Choosing an Exterior Door for Your Home

A home’s main entrance, the Door, is the most important feature because they are seen from both inside and out. Not only do they provide character and function with the ability to add light and ventilation, but doors also act as a fashionable element these days. They add value to the entire home.

My parents received a door makeover in their home recently. There are many options to think about – from the type of materials to the efficiency, function, and amount of care required.

Material Matters
The most common materials we noticed for making doors is wood, steel and fiberglass. Each of these require different amount of care. According to a Home Depot rep, selecting a lower maintenance option may be better if you can’t afford to spend time needed to care on a regular basis. For example, I learned that wood doors are the hardest to care for because wood is a living material and it needs proper maintenance. Tip. Use wood in places that receive a good amount of exposure and protection.

Steel is obviously very durable but I was surprised that is the most affordable of all three materials. Steel doors are good for those looking for low cost and good insulation. Make note that steel doors can only be painted, not stained.

Fiberglass is another option that is preferable to steel because they will not dent and feel warmer. Fiberglass is an excellent option if you are looking for richness, energy-efficient and interested in staining. I believe fiberglass has the best presence; it has a very realistic look.

How to Inspect Doors – Things to Look for
We usually inspect our doors before winter arrives.

Look for paint or stain that is not in good condition. If you see flaking and peeling, it may be time to refinish the door.

Operate the locking mechanisms of doors and make adjustments if they feel loose or don’t work smoothly. You obviously don’t want to invite intruders but locks also hold doors tightly to keep out rain wind, snow, and bugs.

Look for cracks, deteriorated wood and other damages that might be caused by condensation or water penetration. This was the reason we changed the doors at my parents house.

Check for leakage. If air is leaking in and out of your home, your energy costs will be higher than they need to be. Compare energy bills with your friends and neighbors. Tip. Test for air leakage by lighting a candle and running it around the edges of your door. If the candle flickers, air is leaking in and out of your home.

As you see, deciding on doors take some thinking. Each home is different in structure and choosing a door can depend on the aesthetic look as well as function you want it to provide. All three materials described above work well for different reasons. Review all your options and inspect your current door to make sure you are buying something that will be inviting to you and your guests as well as efficient friendly, which may help decrease the amount on your bills.

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