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What is the Best Material for a Front Door

By Jamie Richardson | December 18, 2018

Considering purchasing a new front door? That’s a splendid idea! There are many factors that attribute to a home’s curb appeal and one of them includes the front entry door. In fact, the front door’s aesthetic can offer a homeowner a decent return on their investment in their home’s boosted resale value as it makes a great and lasting first impression.

You must admit, the sight of a great front door can be welcoming. Not only do most homeowners get a new front door for an updated look, energy efficiency and home security is also to be considered. For example, if the sun hits the front side of your home for a considerable amount of hours during the day, the material and color of your door could be a more important decision than you realize. The same applies to the color of the house, type of insulation, and you could even get window tinting to make sure your house doesn't end up needing the a/c on for the better part of the day.

Chances are that your door is worn and old and is in need of being replaced. When it comes to selecting a door there are several materials to choose from with each having their pros and cons. Let’s take a look at the most common materials, steel, wood, fiberglass composite, aluminum, and wrought iron. 

Steel doors

Steel doors are a popular and economical choice.They are cheaper than doors of other materials. This material is low maintenance and durable. They come in a large selection of styles and can bepainted but they cannot be stained. Steel doors are also prone to dents, rustfrom moisture and drafts. They also tend not to be very good insulators and canlet drafts in.

Wood Doors

Wood, the original door material. Wood doors make a perfect statement as they are attractive and nostalgic. Doors are available in many different varieties of wood such as oak and mahogany, among others. Wood doorscome in a wide array of styles, and can be painted and stained to match your house.

Because they are built from solid wood they usually cost more than other doors, ranging from several hundred dollars to several thousand. However, there is a downside. Over time, direct sunlight can fade wood doors, which then require staining. These typically hold little to no warranty because it is organic and is prone to swelling, deterioration, and rotting if it is not maintained.

Fiberglass composite doors

Fiberglass composite is the most common and popular door material. The surface of the door can be smooth for paint only or textured for paint and stained. It can also be purchased with a wood grain to achieve thelook of wood without the most of its cons. As with other door materials,fiberglass can be configured into different styles. Fiberglass composite doors are insulated with a dense foam and do not dent or rust. Because these are moredurable, they typically come with a lifetime warranty. However, the maintenancecan increase if the composite incorporates wood.

These doors can be cracked if hit hard enough by a sharpobject. Fiberglass composite engineered wood is often preferred over solid woodbecause it is relatively inexpensive. The cost of these doors air on the cheaper side as they are priced similarly to steel doors. Like most doors, the price can rise when configuredto different styles such as arched or a glass-paneled door that looks like wood.


Aluminum is not as common as other front door materials for residential homes. These doors can be found in home improvement stores or directly from the manufacturer. Aluminum doors also tend to be more expensive,starting around $500. These doors do not rust but they can be dented, damaging the powder coat finish.

The biggest downside to aluminum doors is they have no insulating properties. However, the warranty on these doors is considerably long. You can purchase a custom-made aluminum door with a 10 or 20-year warranty that covers all hardware.

Wrought Iron

Wrought iron is an iron alloy with considerably low carbon content compared to that of cast iron. It is a semi-fused mass iron with fibrous slag inclusions that give it a grained wood appearance when thematerial is etched or bent to the point of failure creating a unique aesthetic.

Wrought iron doors are low maintenance and offer great security as it is resilient and difficult for burglars to break into. It is also resistant to insects, moisture, rot, and fire. A door of this material will last a lifetime adding value to the home. The downside of wrought iron doors is that they susceptible to corrosion and discoloration. They arealso rather heavy and can be difficult to move.

Installation requires an expert with use of specialized equipment to perform processes like welding. It's important that the expert who's going to do this completed welding classes and courses. Because of this, the purchase and installation of a wrought iron door are more expensive than the othermaterials.

Although there are other materials, it appears that wrought iron is the most secure, durable, and low maintenance material. But it is very costly and is prone to corrosion and discoloration.

Final Standings

Fiberglass composite offers similar qualities as wrought iron doors, but its economically friendly price makes it a worthy rival of best material. However, it is prone to cracking if I hit hard with a sharp object.Due to increased maintenance, wood and steel follow closely behind. Although durable, aluminum doors lack insulation which makes it less desirable.Considering this we’ve ranked the materials:

  1. Fiberglass composite:
  2. Wrought iron
  3. Wood
  4. Steel
  5. Aluminum

Each material has its pros and cons but ultimately, the choice is based on your preference and your budget. If you are already decided which material to use, you may contact professional Entry Door Installers for expert work.

Jamie is a 5-year freelance writer who enjoys real estate. He is currently a Realty Biz News Contributor.
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