The Ultimate Buying Guide for Entry Doors
Often, homeowners think that entry doors are those installed at their homes’ front entrances. Nonetheless, an entry door can also be used on the side or at the back of your home. Since your home’s front entrance commands significant attention, the entry door also needs to be carefully selected.
Most entry doors that you will come across are built to serve the same purpose. However, the materials that they are made of — wood, steel, or fiberglass, have their strengths and weaknesses. For instance, a lowly-priced steel door might be as good as a fiberglass or wood door that costs five times more. Nonetheless, it isn’t the best choice when you factor in wear and tear. Here are some helpful door-to-door shopping tips.
Whether you intend to buy an entry door online or at a store, you’ll save time and money by doing some research. Likewise, it’s advisable to visit a store to get an idea about what you’re buying. From manufacturer sites, you can get helpful information about materials, door installation, and finding local retailers.
Generally, fiberglass and steel doors have more insulating value compared to wood doors. Entry door models that are Energy Star-accredited tend to have tighter-fitting frames and energy-efficient cores. Therefore, they significantly reduce heat transfer, thus enabling you to save energy costs.
Door Installation Needs
Entry doors are sometimes referred to as door systems because they are designed to pre-hang on frames. Unless replacement doors are needed when undertaking a remodeling project, it’s advisable to ensure that the new doors have a similar size as the old ones. Choosing smaller or bigger doors will force you to redo the framing around the door. As a result, you may end up spending more money on your entry doors.
It takes a high-strength door to prevent home invasions and burglaries. Often, crooks gain entry into homes by merely kicking in the doors. Contrary to what you might think, the material used does little to keep you safe. The design of a door and the incorporation of security features such as strike plates and beefed-up locks go a long way in increasing its kick-in resistance.
Types of Entry Doors
Notable manufacturers offer a wide selection of doors built using different materials. Here are some door materials for your consideration.
This is a practical selection for many homeowners. Fiberglass doors tend to either have smooth or embossed wood-grain surfaces. An edge treatment can also make them resemble real wood doors. The main advantage of fiberglass material is its wear and tear resistance.
Fiberglass doors withstand wear and tear better than steel doors. Likewise, they require minimal maintenance, are dent-resistant, and affordable. You can also choose to stain or paint a fiberglass door. On the flip side, a fiberglass door can easily crack under intense impact.
Over half of the doors that you will come across when shopping online or at stores are made from steel. Besides being relatively affordable, steel doors offer the same weather resistance and security that you will get from pricier wood or fiberglass doors. They also require little maintenance. However, it’s hard to fix dents on steel doors. Similarly, scratches can quickly turn into rust if you fail to repaint them promptly.
Wooden doors can provide the high-end look that many homeowners desire. These doors offer the best-in-class wear and tear resistance, besides being the least likely to develop dents. Repairing scratches on wooden doors is relatively easy. Nonetheless, wood doors are expensive, which means that few can afford them. They also require regular varnishing and painting to stay in good condition.
Entry Door Features
Door manufacturers offer a range of options for glass and panel designs, sidelights, grille patterns, and transoms. A door that features an elaborate design will cost more than a plain-looking one. Here are some features to consider when shopping for entry doors.
This feature ensures that your door remains weather-tight at all times. Its absence will force you to incorporate a new sweep at the door’s bottom end to keep out drafts and rain.
Although glass inserts are attractive, they significantly add to the cost of a door. In case you’re buying doors that feature glass close to the knob, ensure that it also has a double-cylinder deadbolt lock. A key is needed to open such locks, whether you are inside or outside the house. Therefore, it will be difficult for burglars to break the glass to access the knob and open the door.
Rails and Stiles
Some wooden doors come with vertical and horizontal parts to brace the wood. With time, solid wood stiles and rails may bow or warp. Therefore, you should be on the lookout for stiles and rails that are built from laminated wood and covered with veneer. This provides higher resistance to warping.