Exterior Door Buying Guide
A new exterior door can help boost curb appeal. Our guide will help you learn the pros and cons of different front door styles and materials, so you can make the best choice for your home.
Entry Door Materials at a Glance
Wood door with stain glass inserts
There's no shortage of front door styles and, overall, most entry doors perform equally well. But the materials they're made of – fiberglass, steel or wood – do have strengths and weaknesses. Whether you're looking for modern front doors, iron front doors, contemporary front doors, craftsman-style front doors or even custom front doors, we can help you pick the front door designs, colors and accents you want.
Wrought Iron Entry Doors
Also called iron entry doors, they are built to withstand the elements and are among the safest and most secure options for home entrances.
Available in a variety of designs that can be customized to include different types of glass and hardware, such as handles and locks.
Generally more expensive, they can be difficult to install and move because of their weight.
Steel Front Doors
- Often have tighter-fitting frames and energy-efficient core insulation.
- Some models use double- or triple-panel insulating glass reduce heat transfer.
- Fully weatherstripped; highly resistant to shrinking, swelling and warping.
- Durable, steel construction requires little maintenance in harsh weather.
- Pre-drilled door knob and lockset hole options make them easier to install.
- Come pre-primed and ready to paint.
- Typically have more insulating value than wooden doors.
Fiberglass Front Doors
- Are easy to install.
- Work well in extreme climates and high-traffic entrances.
- Have similar energy-saving qualities as steel doors.
- Can be made with a grain texture to mimic the look of a real wood door.
- Usually have the longest warranties compared to wood and steel doors.
- Made of high-quality composite construction, they resist all sorts of weather, scratches and dents.
Wooden Front Doors
- Are heavy and sturdy with a more traditional look.
- Can be painted or stained for a natural, warm appearance.
- Wood species range from inexpensive composites to more costly fir or walnut.
- Work best when installed in a more protected or shaded area.
- The best wooden front doors generally are more intricate and thicker.
- Higher-end wooden door panels measure more than an inch thick while economy models measure less than an inch thick.
- Frame and panel construction counteracts the effects weather or seasonal changes.
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