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Choosing a Front Door: What You Need To Know

Choosing the right front door is an essential aspect of any home renovation or improvement project. After all, it’s the first thing people are going to notice when people see your place. Homeowners who prefer a more traditional look may opt for a solid wood door, but fiberglass can produce the same look for less. Here’s what you need to know about your options before you call in the door experts

Solid Wood Doors

Before you begin flipping through magazines to decide what you want your new front door to look like, you should first decide what you want your front door to be made of. A wood door is the most common choice for a front door, for they are both beautiful and versatile. Wood doors come in a variety of looks, including oak, cherry, walnut, maple and pine. This variety will make it easy for homeowners to find the right color to match the exterior of their home. Consider these benefits and drawbacks if you’re considering purchasing a wood door for your front entrance:

  • Solid wood doors are a good choice for homeowners who are looking to upgrade their home before selling, for wood doors offer a high-end look, especially when they’re stained properly.
  • Minor nicks and scrapes can be easily repaired, which will ensure your doors look brand new for years to come.
  • Overtime, the wood tends to warp and twist, which will result in repair and maintenance fees.
  • Wood exterior doors need to be refinished from time to time due to exposure to the elements.
  • The front door must be sealed properly to reduce swelling and warping, especially in a humid environment.

Thankfully, there are durable stains and clear finishes that can be purchased at your local hardware store. These products will offer protection for your painted doors and will prevent the wood from absorbing moisture and swelling.


If you love the look of a solid wood door but don’t want to be responsible for touch-ups and maintenance, don’t worry. There are other suitable options available.

Fiberglass Doors

If you’re looking for a front door that requires little to no maintenance, then you’ll want to look at a door made out of fiberglass. Fiberglass offers the same benefits that a wood front door offers, but without the maintenance and price (we’ll get to that later). Here’s what you need to know about fiberglass doors:

  • They are tough and require virtually no maintenance, a good choice for homeowners who do not want to busy themselves with DIY door repairs.
  • They easily mimic the look of wood since they can be stained to match oak, cherry, and walnut wood door looks.
  •  Fiberglass doors do a better job of insulating your home since they’re built with foam or other insulating materials on the inside.
  • The doors do not give off the smell of wood and will not rot.
  • Downside: it is not a real wood door, which may be a deal breaker for some homeowners and future home renovators.


Steel Doors

But maybe you’re not interested in a wood door or one that’s made to resemble wood. If you’re looking for a more contemporary look for your front entrance, then you may prefer the look of a steel door. Just like a wooden or fiberglass door, a steel door will over a sense of privacy, but with the added benefit of extra security. It’s stronger than wood and fiberglass and will not crack or warp overtime.

  • A steel door requires minimal maintenance since it’s the strongest door material on the market. Most doors come with an auto-body repair kit, so minor dents and dings can be easily and quickly repaired.
  • They are the most cost-effective door compared to its counterparts listed above.
  • The inner frame of the door can also be made of steel, which will give it ultimate strength.
  • Most doors are coated with a polyester finish, which does require repainting to keep the door looking its best overtime.
  • The finish, however, will ensure the door withstands weather damage.


Now that you’re armed with everything you need to know about what material your next front door could be made out of, you probably have one last question. What’s it going to cost? Here’s an estimated breakdown for you based on a door that’s 3 feet wide and 6 feet, 8 inches tall.

  • The hardwood door itself will cost anywhere from $300 to $500, but with a frame, hinges, locks, sidelights and weatherstripping, the cost can be anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000.
  • A fiberglass door is $200 without the accessories. A full fiberglass door with locks, hinges and more, can cost up to $4,000 as well. Yes, the same price as a wood door!
  • The price of a steel door begins at $150. Once you add sidelights and hardware, the cost can go up to $3,000, less than its competitors.

Keep in mind: these are estimated prices. Your best bet is to consult a door professional who can give you a professional quote on your door project.

Choosing the right front door means finding a balance between style, functionality and affordability. Contact one of our door professionals to guide you through the process.

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