With several months of winter left to go, drafty front doors are much more noticeable now than they were in the summer months. If you’ve recognized the fact that your front door is in desperate need of replacement, one of the biggest decisions you will have to make is which material. This decision shouldn’t be taken lightly, as the front door you select deeply impacts your home’s curb appeal, energy efficiency, and resale value. Allow us to clue you in on two of the most popular door materials in the marketplace, fiberglass and steel. Both types receive high marks for their allure, ability to hold up against Mother Nature, and energy efficiency. Here’s how they differ.
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Steel: Characteristics homeowners appreciate about steel doors are their versatility and customizable features. Oftentimes steel doors are offered in smooth and wood grain textures. Paint finishes and stains allow homeowners to customize the look of their doors. One aspect where steel doors edge out fiberglass doors is the level of security they provide. This is due to a steel exterior combined with a polyurethane or polystyrene core, as a door comprised strictly of metal would be a strong conductor of heat and cold. In terms of resale value, steel entry doors often have the highest return on investment over most other home improvements. A notable drawback of steel entry doors is that they are prone to scratching, denting, and chipping. Once this happens, rust can ensue. Steel doors cannot be painted over.
Fiberglass: Lighter than steel, fiberglass doors earn high marks for their longevity, resistance to temperature fluctuations, and ease at which they can be installed. Homeowners that opt for steel doors appreciate that they are available in woodgrain patterns, which adds to their charm. Fiberglass does not rust, giving it a leg up over steel. Fiberglass doors also hold up against denting and scratching and are easily cleaned with a mixture of mild soap and water. Refinishing fiberglass doors is an option, but this task should be left to the professionals. In terms of energy efficiency, there is an array of ENERGY STAR certified fiberglass doors available in the marketplace. In climates with rampant temperature fluctuations, fiberglass is an excellent option. Beware of opting for builder grade fiberglass doors which are prone to cracking, compromising the door’s lifespan.