A Quick Guide to High Quality Front Doors

Inotherm high quality front doors are made tough enough for them to withstand the scorching sun, rain, wind, and even potential intruders. At the same time, they are also made gorgeous and beautiful enough to create a good first impression among guests and passersby. 

Unfortunately, for most front doors, meeting all these needs is almost impossible. Many older doors are made of wood veneer or wood, and these two can crack, delaminate, and warm after some time of being exposed to the different elements. Even metal doors won’t last for life either since some older steel doors can have peeled off surface.

Whether this is exactly the case with your front door or you’ve been planning to get a replacement for your good old door, the good news is that there are now lots of options for you to choose from. Aside from new wooden doors that can better resist the elements compared to earlier versions, you can also find fiberglass and metal ones that are aesthetically pleasing as wood but are often cheaper and provide a higher level of security.

How to Pick the Design for Front Doors 

Many manufacturers provide numerous door styles. You can also find an extensive selection at door dealers, home centers, and lumberyards. 

You can design your very own front door if you like. There are manufacturers that allow you to specify the types of glass options and panels you like. However, you need to place special orders for these doors and wait for them to be delivered to you in two to eight weeks. 

High quality front doors
High quality front doors are available in different designs

The third option that you have is to find a local millwork or woodworker shop to build high quality front doors based on your specifications. The only downside of this option, however, is the money and time involved.

Common Materials used for Front Doors 

Probably the most crucial decision you need to make is the material used for the door. Many doors today combine different materials, such as steel and fiberglass doors with wooden frames. However, the chosen surface material has the most effect on the appearance, security, price, and durability. 

Aluminum Doors

Front doors made from aluminum use a metal skin-covered insulation core. What makes aluminum versions different from other door systems you can find today is the fact that these are sold and offered exclusively by dealers. Every aluminum door is custom-made according to your opening. 

Today’s manufacturers provide all kinds of choices. These front doors are available in dozens of colors and styles with wood-grain or smooth finishes. 

High quality front doors
Aluminum high quality front doors

Aluminum doors feature a baked-on enamel finish and this is the reason why these don’t rust and don’t require painting. This is also why it is common to see these doors backed by 20-year warranties. You can even match the style and color of your door with your aluminum storm door. However, these benefits aren’t cheap since aluminum doors are considered as the most expensive choices next to solid wood. 

Fiberglass-Composite Doors

These doors are maintenance-free and tough and are the smart choice if you are living in an area with humid or harsh climates. Fiberglass-composite doors resemble the appearance of wood with their wood-grain texturing. These can also be stained to match cherry, walnut, oak, and other wood varieties. Under their molded surface, you will find a framework of wooden rails and stiles that include wood edges for the lockset. Polyurethane-foam insulation fills up the framework’s voids.

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Video: Endurance – Solid & Secure Composite Doors

A fiberglass-composite door carries long warranties, with some manufacturers backing their models for the same length of time that you own your home. However, installation can affect longevity and the long warranties often come exclusively on complete entry systems with the frame included. 

Another big advantage is affordability. Ensure that the door’s embossed wood-grain pattern will run in a horizontal direction on the rails and in vertical direction on the stiles similar to real wood grain. If you will only install the door itself, make sure that the existing frame and hinges are lined up. 

Steel Doors

High quality front doors made of steel are your best choice if your top priorities are durability and security. Steel units are much stronger than fiberglass or wood doors and these don’t warp or crack. Any dings or dents on steel doors can be puttied and pulled using an auto-body repair kit.

These doors are also cheaper but steel door systems with premium hardware and sidelights can almost equal the price of wood door systems. Steel doors all feature a wooden inner frame or steel inner frame for greater strength. High-density foam insulation fills the cavities in the frame. Premium doors often feature a 24-gauge skin and steel frame while others have heavier-gauge steel that a lower number represents. The surface is often smooth or with embossed wood-grain pattern. 

Baked-on polyester finish coat most steel doors and this needs periodic repainting. The premium versions have vinyl coating just like what is found on the vinyl-clad windows for better weather resistance. 

Wood Doors

The most common front doors are those made of wood. Beauty and versatility are their main strengths. Custom and natural finish stock wood doors are available in oak, pine, walnut, maple, fir, and mahogany. There are also paint-grade doors that come in different softwood varieties like western hemlock and pine. 

Most stock wood doors are the sandwich of wood-veneer skins on top of the engineered-wood. The configuration reduces the contraction and expansion that can cause warping. These doors are cheaper alternatives to the solid wood doors. Go for furniture-grade and tough veneers with a minimum thickness of 1/16 inch because anything thinner can damage too easily. 

When buying prefinished wood doors, you should always look for clear finishes and durable stains like polyurethane. High gloss sheens provide painted doors the best level of protection. 

High quality front doors come in styles and designs. Always look for the best that offers the most protection and highest value for money to make the most out of your investment.