Your front door is the first impression a person gets when they visit. They are also an important part of the security of your house. We are going to look at the best front doors that can be installed that will create a good first impression and your security.
Fortunately, many manufacturers make stylish, decorative doors that are also good for security. If you want to improve the look of your exterior front door, you can install a new door and increase security at the same time.
When choosing a replacement door you want one that is durable for every day use, withstand the elements and strong enough to withstand intruders’ attacks.
Entry Door Types
Solid wood exterior doors are the typical door when people think of a front entry door. They look great and can either be stained or painted depending on your preference.
Painted doors might need to be painted every year depending on use and wear from weather. If it is stained, it will require a bit more work to maintain, which involves sanding and staining, but not as often as painting.
Wood doors aren’t as energy efficient as an insulated steel or fiberglass door. Wood also is susceptible to changes in weather, such as temperature and humidity. When the weather affects the door it will expand or contract. If this happens it causes fit issues with the frame or lock.
When selecting a wood door with security in mind, you want to get a solid wood door. Some are composite or MDF and are just not as strong as solid wood.
Solid wood doors can be found at Home Depot and other big box stores. They start around $1,000 and can go as high as $5,000 or more depending on how fancy you want to get.
Steel doors are stronger than wood doors and don’t cost as much as a solid wood door. They come galvanized and primed for painting. Galvanizing helps protect against rust when the door gets the inevitable ding.
Most steel front entry doors for residential use are made with 24 gauge sheet metal. You can get a door with thicker sheet metal, like 20 or 22 gauge, which is stronger and more durable but of course will cost a little more.
These doors come with foam insulation for better energy efficiency. And can be made with internal steel reinforced channels for more strength. Like wood doors, steel doors can come with raised panels and glass cutouts.
For those that want the wood look but also want the durability and strength of steel, this steel door from Masonite has a woodgrain embossed in the panel and when painted will produce a wood look and can be found at Home Depot for $342.
Fiberglass front doors are fairly new in the residential market but are fast becoming the most widely used. Fiberglass has been used for many years in things such as boats, pools and car parts to name a few.
Doors made with fiberglass are not susceptible to changes in weather like wood doors. And won’t rust like steel doors. You won’t find any dents and dings in fiberglass doors unlike in steel doors. They also require less maintenance than both wood and steel doors.
Fiberglass doors are an engineered door. The door has a fiberglass molded exterior skin, an insulated core and some of them can have solid wood stiles and rails. The fiberglass exterior can either be made to look like wood grain or smooth like a steel door.
The insulated core makes these doors more energy efficient than wood doors. The energy efficiency is about the same as steel doors due to steel doors having an insulated core as well.
The fiberglass doors generally cost between $400 and $700 which is less than a solid wood door and more than a steel door.
When selecting a new front door always keep in mind your security.
- Don’t select a door with a glass insert close to the lock. If you must have glass in your door choose one that has the glass insert at the top of the door like the fiberglass door pictured.
- Don’t add sidelites on the lock side. If you must have a sidelite choose one that has the sidelite on the hinge side of the door.
- Do read our post about things you can do that will help your door keep you safe.
And as always if you have any questions or comments please leave them below.