Choosing an Entry Door
Did you know that dollar for dollar, replacing your entry door (aka exterior door) is one of the best home improvements you can make?
It doesn’t cost as much as other aesthetic projects like replacing windows or re-siding your house, and unlike those larger projects, it pays you back more than most projects in increased home value.
According to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report, a new front door can give you up to 91% return on your investment, with steel doors generating the highest return of all.
Here’s the best part:
You can also increase your home’s energy efficiency if you’re replacing a drafty or poorly fitting door. Depending on where your living area is located relative to your entryway, the increase in comfort can be huge, and you may even see slight savings on your utility bill.
So if your front door has seen better days, it’s a smart financial decision to replace it—plus it can totally change the way you feel when you turn into your driveway and see how sharp your house looks. But with all the materials and finishes available, choosing one can be a little mind-boggling.
Entry Doors are made out of 3 main materials:
Each material has its pros and cons, at Comfort Windows, we offer steel and fiberglass. But before we get into the pros and cons of those two choices, a word about wood:
Wood Entry Doors
Wood doors are naturally beautiful, of course, and we can’t blame you if you want the look and feel of real wood to enhance the entry of your home!
If you’re budget-conscious, though, and you want a timeless, elegant door without the added expense and maintenance headaches of wood, know that fiberglass and steel options these days come very close to capturing that look and require less care.
Maintenance for a wood door is a double-edged sword…
On one hand, it’s easy and inexpensive to repair minor dents and scratches and wood holds up well to household wear and tear. But on the other, you’ll need to commit to a regular maintenance schedule of repainting or re-staining to keep wood looking its best, especially if it’s routinely exposed to wind, sun, and rain.
If increasing energy efficiency is your primary goal, you’re better off going with insulated fiberglass or steel.
So while it can look nice… the cost, maintenance, and reduced energy efficiency energy make it a poor choice for most homeowners.
Fiberglass Entry Doors
Fiberglass doors have become a popular choice for homes in recent years and are:
- Energy Efficient
They can give you double the years of service of a wood door or a steel door with minimal need for painting or touch-ups. They don’t change shape as the weather changes, they resist scratching, and they’re the most energy-efficient of all the options on the market, with a foam core that has great insulating properties.
Don’t be fooled by how lightweight a fiberglass door feels they are very secure and is extremely difficult for an intruder to break.
Also, if you haven’t looked at fiberglass options in a while, you’ll be surprised how wood-like the latest finishes are. Fiberglass really can complement a high-end look these days. We offer both wood-grained and smooth finishes depending on the look you’re going for. And both finishes have many color and stain options to choose from.
Steel Entry Doors
Steel is a strong, cost-effective alternative to fiberglass for the home remodeler on a budget. It won’t warp or require much effort to maintain, especially if it’s in a protected location, and it can shave hundreds of dollars off your project costs — leading to the big returns in value.
A word of caution:
If your front door is a high-traffic area or isn’t sheltered from the elements, fiberglass may be a better choice. If steel takes a beating, dents and scratches can rust or be difficult to repair. Steel is also a bit less durable than fiberglass when exposed to rain and the sun.
Steel doors are the strongest of the three exterior door types, but not by a huge margin.
If security is your most important purchase factor, investing in a good deadbolt and strike plate will make more of a difference than the door material you choose. All our doors come equipped with high-quality, extra-tough security features, but we can also upgrade your locks to the most burglar-proof options available on the market.
About Comfort’s Door Selection
We offer literally thousands of color, glass, style and hardware combinations. From privacy glass to clear glass to no glass, from french doors to double entry doors to single entry doors with sidelites, the sky is the limit when choosing a door with Comfort. We also offer fire-rated doors to keep your family safe. And to really kick your curb appeal up a notch we offer matching storm door color selections for many of our entry door color choices.
All of the fiberglass and steel entry doors at Comfort windows:
- come with a Comfort labor and service warranty above and beyond the product warranty offered by the manufacturer
- are installed by experienced Comfort Windows staff — no subcontractors, ever
When it comes to durability, security, and energy efficiency, proper installation is actually even more important than the material the exterior door is made of. A sub-par installation will negate any benefits you might get from the upgrade, and most of all, you won’t be satisfied with your door’s look and performance.
We’re happy to give you a free estimate on your entry door project — and if you want to talk materials, colors, and styles. Stop by the Comfort Windows showroom nearest you and one of our pros can walk you through the decision-making process.
We think you’ll love what a new front entry door does for the look and feel of your home.