVC or aluminum doors may also be a choice when you are looking for an exterior door. Although a bit unconventional, but they maybe something which you might be looking for. Their advantages and disadvantages are listed below:
- PVC and aluminum doors are extremely weather resistant. They do not rot, warp, or swell in humid and moist environments. Even in extreme climates, these doors are not damaged or affected negatively.
- Because these kinds of doors do not deteriorate over time, they require minimum maintenance.
- PVC is extremely environment friendly. When you want to change the door, you can simply dispose it off and it will be recycled.
- It is quite durable and will last you a lifetime.
- PVC and aluminum doors are natural fire retardants.
- These doors are relatively cheaper as compared to wooden or fiberglass doors.
- PVC and aluminum doors do not give a very classy or sophisticated look.
- Although durable, they are not as strong and can easily be broken into with some force.
- These doors come in very limited styles and designs which leaves minimum room for customisation according to your requirements.
- With time, they can fade and chip which would require some form of repair and maintenance.
- These doors are available in a limited number of colors. They cannot be painted in a color of your choice and you will have to select from the limited set of colors that they come in.
So these are some of the types of doors that you can choose from when selecting a front door. Each has a different cost, aesthetics, finishing, and other qualities.
When trying to make a decision, you should prioritise your requirements and then evaluate which of these types of door best meets those requirements. Then, it would be much easier for you to short-list the doors and finally choose the one which you like the best!