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Which kinds of doors are better?

October 14, 2010

Things to look for in a door

It may surprise you learn that all doors are not made the same. There are different grades of doors, and different price points. Here are some facts good to know as you shop for doors.

•Wood doors
Wood doors come in two basic grades, expensive and inexpensive. Expensive doors will look expensive. Expensive wood doors are made usually of oak, mahogany, alder or maybe even pine or cherry. Inexpensive doors are usually made of fir, birch, some pine or a foreign species you may never have heard of before. Expensive doors will cost thousands; inexpensive wood doors will cost hundreds. Wood doors of any species or cost will require more maintenance and upkeep than comparable steel or fiberglass doors. However, if you choose to have a door with a stained finish, wood is still the best option you have.

•Steel doors
Steel doors were popular for many years due to their low cost. Most people assume steel doors are more secure, when in fact, they are less secure than wood or fiberglass doors. Steel doors should be considered ONLY when price is a real issue. Initial purchase price is the only real advantage steel doors have; in the long run, they are the most expensive to own. The reasons for this are multiple. Steel doors conduct heat and cold, which means your house is hotter in the summer, colder in the winter. This drives up energy costs, and in fact, some steel doors with a direct sun exposure may get hot enough to cause skin burns! Steel doors also get dented easily, making them look old and ugly before their usefulness is up. Steel doors also rust, sometimes from the inside out. When this happens, replacement is imminent.

•Fiberglass doors
Fiberglass is generally assumed by the industry to be the best choice for a door material if low maintenance and cost of ownership is important. Fiberglass has the advantage of providing lower energy costs due to the fact they do not conduct heat and cold well. This means the heating and air-conditioning stays inside the house where you want it, does not transfer to the outside of the house where you do not want it.

Fiberglass can be stained or painted. If staining, a textured fiberglass door slab should be specified. If painting, you may select between a textured door slab, and a smooth skin door slab. Should you choose to stain your textured fiberglass door, please consider a professional finisher who is experienced in staining fiberglass. This is not the time to try a do-it-yourself project if it’s your first time staining fiberglass! Be aware there are differences in quality of fiberglass door slabs. Some fiberglass doors offer fiberglass door slabs with wood around the four outer edges (sides, top and bottom). These doors WILL rot out along the edges, and termites have even been found in some. Always look for a fiberglass door, which has fiberglass on all six (6) sides of the door slab.

If you are still not sure which type door is best suited for you, locate a dealer you can trust who will give you information based on their experiences. Most professionals are eager to help you achieve the door of your dreams!