Best Types of Doors for Your Home’s Exterior

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When considering the types of doors available for your home improvement project, bear in mind the pros and cons of the material of each type.

general_brand]Depending on the type of exterior door you choose, you can increase your home’s value. Certain energy-efficient front doors may even qualify for a tax credit, saving you up to $500 in addition to the estimated 10 percent savings you will see on your energy bill.

The three primary types of doors used for the entrance to a home are wood, fiberglass and steel.

Steel doors tend to cost the least amount of money, with a basic steel door costing about $150 to $400. According to Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report, installing a 20-gauge steel door at your home’s entry should cost about $1,137, including hardware and labor.

Steel doors, however, tend to succumb to the elements, particularly salt air or heavy rains. In such conditions, they are expected to last only up to seven years. They can also be expensive and challenging to repair.

Fiberglass doors are available in a number of styles, many of which look convincingly like wood. With its foam core, a fiberglass door is well insulated. The material holds up suitably in a variety of weather conditions and requires very little maintenance over time. Fiberglass doors last for up to 20 years — twice as long as either wood or steel doors.

The cost of a fiberglass door is somewhere between that of a steel or wood door, with the upper end price for a door at a big-box store running about $600. The cost of installing one of these doors in your entryway would be roughly $1,830, including hardware and labor.

Wood doors are the preferred choice for high-end homes. They offer a handcrafted look that neither steel nor fiberglass can duplicate.

The most expensive of door material types, wood doors cost $500 to $2,000. They also require considerably more maintenance because of their tendency to show scratches and general wear. You should repaint or refinish a wood door every other year or so to keep it from warping or even splitting.

The cost to install a wood door, including hardware and labor, is estimated to be about $1,200.

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