How to Choose the Right Exterior Doors for Your Project
Exterior doors can add to your home’s curb appeal. Your front door is the first thing visitors see when they visit. And, the type of exterior door you choose says a lot about your taste and style.
Is it any wonder then, that most homeowners spend hours trying to make up their minds on the front door to use in their home?
While it can be quite a chore to decide on the type of exterior door to install, you can begin by narrowing them down to the materials used in their production, this way, you only have to choose between four categories of front doors.
Solid wood doors
Solid wooden doors no doubt are the most aesthetically-pleasing material for exterior doorways. The reason is, woods can be manipulated into any shape easily. And there’s a variety of wood to choose from including mahogany, walnut, maple, pine, cherry, and fir all of which add their unique beauty to your home.
A downside to using wood doors, however, is that over time with exposure to the elements, the wood will begin to warp and crack, which would impact its energy-efficiency abilities.
If security and durability are a top priority for you, consider using steel doors on your entryways. Exterior doors made from steel are stronger than wood and fiberglass doors, and they are much more able to withstand harsh weathers without warping.
On the negative, steel doors conduct heat which means they are not very good in energy-efficiency. However, that can be remedied by adding insulators like wood or foam in-between the door pane.
Fiberglass doors, also known as composite doors, are usually made of two materials – either wood or steel and glass. They are ideal for extreme weather conditions. So, if your home is up north or in the tropics, fiberglass exterior doors are best suited for your environment.
Fiberglass either single or double-hung can be made to mimic the look of wood-grain finishing. You can fill up the cavities with insulator foam to improve its insulating abilities. Though Fiberglass is more expensive than steel doors, they carry extended warranties of up to 20 years.
Aluminum doors like steel use cavity insulators to improve its heat-loss prevention capabilities. They are usually custom-built – which means you can’t order it off the shelf.
Also, aluminum doors are low maintenance since they have a baked-on enamel finish you can’t repaint. You can choose to have them painted with a faux wood finish if you prefer a wooden look.
How much do exterior doors cost?
Exterior door prices vary depending on several factors like where you are living – even within the same zip code, you may get varying quotes from different retailers. The size of your project also affects how much each exterior unit will cost. The brand and material you select have a significant impact on the price too.
A plain front door starts at about $50 to $250 or $200 to $700 with the installation. More decorative mid-range entry doors could cost up to $200 to $2000 or $400 to $3000 with the installation. However, according to homeadvisor.com, the average national cost of installing an exterior door is between $500 to $2000, while some installations exceed $10000.
What is the best material for exterior doors?
There’s no one size fit all answer to this question. The best material for the exterior door for homeowner A may not be the same for homeowner B.
To decide which material is best for you, you will have to take into consideration your unique circumstances, needs and budgets.
However, regardless of your preference, exterior doors are either made of wood, aluminum, steel, and a combination of any of the listed and glass (fiberglass or composite doors).
How much is a new door for a house?
It costs about $75 to $125 to install new interior doors while on average, you will have to pay between $500 to $2000 to install new exterior doors.
The price above, however, depends on several factors so you may want to check in with your local contractors and vendors to get the going rate in your area.
Can you buy a front door without a frame?
Yes, you can buy a front door without a frame. A door frame is made up of a top jamb and two side jambs. In the side jambs, one side holds the hinges the other latches which are used to hold the door in place.
To replace an old or damaged doorway, you can do one of the following: use a pre-hung door with finished jambs and frame in place or use existing jambs but set new entries into the hinges.
If you opt for existing jambs route to replace a front door, be sure that the new door is the same size with the old door without the hinge cutouts, so you can easily fit it into the jamb.