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Front Doors

Front doors provide a main entry to your home and give your house curb appeal. An attractive, well-built front door can add to a home’s value and offer visitors and occupants a welcoming threshold.

Several types of front doors exist, each with advantages and disadvantages. Understanding the pros and cons of the various kinds of front doors can help you choose the best front door for your home.


Once the only type of door available, wood lends a classic and warm feel to the home and is often the first choice for older, historic houses.

Two main types of wood doors exist. Solid wood doors are completely composed of wood. Popular hardwood choices for these front doors include mahogany, cherry, oak, alder and walnut. Wood laminate doors consist of outer wood veneer panels and an inner core of insulation.

-Solid wood doors possess a variety of benefits. Besides their natural beauty, they insulate well, are fairly sound proof, can be cut to fit any existing space, and you can refinish them indefinitely. On the downside, they require regular maintenance with a moisture-repellent product such as paint, stain or varnish.-Wood laminate doors give the look of real wood and provide slightly more insulation than solid wood. They can only be refinished a few times depending on the thickness of the veneer. Wood laminate also needs regular protective maintenance.


Fiberglass doors are made of polyurethane, which makes them resistant to scratching, denting, fading and warping. They are a good choice for front door locations exposed to moisture and intense sunlight.

Fiberglass doors are virtually maintenance-free, energy efficient and can be made to look like real wood through the use of wood stains, or you can choose from a variety of different looks and colors.

On the downside, fiberglass doors cannot be cut to fit an existing opening. If you choose a door that is a different size from your current door, construction generally has to be done on the home in order to fit the door.


The strongest door available, steel is your top choice for security. These doors consist of a heavy-gauge, galvanized steel skin surrounding pressure-injected polyurethane foam.

Steel doors are especially airtight and weather-resistant, making them an especially good choice for extreme climates. They are often textured and covered with a baked enamel or vinyl finish. Steel doors generally come in a wood frame, the size of which can often be customized.

As for the negatives of steel doors, they can scratch and sustain nicks, and although they can be painted, the results rarely equal the original factory look.

With the wide variety of front door materials and designs available, you’re sure to find just the right door for your home.

By Julie Bawden-Davis

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