Exterior doors can be a front door, back door or a balcony door. Basically, it’s the door that’s connected to the outside world. It’s what people from the outside can see. While these doors can add beauty to your exterior design, there are many things that you should consider before choosing one.
Choosing exterior doors for your home can be quite a handful, as the safety of your family greatly depends on them. Here are some things that you should consider when picking one:
Usually, exterior doors can be made from 4 different materials which include:
- Fiberglass – This is the best option if your house is located in an area where that’s prone to harsh and humid weather. Fiberglass can withstand the elements without cracking or bowing. They come at a reasonable price, considering how durable they are. Fiberglass doors have been on the market for decades, and they’re well known for their quality. They’re available in a variety of styles, colors and textures, so there’ll always be one to fit your decor and budget. They’re lightweight and cost-effective, but they’re not the cheapest options out there. They don’t crack, break easily or require regular maintenance. Most importantly, they’re safe.
- Wood – Solid wood doors have been around for hundreds of years. While they have always been popular, they weren’t historically as common as other types of doors. This is because they were expensive to make, especially when compared to other types of materials. They also required special skills, which were often not available to most people at the time. For these reasons, wooden doors were mostly used in palaces and mansions, and were not a viable option for most homeowners; with modern technology, it has become possible to produce quality wooden doors that look exactly as they are designed to look.
- Steel – The main benefit to using steel doors is that they’re very durable. Wood is brittle, and if you have heavy wind or rain then it could be damaged. With steel doors, it’s almost impossible for it to be broken. A steel door is also surprisingly lightweight, which makes it easier to move around your home.
Another benefit to the steel door is the price. You can purchase a steel door for much less than an elaborately designed wooden one. This makes it a great option for your pockets, if you don’t want to completely spill them on an exterior door. However, you need to be comfortable with having steel doors as your exterior doors, as some people don’t think that they look very homely.
- Aluminum – Aluminum doors are a cost-effective option for the exterior of your home. This is primarily due to the availability of this material. This is because aluminum is recyclable, meaning that it will be reused after it’s thrown away to make more items such as doors and other metal products. Aluminum doors are usually lightweight and easy to install. Along with this, they’re typically easy to repair in the event of a problem. Because of the high energy efficiency of aluminum, they are great for homes with small spaces. They also make great choices for a building project, because they’re so versatile and less susceptible to wear and tear.
- Glass – Glass exterior doors have become very popular for their durability, heavy insulation, and excellent design flexibility. Glass provides strong protection from outside elements, while still offering an attractive, decorative exterior that many people love. With the glass door, homeowners can add their personal touch by installing a decorative trim that matches or complements the glass material itself. However, when choosing glass for a home, several different types are available; choosing the right type of glass can be confusing, especially if one does not have a lot of experience with this type of door. You just have to make sure that they are sturdy enough to protect against break-ins and the weather. For maximum security, you should go for the bullet and sledgehammer-proof option.
Because you have such a wide range of different materials to choose from, you have to make sure that your choice matches the condition of your location perfectly. The top choice for most homeowners is fiberglass, as it can easily match any exterior design of their home and it’s affordable. Steel and aluminum are very viable options, but most people don’t find them appealing enough to be the face of the home. While they work well under most conditions, you still have to consider the overall look of your house.
Of course, we want our homes to be as safe as possible to reduce the possibility of having intruders or burglars enter. You must prioritize the security features of your door; break-ins are a very real danger, and double or triple locking just isn’t doing the job anymore.
Look for a door with a one-inch-long deadbolt and a reinforced metal strike plate. If you’re planning to go for a glass door or any door that includes glass, you should verify that the materials are bulletproof and sledgehammer-proof to increase the security of your home. Glass is known to easily break so if intruders see it, they’re more likely to be motivated to break in since it’s easier to do.
When it comes to your door’s locks, you should choose a modern locking system to maximize the security you have at your home. If the budget allows it, you could even go for keyless entry with the use of your smartphone or transponder. There’s also an option for keypad entry or RFID to maximize the security of your home, but this is the highest of the high-end.
Aside from deadbolts and locks, you should include a security system in your home just in case someone still manages to get inside. This will alert you and the police to an intruder’s presence, and alert the authorities.
It may not seem like it, but the way your house heats up – even with the AC turned on full blast –can be based on how your door is installed. The same goes for the winter season, when your home becomes so cold you can’t even remove your jacket.
Heat loss is usually due to air leaks around the door. When installing, you have to make sure that it’s attached properly – allowing the least air to flow outside. The material of your door doesn’t affect the insulation of your home too much in terms of losing energy, but your door frame does.
Make sure that your allotted door space fits perfectly to the one that you’ve purchased. This’ll allow for less of a possibility that air will leak into your house. You need to measure the size of your allotted door space by width and height. The standard size of doors in the US is 3’ x 6’8”. If you choose to have a standard size door, make sure that your allotted space is of the appropriate size.
The way your exterior door looks speaks volumes about how well you like to keep your house. Most people will notice your door more than any other part of your house from the outside. It’s rare for them to notice the design of your windows and walls. Since the first thing that they’ll see upon entering your house is the door, make sure that it looks amazing to heighten their impression of your home.
When choosing colors, don’t just choose your favorite. Choose a color that matches your house’s exterior. If the architectural design is composed of white wood and black, you could go for a black or wood-colored door to make it look more balanced with the other parts of your home.
When you have matching colors in the exterior, it can also add value to your property as it’s aesthetically pleasing.
6. Choose the Right Contractor
When choosing a contractor, you should pick a trustworthy contractor who has experience and good reviews. In this way, you won’t end up leaking heat – which is the same thing as leaking money – over the years until you get a new door.
Before hiring a professional, make sure that you do a background check and ask for references. You may even ask your trusty neighbors who they had as their contractor just to be sure.
Picking the best exterior door might be a handful as there are a ton of factors to consider. You need to consider all the features that the door can bring to your household. Instead of picking a door based solely on its design, you should also consider whether it’s strong enough for the weather conditions of your area, and whether or not it’s a good option against burglary.
You have to make sure that any glass is bullet- and sledgehammer-proof so that you can guarantee the safety of your family. Finally, along with adding security features to your locks, don’t forget to install a home security system to your home for maximum safety.