Three Considerations When Choosing A New Door

Posted on: 28 July 2015

The entryway to your home should be inviting yet impenetrable. It should allow for easy access for occupants and guests but create an effective barrier against outside temperatures. It should be beautiful yet not require a lot of effort to maintain. If your door looks old and does not work like it should, it might be time to install a new door, but with all the options of doors on the market, it can be hard to feel confident in your choice of door. If you focus on the three keys outlined below, you should be able to rest easy with your choice of door. 

Energy Efficiency

Doors and windows are notorious weak spots in the insulation envelope of a building. While you may not ever be able to get your door to provide the same insulation that you get from a solid wall, the right material can come close. Because of the difficulty in finding a solid slab of wood from which to make a door, most wood doors these days are made from a solid core of fiberboard coated with a wood veneer. Either way the R-value of a wood door will be 2.7. In contrast, an insulated steel door will have an R-value of 15, and an insulated fiberglass door will have an R-value of 6. The walls of your home should have an R-value of about 19, so it is easy to see just how week the insulation of most doors is. In terms of energy efficiency, the steel door is the best choice. 


Outside temperatures are not the only home invaders that you have to worry about. If you live in an area that has a high crime rate, or you otherwise feel the need to make your home as secure as possible, you should take steps to improve the security provided by your doors. Rather than quibble over whether wood, steel, or fiberglass holds up best to home invasions, you should instead focus on your hinges and locks. More often than not, it is the hinges or the door jamb that breaks before the door does. Thus, you should reinforce your door jamb with 3 1/2 inch screws. These will hold up to repeated efforts to kick your door in. You may also want to use metal strike plates to reinforce the area around your door knob. 


If you want a door that does not require a lot of maintenance, then fiberglass is probably your best choice. Wood can fade and require you to restain it. If you paint the wood, it can blister, crack, and flake off. Thus, you will frequently have to repaint or restain your door. Steel should require less maintenance, but it can get dented and scratched, and these blemishes can allow corrosion to start. Fiberglass should be dent and scratch resistant and should hold its color, so you should have little-to-no maintenance. 

For more information, contact Southern Specialty Corporation or a similar company.