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Choosing the ideal front door for your home shouldn’t be that difficult right? Well, you’d be surprised to learn how confusing it can get since there are so many different options available to you. The front door can be of any design, but it should be tough enough to keep out intruders, withstand the scorching sun, rain, and wind, and must make a good first impression as well. Unfortunately, not every front door will manage to meet all these demands, since wooden doors tend to delaminate, crack, and warp after being exposed to the elements. The durability of the door also comes into question, and even though metal doors are solid, they don’t last forever, and can even start to peel off.

Whether you’re looking for a solid door with glass panels that let in light or a simple wooden door, there is no shortage of options available in the market. You can even check out these door selections, which will allow you to make the right choice.

There are new types of wooden doors that can resist the elements better, and fiberglass and metal doors, which look just like wood but they cost less and offer greater security. So, without further ado, let’s go ahead and find out how you can go about choosing the ideal front door.

Detect the Amount of Damage

Most of the times, replacing a door in your home means exchanging a door with another, but generally, you’ll need to take out the old door framing and replace it with a new one. This will mean taking out the threshold and door jambs if there is rotting on the wood members. Even if the old door frames are in good condition, the wall studs they are nailed too will not be in perfect condition. That makes closing and opening the door harder and you’ll need to trim the edges or plane the bottom and top to allow the door to hang properly.

A lot of newer doors are pre-hung, meaning that the door will hang on hinges in the new frame. If you’re removing the frame to enlarge the opening, pre-hung doors are the best choice.

Material Matters

A lot of manufacturers come out with various door styles, and you’ll find an extensive range at door dealers, lumberyards, and home centers. You can even design a door on your own, where you’ll be given the choice to select any glass options or panels you want. However, these doors may take some time to be delivered, but another option you have is to work with a local woodworker to construct a wooden door with an electric hand planer based on your specifications.

The most important decision you’ll be making is what material your door is going to be made from. You can also choose to combine different materials, like many steel and fiberglass doors come with wooden frames, but the surface material is the most important due to its price, security, durability, and appearance.

  • Go for Wooden Doors

Wooden doors are renowned for their beauty and versatility, and most custom wood and natural-finish stock doors come in pine, fir, maple, mahogany, walnut, oak, and cherry. There are also paint-grade doors available in softwood types like western hemlock and pine. A lot of stock wooden doors are sandwiched with engineered-wood core and wood-veneer skins. This helps minimize the contraction and expansion, which causes warping.

When you’re shopping for prefinished wooden doors, you should search for clear finishes and durable stains, like polyurethane. For painted doors, high-gloss sheens provide the best protection, and you should apply the finish to the bottom and top edges. That will prevent the wooden door from swelling and absorbing moisture. You must also pay attention to detailing, and if the moldings and carvings are intricate, the stiles and rails are going to be wider and thicker, which will result in a better door.

  • Steel Doors are Another Option

If durability and security are what you’re going for, then steel doors are the best option for you. The steel doors are stronger than fiberglass or wooden doors and won’t warp or crack. Any dings or dents on the doors can be easily repaired with the help of an auto-body repair kit. Steel doors are also more affordable and come with wooden inner frames that provide greater strength. The cavities in the frame are filled out with high-intensity foam insulation, and these doors tend to have a steel frame and a 24-gauge skin, with a smooth surface embossed with a wooden-grain pattern.

Steel doors are also coated with baked-on polyester finishing that needs repainting periodically, and the premium versions include a vinyl coating that offers greater weather resistance. Steel doors come with pre-hung systems, but they also come with attached hinges or holes that need to be drilled.

  • Fiberglass-Composite Doors

If you’re looking for maintenance-free and tough doors then fiberglass-composite doors are the best choice, especially for humid or harsh climates. They look like wood as they have stains that match different types of wood like walnut, cherry oak. They have a wooden framework of rails and stiles beneath their surface, which includes wooden edges. What makes fiber-glass composite doors a good choice is a fact they come with long warranties and are extremely affordable.

  • Aluminum Doors

Aluminum doors have an insulated core that has a metal skin covering it. Aluminum doors aren’t like other doors and are mainly sold through dealers, as they are custom-built to fit into your opening. There are various options offered by manufacturers, and most have an enamel finish that is based on which doesn’t rust and doesn’t require any painting.

Buying Smart

Whether you’re buying the door alone or are buying an entire door-and-frame system, you should buy smartly, so you don’t end up regretting your purchase. If you’re buying a complete entry system, ensure that all parts come from one manufacturer, and check whether the weather stripping is sealing properly, and the threshold interlocks with the bottom of the door.

For window units, you should go for low e-glazing, which are added for security by manufacturers to stop break-ins. You should know that decorative windows that have real brass or lead will be more expensive than the fake stuff available in the market.

Selecting the right front door for your home will allow you to take advantage of energy savings, and you’ll need to deal with less maintenance throughout the years.