best doors for security

Unfortunately, the best doors for home security aren’t always the most aesthetically pleasing. People like their doors to look inviting by adding glass inserts, sidelights and decorative and stained glass. But the truth is the most secure front doors do not have windows or glass and should not have sidelights, especially on the lock side and a peephole camera.

But not all exterior doors for homes are alike. There are things to consider, among them are the cost, maintenance, appearance, energy efficiency and how effective they are to prevent door kick ins.

Considerations when purchasing a new door

Purchasing a new door is, thankfully, not a complicated endeavor. Whether it is a wood, steel or fiberglass door, most will come with a pre-hung frame and holes in the door are pre-cut for levers and a deadbolt.

getting a door for security

The pre-cut holes are a standard size within the industry, it doesn’t matter what manufacturer you get your door from. This is because the diameter of the levers and deadbolts are a standard within the lock industry.

The diameter of the bore hole, the hole through the door, is always 2 1/8″. And the hole is always 2 3/8″ or 2 3/4″ from the edge of the door, this distance is called the backset. Again, this is an industry standard with locks. All locks have an adjustable length latch so they will work with either 2 3/8″ or 2 3/4″.

The only adjustment to the door that you might need to do is drill a hole for the peephole. Which is easy enough, you just have to drill a small hole. Of course, this is if you get a solid door without a window at eye level, which I do not recommend when considering security. When ordering a door some manufacturers will add a hole for the peephole for free or maybe a small fee.

Wood Doors

exterior doors homes

Wood doors are a good security option for your front entry but it must be a solid wood door. Typically, wood doors that are described as exterior doors are solid and are always 1 3/4″ thick. They can be purchased as a pre-hung door that includes the frame or as a slab where it is just the door and no frame.

There are some characteristics to be aware of if you plan on purchasing a wood front entry door. Wood doors are less energy efficient than a fiberglass or insulated steel door. And must be maintained more often than a steel or fiberglass door.

I know someone who had a very nice solid wood door. It had to be re-stained every couple of years due to the effects of being exposed to the weather.

The door had to be completely removed from the hinges for the whole day while it was sanded, stained, sanded again then a final coat of stain had to be applied. Needless to say, after going through that process 3 times he opted for a fiberglass door with a wood look.

In terms of security, if paired with a proper deadbolt and jamb reinforcement, solid wood doors work well. Usually the jamb will splinter before the door breaks.

But that is not to say you need to steer clear of wood doors. Solid wood doors look nice, however maintenance on them is a must. Manufacturing processes have gotten better but a real wood door will warp due to rain, freezing and heat cycles if they are neglected. So if you’re willing to keep them maintained they’re a viable option.

Wood door manufacturers

  1. Steves and Sons – located in San Antonio, TX they make wood, steel and fiberglass doors. However, they do not sell directly to the public. They can be purchased through Amazon or Home Depot.
  2. Main Door – located in Gardena, California, they are a manufacturer of high quality stained wood entry doors. They also do not sell directly to the public and have an exclusive deal with Home Depot.
  3. BGW Doors – located in Ontario, California. They make fiberglass, iron and solid wood entry doors. Sold through Amazon or through their online store at Door Window Depot.
  4. Krosswood Doors – located in Salt Lake City, Utah. They are manufacturers of wood doors for residential and commercial use. They can be found at Home Depot.

Steel Doors

steel embossed wood look

Steel entry doors are the most economical doors. They are a better security option than wood doors, or even fiberglass doors.

When kicked or abused steel doors are more likely to dent or bend rather than get busted through. But they resist warping and effects of weather.

Steel doors come with a energy efficient polyurethane core inside a galvanized 22 or 24 gauge exterior. Making them more efficient than a wood door but less than a fiberglass door.

Steel doors don’t have to be smooth. If you like the look of wood doors but want the security of a steel door you can get them with an embossed texture that mimics the design and paneling of wood doors.

If you’re not worrying about appearance and maintenance and only security then steel doors are the best doors for home security.

Steel door manufacturers

  1. Steves and Sons – located in San Antonio, TX they make wood, steel and fiberglass doors. However, they do not sell directly to the public. They can be purchased through Amazon or Home Depot.
  2. Jeld-Wen – headquarters are located in Charlotte, NC but their products are distributed world wide. They manufacture steel and fiberglass entry doors and windows. Only sold through home improvement centers like Home Depot and Lowe’s.
  3. Therma-Tru Doors – located in Maumee, Ohio. They are manufacturers of steel and fiberglass doors. Only sold through home improvement centers like Lowe’s.
  4. National Door Company – they make fiberglass and steel entry doors. And they sell exclusively through Amazon.

Fiberglass Doors

home depot security doors

Fiberglass front entry doors, over the long run, are more economical than wood or steel doors. They cost more at first but because they do not rot, dent, ding or rust there is little to no maintenance required.

Fiberglass doors are very versatile to give you the look you want. They can be smooth and painted, or with a textured wood look and painted or textured wood look and stained.

Because they are not truly solid doors with a polyurethane core some manufacturers provide fiberglass doors with a reinforced lock area. This makes the area of the door that would receive the most abuse stronger.

These are more energy efficient than wood doors. They have a polyurethane core that maintains their U-factor rating and it doesn’t retain moisture. A fiberglass door without windows can be up to 3 or 4 times more energy efficient than wood doors.

Using a fiberglass door for a secure front entry is a very good option. They don’t easily crack or break. Fiberglass doors are a big security improvement over wood doors. Of course, I would still suggest a good deadbolt lock and jamb reinforcement.

Fiberglass door manufacturers

  1. Steves and Sons – located in San Antonio, TX they make wood, steel and fiberglass doors. However, they do not sell directly to the public. They can be purchased through Amazon or Home Depot.
  2. Jeld-Wen – headquarters are located in Charlotte, NC but their products are distributed world wide. They manufacture steel and fiberglass entry doors and windows. Only sold through home improvement centers like Home Depot and Lowe’s.
  3. MP Doors – located in Houston, TX. They manufacture fiberglass doors. They do not sell direct to the public and sell exclusively through Home Depot.
  4. Therma-Tru Doors – located in Maumee, Ohio. They are manufacturers of steel and fiberglass doors. Only sold through home improvement centers like Lowe’s.
  5. FeatherRiver Doors – located in Federal Way, WA. Fiberglass exterior doors are what they manufacture. They do not sell direct to the public and sell through Home Depot and Amazon.
  6. National Door Company – they make fiberglass and steel entry doors. And they sell exclusively through Amazon.
  7. BGW Doors – located in Ontario, California. They make fiberglass, iron and solid wood entry doors. Sold through Amazon or through their online store at Door Window Depot.

Putting it all in perspective

Generally, wood doors are attractive but they can be expensive, need to be maintained and not very energy efficient.

Steel doors are less expensive, can get dinged, dented and scratched which must be repaired to resist rust, very energy efficient. These are the best doors for home security if only security is taken into consideration. But they will require maintenance if they become damaged, dented or scratched to keep them strong.

Fiberglass doors are more expensive than steel but less than wood, require little to no maintenance, more durable than wood or steel doors, very energy efficient but fall in between wood and fiberglass doors with regards to security.

Overall, fiberglass doors are the best doors for home security when maintenance, cost, appearance and resistance to attack are all taken into consideration.

WoodSteelFiberglass
CostHighLowMedium to High
MaintenanceHighMedumLittle to None
Energy EfficiencyLowMediumHigh
SecurityLowHighMedium to High

And if you want to use a screen door with your best door for security check out the best residential security screen doors to use.

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5 Comments

Uneek Security Doors Newcastle · October 5, 2019 at 2:45 am

Nice blog your content is very helpful to me. I’m really very impress with you for the choosing of new and unique topic and also well written article on it. Thanks for sharing with us.

    Bill Kiser · October 5, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    Thank you for visiting. Glad I could help.

water life · July 14, 2019 at 6:12 am

Hello

 I have installed a wooden door but I see that it requires a lot of maintenance and a great cost for it. If I would like to change my front door, that’s what I’m starting to think about, I would prefer the Steel one because it combines all the characteristics a good front door must have. I mean that it offers high security and medium maintenance but it costs low. It’s important for me because of my low budget.

 Thanks for your analytical and comprehensive article, such as the suggestions of all options. They are so helpful.

 Thodoris.

Aabidah Ahmed · July 14, 2019 at 5:56 am

I like my home to be secured because you never know who will try to break in, in your neighborhood. 

Certain doors are installed to protect against burglars that will force you to get inside your home. The best door security I will have is made with heavy steel or metal so that it will be difficult to breakthrough.

We need to be protected within our own homes because burglars sometimes target you and learn you’re every move, then when the time is right, they will take a chance to break in when you are not home.

    Bill Kiser · July 14, 2019 at 6:22 pm

    Yes, I have found steel doors are always the best option when it comes to home security.

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