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Types of Front Doors: What Are My Options?

ByHarison Pyykko June 1, 2020

Front doors should provide more than what the eyes can see. Although the aesthetic value it adds to your home is important, it should not be your only motivation for choosing exterior doors. Your house doors, most especially front doors, should also provide security, protection, safety, functionality, and energy efficiency. If your exterior doors do not give you all these benefits, they are not fulfilling their full functions.

Considerations in Choosing Exterior Doors

Below are some of the most important factors you need to consider when choosing a front door for your home.

1. Security

The security of your family and properties depend a lot on reliable house doors. These structures should, therefore, be strong and robustly constructed and installed to prevent easy access of intruders such as thieves and other criminals who mean to cause you harm or serious trouble.

2. Protection

External doors need to protect you not just from human-initiated harmful acts but just as importantly from natural causes. They should shield you against extreme weather conditions like snow and winter cold, the summer heat, high winds, and strong rains.

3. Safety

Safe design and installation will not cause any unwanted accidents from the use of your house doors. If your door is made of glass, it should be shatter-proof. The door should not experience excessive expansion that will cause it to get stuck hindering egress during emergencies.

4. Functionality

House doors are designed to endure constant opening and closing throughout its service life. As much as possible, they should last if not outlive the life of your house.

5. Energy Efficiency

Consider the energy performance ratings of exterior doors to the local climate and your home's design. Efficient door insulation lowers heating and cooling costs.

6. Aesthetic Value

Choose front doors that suit the architectural style and adds elegance and overall value to your lovely home.

Your Options for Front Doors

To a great extent, the overall benefits of front doors come from the materials they’re made of. The comparison of the properties, performance, and the advantages and disadvantages of major options for front doors are summarized below:

Option #1: Wood Door

Wood, especially when handcrafted, may be the best material if you are looking for a stunning appeal in your entry door. It has natural beauty and customizable for any size. The common wood materials used as front doors include fir, mahogany, oak, and maple. They may be varnish-finished or painted with the colour that matches the style of your house. They are best installed in covered areas to avoid sagging, warping, or peeling over time from constant exposure to the elements. Weatherstripping can help improve insulation and protection from wood doors. Regular maintenance that includes repainting and refinishing can improve its life.

Option #2: Fiberglass Door

Consisting of composite materials, fiberglass is more secure and energy-efficient than wood. Fiberglass doors are strong, durable, and require little maintenance. They can mimic the elegance and sophistication of wood when finished with fir, oak, or mahogany textures. Although they are susceptible to fading, they have few disadvantages. Because of their many benefits, they can be one of the most expensive options.

Option #3: Glass Door

Hinged glass door with wood, fiberglass, vinyl, or aluminum frame has its advantages. It is elegant, fashionable, and can suit your modern home style. Thick, highly-polished precision-cut tempered safety glass is required for safety. Polyurethane spray foam insulation, as well as foam-insulated frames, may be applied to ensure that your home will meet or exceed energy star ratings needed for hot summers and cold winters.

Option #4: Aluminum Door

Aluminum doors are similar to steel and fiberglass doors in terms of strength, durability, and energy efficiency, They can have a smooth or wood-grain finish. They have very low maintenance, and won’t chip or rust. They are most often used for storm doors.

Option #5: Steel

Insulated steel is exalted for the security, durability, and energy efficiency it provides. Steel doors have a higher insulating value than wood doors— up to five times greater. They are the most secure exterior doors for your home and require little maintenance. Typically less expensive than wood or fiberglass doors, steel doors can be painted in any color and have different styles.

Pre-hung or Slab Doors?

You will have to decide whether you’ll buy slab doors or pre-hung doors for your new or replacement house doors. Slab doors are simply a rectangular slab of wood, fiberglass, or steel that is the door by itself without the accessories for installation – frame, hinges, and hardware. Slab doors are cheaper than pre-hung doors because they are missing the frame and hinges. Pre-hung doors, on the other hand, come usually with wood or steel frames and everything needed to install and set them up. Before installing pre-hung doors, you’ll need to remove the existing door frames from the rough opening. You also have to ensure that the door frame is as square as possible for the door to seal tightly to the jamb and swing properly. For front doors that can provide you full benefits – protection, safety, energy efficiency, and a modern look that enhances your home’s value, New Town Windows & Doors is the professional door supply and installation service provider you can trust.

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