Choosing a door is trickier than most of us realize in the beginning and that applies to all doors in the house and not just the front door. However, the front door is the most important one of them all and it definitely deserves special attention. If you are getting new doors installed in your house or apartment, it is imperative to understand and consider all the aspects involved first, rather than just going blindly with whatever the contractor advises you to go with. Read on as we try and highlight some of those important factors next.
What’s the Purpose?
This should always be the first consideration while choosing doors because although the primary purpose of any door is to provide security and privacy, there are variable factors here. For example, the purpose of the front door is to provide security above everything else, but it must also go with the overall external décor of the house to keep it from looking like an eyesore. Even then, security will take precedence here over décor, unlike internal doors, which can get away with being somewhat flimsy for the sake of aesthetics. Then again, you may want thick, sturdy doors in every room in case of a break-in as it will definitely take burglars more time to break in through multiple tough doors than just one front door, giving the police enough time to get to the spot. On the other hand, if you don’t live in a particularly hostile neighborhood, one sturdy door is usually enough.
What About the Material?
Doors are generally made up of wood, ply, steel, glass or fiberglass and, depending on what you choose as well as the size of the doorframe, the prices will vary quite a bit. Of course, the security and décor options will also vary in accordance with the sturdiness and the texture of the material in question. To understand which material would be appropriate for your home, let’s get introduced to the basics of each material and what they have to offer.
Only Wood – Wood is the traditional choice of material for front doors, sometimes together with glass or fiberglass. However, there are various types of wood, depending on which, both the strength and the price will vary a lot. In general, oak or mahogany works best for front doors, while walnut, cherry or maple is best reserved for internal doors due to their comparatively higher susceptibility to weathering and mechanical damage.
Wood and Glass – Wooden doors with glass look great and in spite of being glass, they do not compromise on privacy as see-through glass is not generally used on front doors. However, during break-ins, the glass may act as the weakest point on the door, even when the glass has basic shock absorbing features.
Steel – Let’s get the obvious out of the way first; there is nothing sturdier than a steel door available for residential properties (and even most industrial properties). Normally made out of 20- 26-gauge steel, these doors will not rot, rust, crack or warp even after years of use, so this is basically the safest option you have. Ideal for front doors but not so much for internal doors, steel is also a lot cheaper than wood. The problem is that steel doors do stand out aesthetically and not usually in a good way!
Fiberglass – Fiberglass doors resist the weathering effects better than wood or plywood and by painting them with the right color, you can make them go with almost any décor you want. They are not as sturdy as some of the other materials, but modern fiberglass is very strong nonetheless. The energy efficient material often mimics wood closely with faux grains, so there isn’t much to lose here in terms of aesthetics.
Plywood- Plywood doors are light, cheap, long lasting and offer great customizability, but they are definitely not for front doors. Even if a contractor insists that their plywood is suitable for front doors, it is best to take that advice with a pinch of salt and keep the plywood doors for internal use only.
The Installation is All Important
Unless you have significant experience with similar projects, never attempt to install the front door all by yourself. You can probably still get away with practicing on the internal doors, but even a steel front door won’t last if the installation isn’t proper. This will compromise your home’s security and cost you even more down the line than it would have initially to get it installed by professionals. Edward’s Enterprises is an insured general contractor that offers interior and exterior door repair and installation services, so give them a call and get the door/doors installed properly in place. In fact, their experienced workers will likely be able to guide you in choosing the right kind of doors for your particular needs as well.
Now that you know how to go about it, the next challenge is to find something that meets all your criteria and also fits your budget, which should be easier if you just change one door at a time.