Entry Doors – Wood, Steel or Fiberglass?

We recently completed a remodeling job that involved removing and replacing a front entry door unit (including sidelights and transom) for a client in Westlake. This beautiful Colonial style home had a fiberglass door set in an older wood jamb unit that was getting serious exposure to the elements. Some decay on the lower section of the jamb, the threshold and the surrounding siding and trim was evident. As with any remodeling project, this is where the discussion of cost vs. longevity kicks in, and often times we are put in a position of recommending one product versus another.

For entry doors, that often comes down to Wood vs. Steel vs. Fiberglass.

Wood Entry Doors – a timeless classic, wood doors are very popular among customers, and can be a great choice when installed in a very protected area. Constant beating from wind, rain and sun can wear on a wood door, and the maintenance and re-staining issues can be daunting for some customers. For green building customers, its worth noting that on average wood doors are five times less energy efficient than other options. Typical warranties for these doors are one year.

Steel Entry Doors – these doors tend to perform well year round, as they do not expand or contract with changes in humidity. Their low initial cost and easy maintenance (painting) make steel doors a viable option, however denting can and does become an issue. These dents can be “popped” in some cases, or filled and sanded in others. If customers are looking to splurge on their front entry door, often they opt for metal doors for their garage access doors or rear patio doors, where they viewed less often by visitors to the home.

Fiberglass Entry Doors – these doors have a large range of price and function, from smooth paintable doors all the way up to stainable doors that are nearly indistinguishable from traditional wood doors. You can get them with a factory applied finish, or finish them yourselves on the jobsite. Rust and dent proof, these doors are popular for their energy efficiency and their very long warranties (often 25 years to life).

For our Austin remodeling clients, we often install fiberglass entry doors from ThermaTru. We feel these doors offer superior energy efficiency, operation, weather resistance, long warranties and easy maintenance. A combination of factors that makes them a popular choice for our discriminating clients.