Shopping for a New Front Door? Know Your Options

When it comes to first impressions, the front door of your house plays a huge role since it signifies the transition between the outside world and your home’s representation of who you are.  Aesthetically, a beautiful front door will add value to your property through curb appeal; however, greater value can actually be found through the installation of energy-efficient models that may not only help you save as much as 10% on energy bills, but also qualify you for several tax credits.

Still, like selecting a particular flooring material or wall color, there are a myriad of door options to choose from, so it’s all about determining which one fits your needs.  In general, front doors need to be tough so they can withstand the elements, but that doesn’t mean that visual appeal has to go by the wayside.

Generally, most doors come in three popular materials—wood, steel, and fiberglass composite—but all three materials have a variety of pros and cons which may or may not fit into your life.


Luxurious and beautiful, wood doors are still an incredibly popular option, especially if you’re looking to add a classic touch to your home.  In an effort to minimize the chances of warping, today’s models tend to consist of a wood veneer skin over a wood core, but that doesn’t mean that upkeep isn’t important.  When looking for pre-finished wood doors, selecting something with a high-gloss finish will help preserve the integrity of the wood, but it’s also a good idea to perform a yearly examination of the door to catch signs of wear and tear in advance.

In particular, take note of things like dullness, a dry touch or white shading to the finish, or dark streaks along the bottom of the door (which may be indicative of moisture being pulled into the wood).  If you notice any of these signs, simply sand, clean, and re-prime each spot.


Steel doors tend to be the most popular choice when it comes to replacement doors because, along with the fact that they’re the least expensive option, they also tend to be the most durable.  While wood doors may warp, twist, or crack, steel doors tend to handle rough living a bit better and are filled with an energy-efficient insulating foam that helps with heating and air costs.

Still, while the upfront price may be lower, steel doors tend to have a shorter lifespan than wood or fiberglass, which means you may have to spend a bit more money if rust or general wear-and-tear make a future replacement necessary.


Frequently chosen for their affordable nature and virtually maintenance-free durability, fiberglass composite doors can last an extremely long time and, like steel doors, are also filled with an energy-efficient insulating foam.  Furthermore, since they’re also resistant to an array of issues that ail wood and steel doors—i.e. denting, warping, rot, and rust—they tend to work well with homes that are in extreme climates.

When it comes to visual appeal, fiberglass composite doors can be painted or stained any way you choose; however, they generally need to be painted every five years or so, which actually makes them a bit higher maintenance than steel doors.


It’s amazing the difference that a front door can make in regards to a home’s overall appearance.  Don’t be afraid to play around with different designs and colors, and rest assured that if you’re considering making a few changes to your exterior, upgrading your front door can be a fantastic venture since your return on investment will almost always be positive.

Mirko Attolini | CRES Builders, Corp | | 770-983-4698