How To Choose The Right Front Door
Wood, Steel, Fiberglass? So many options! Here is some insight on how to choose the right one.
A few years ago we did an addition on our house. Even though it was a massive job where we refinanced to a larger mortgage, everything added up and prevented us from doing some of the little things we wanted to.
Like replace the antiquated and quite ugly front door!
But three years later it was time. So off I went to explore the world of new front doors. And my belief that “a door is a door” is just way wrong!
I spent a lot of time reading and learning and realized I had never shopped for a front door before. They just came with the house or previous apartments. I essentially went to door school!
I started online and found a great resource at This Old House. From there and other online sites, it was then just plain ole detective work, store visits and lots of questions.
I found out there are three major types of doors: Wood, metal and fiberglass.
From what I learned here are the basic advantages and disadvantages of each for a standard 36 x 80 door:
Wood: Looks amazing. It is the most common with the most choices. I turned away from wood because several different sales people explained that you have to routinely protect the wood with new coats of paint or polyurethane. After restaining my deck, I’m wasn’t for another outside paint job.
Steel: Cheaper and sturdiest for protection. But clearly not in the wood category of looks. Plus I figured one errant baseball and the thing would ding like my Honda CRV.
Fiberglass: I had no idea this option even existed. It combines the beauty of wood and durability. Pricing seemed to be in the middle of the previous two options. No maintenance required! I was hooked and found one that passed the looks test.
The next step was the screen door. Again, who knew there were so many options? The only thing I thought was a “must have” was the little sliding piece that keeps the door locked open when you bring things in/out of the house. How 1970s of me! Not only did I learn they have more modern foot-tap versions of that feature but the doors come in a variety of styles. We choose a see-through version simply because we could leave the front door open and give our dog an automatic sunbathing option.
Now onto the doorknob. Again a variety of options, but we made an assumption that all have the same locking systems. Wrong again! The one we bought didn’t have the ability to lock from the inside when leaving. We would have to get used to turning the key every time we left. No way! I learned what we really wanted was a two-point locking system. Now I know why my parents used to yell at me and my sisters to “double lock” the house!
As far installation, you’re on your own. We hired someone!
Check out our before and after!