We tend to focus a lot on sprucing up the interior. It’s natural because we spend most of our time at home indoors anyway. Once we’ve got every room remodeled the way we like it though, it’s time to turn our attention to the house exterior.
The front door is great place to start so that you can upgrade the entrance security of your home as well as let your individuality shine through. Here are the three classic and dependable materials that people often swear by for their front doors:
Wood doors are divided into two different groups: solid core wood and solid wood. Some solid core wood doors have an insulating polyurethane core clad with hardwood and plywood. The whole frame is then finished with laminate or thinner pieces of plywood. Other styles use engineered wood as the core with a furniture-grade wood veneer on top. The main problem is that they don’t last for long when exposed to the elements as both heat and moisture can cause the plywood and laminate layers to warp. Damages to the surface are hard to fix, too, because you can’t refinish laminate layers. Even if the door uses a plywood finish, they’re often so thin that you can only sand and refinish them so many times. These are run-of-the-mill doors that are designed to be affordable. So if you’re just looking for a basic front door, solid core wood doors will give you that.
On the other end of the spectrum are solid wood doors. Solid wood is the most expensive of all the front door materials. Although it’s still at the mercy of the elements, it’s usually sourced from higher-quality wood that can withstand weathering much longer. Whenever solid wood doors does start to look weathered, you can always sand and refinish them to give another boost of life. With their natural heavy strength, rest assured that solid wood doors will keep your entrance secure. Plus, you’re guaranteed to have a door that’s unique with one-of-a-kind grain patterns.
When you think of steel doors, you associate them with high-security. And that’s true, to a point. The quality really depends on the gauge of the steel though: the lower the gauge number, the thicker and higher-quality the steel. If you want a solid door, try to get at least a 22-gauge steel door for a sturdy build that doesn’t flex like big-box-store 24-gauge doors. When steel flexes, it chips off the protective paint layer and exposes itself to rust. Another reason to invest in a higher-quality steel is that it minimises dents from blunt forces. Minor dents in steel doors can be pulled out with auto-body repair kits. Larger dents that can’t be repaired that way means you end up having to replace the whole door. The cost of steel doors again depends on the gauge, but they generally cost less than solid wood doors. Something else to keep in mind about steel doors is that they’re not the best at insulation. Although most steel doors have a good insulation core, you can’t change the fact that the metal itself conducts heat. But if you live in a moderate climate and top security is your only concern, then steel doors are a formidable choice.
Fibreglass doors are the ones you can rely on in harsh climates. Because they don’t warp from moisture and don’t conduct heat, they last a lot longer and are better at insulation. They’re also a great alternative to mimic the look of wood at a much lower price. There are special coating techniques that layer the finishing with similar patterns and depth as natural wood grains. The trade-off with fibreglass doors though is they’re not as secure as the heavy-duty steel or solid wood doors. Fibreglass doors crack easily under heavy impact. If you live in a safe neighbourhood where security’s not an issue and you want an affordable door that can weather the elements for a long time, fibreglass doors are the way to go.
In the end, choose the material that’s best suited for your climate and lifestyle. Then, find ways to put your own personal stamp on it like custom hardware or personality-matching paint so that you can stand out from the crowd.