If you’re looking to change your existing entrance door and go in for an exterior door that will improve the first impression of your home, you could be improving your home’s value considerably. Wood entry doors make a huge big statement about the kind of person you are and what people can expect of you. They also impact the value of your estate considerably because if a front door is replaced with an energy-efficient alternative, it will add significant value to your home and perhaps even help you save considerably on your electricity bills.
But how do you decide which kind of wood is best for you in terms of a front door? The chief duties of a front door are to be tough enough to withstand the harshest of elements, besides complementing your home and its aesthetics.
In recent times, exterior or entrance doors are being made not just in conventional wood types of material but also metal and fibreglass. However, wood continues to be the most popular choice due to its solid appearance and high durability. Though there are several kinds of wood competing to be your entrance door, yet other materials have certain advantages over the others.
Choices of wood for entrance doors
Let’s take a look at the different kinds of wood used for entrance doors:
- Cherry: Cherry is a colourful and highly durable wood that makes an excellent choice for entrance doors. However, it is more expensive than other wood types.
- Mahogany: Though more expensive than some others, mahogany is common among homeowners as a premium wood choice for exterior doors. It is resistant to water and does not swell or warp and it has very few knots and a clean and enchanting appearance. Besides, maple is highly durable, easy to finish and cut and can resist the harshest of weather. However, it shrinks with time.
- White oak: Just like maple, mahogany and cherry, white oak too is chosen for exterior doors quite often. Naturally, it is durable, highly resistant to pressure and resistant to rot and moisture.
- Teak: Teak is hard, resists moisture and is highly durable. It is also resistant to extreme weather conditions, thus making it the ideal choice for exterior doors.
Functionality is the most important purpose of putting up a strong door, so the market for this has grown with several competing materials of wood entry doors. These include wood, steel, composite and fibreglass.
People who choose wood do it for its sturdiness, finish and the fact that it can be had in any rainbow colour. Other materials come with their own advantages. If you’re wondering is it right for you and is it safe, here’s vital information that will help you choose the one you should go with.
People choose wood entry doors over any other type because it’s conventional to have a wooden door, it looks good, and it is durable. It also gives a high sense of security to those living inside the house. These important factors make wood score over other materials.
In terms of security, much depends on the type of wood people choose, its design and door construction, its frame and locks used. If you choose wood, go either with mahogany or white oak.
Pros: They resist wear and tear and rarely ever dent or develop scratches. If they do, they can be repaired easily.
Cons: Wooden doors are quite expensive, need regular varnishing and painting to look well-maintained.
As an alternative to wood, steel doors are inevitably stronger than wooden or fibreglass doors and therefore provide homeowners with more security. However, though unlike wood they do not crack or warp, but they certainly can be dented, and when overexposed to harsh elements and water, they can rust. When it comes to security, a thief can force open a steel door as easily as a wooden or fibreglass one.
Pros: They aren’t as expensive as some other materials and provide homeowners with security and all-weather resistance just the way wood and fibreglass do. They are also low maintenance, energy-efficient and you can get the best out of insulation by adding insulating glass panels to these doors.
Cons: Steel doors aren’t as weather-resistant as wood and fibreglass. Though they are low maintenance entry doors, they develop dents that are hard to repair and if scratches aren’t painted well, they can rust.
Fibreglass has become very popular as manufacturers try to make them look like wooden doors. These doors are low maintenance and repair in contrast with steel or wood. They also do not weather easily.
Pros: Fibreglass doors come with a smooth surface and wood-grain texture in embossed pattern. It is available in several finishes, styles and colours. It can easily be repainted. It is more durable than other materials and is scratch- and dent-resistant, doesn’t rot, warp and rust. It is also energy-efficient, keeping your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. It gives five times more insulation than wood. It offers high security.
Though cheaper than oak or mahogany, it is more expensive than steel. Still, fibreglass doors are highly cost-effective. They are also easy to drill and fill, giving doors a unique look. Fibreglass doors arrive at the site as a complete unit, thus rendering them perfect for security, insulation and durability.
Architects and builders prize this material for an exterior door because it comes with a clean design, is strong and flexible enough to give you the widest outdoor viewing field. It’s also rust- and mildew-resistant, corrosion- and scratch-proof and does not allow moisture to seep through. It is available in a spectrum of colours that match your home architecture. Aluminium doors are especially meant for the harshest of weather.
It is very tensile, hence using a thin frame is on a par with a thick door frame. Being lightweight, it is easier to install than wood. It can easily be assembled in a DIY package, thus saving installation expenses. These doors are also low on maintenance—they clean easily by wet sponging.
Cons: It is highly conductive which means it heats up the room very fast. This problem leads us to another problem—that of condensation. If you live in a highly humid area, water droplets form on glass or the aluminium frame. This may seem aesthetic but it also stimulates a health problem for the family with constant moisture serving as the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and fungi.
Those that have allergies can suffer from frequent breakouts which are dangerous, inconvenient and costly. To overcome this problem, entire windows will have to be replaced with those with thermal breaks.
Ultimately, the best wood for exterior doors is one that adds overall appeal to the home, is energy-efficient and provides enough safety and security to you against theft.