Types of Exterior Doors
By Blue Corona Dev Jun 17, 2013
According to Realtors’ Remodeling Cost vs. Value report, homeowners who are looking for the highest ROI on their home improvement should consider exterior replacement projects. The report lists replacement doors as recouping up to 70% of their cost at resale. Not only do replacement exterior doors pay for themselves later, choosing to install energy-efficient models can also save 10% on utility bills and qualify you for tax credits.
So making the decision to replace your entry and other exterior doors can be fairly simple, but how do you know which door material and style is right for you? The top three materials, wood, steel and fiberglass, vary in cost, maintenance, appearance and energy efficiency. The final decision rests with you and your home’s needs.
Wood: Wooden doors are generally the most common choice for homeowners, as they give the home a luxurious, high-end look. Keeping up the appearance of the wood is fairly simple as well, since the door only requires once-a-year maintenance to prevent splitting and warping. In order to extend your wooden door’s lifespan, you should consider durable stains or high-glass finishes to help protect your door from the sun, moisture and other elements. While these all seem like great advantages, they come at a price. Wooden doors are the most expensive of the options, ranging in price from $500 to $2,000. Additionally, wood doors can peel, warp or twist and they are usually not very energy efficient. Then again, the FSC allows you to choose a wooden door that was grown and harvested in respect to the environment.
Steel: A steel door is the least expensive option with the best financial return. Upon your home’s resale, steel doors recoups approximately 85% of its original cost. However, while they will not warp or crack like wood doors, steel doors are known to have a shorter lifespan. In areas that often experience heavy rain, they may last only 5-7 years due to rust, but other maintenance repairs are simple and cheap. Additionally, steel is one of the best ways to insulate your home and cut energy costs.
Fiberglass: Fiberglass doors are slowly becoming one of the most popular door materials due to their immense variety of styles that mimic the look of real wood. Its foam core offers great insulation for your home and while a ‘maintenance-free’ is virtually impossible, fiberglass doors is as close as you can get to that phrase. Fiberglass does not expand or contract so it lasts twice as long as wood or steel doors, with an average lifespan of 15-20 years. Best of all, fiberglass’s price is between wood and steel, and it recoups about 66% of its price at resale.
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