Front doors are typically the first part of your home that a guest touches and for many, that’s reason enough to choose a beautiful one when shopping for front doors. However, beauty isn’t the only concern, homeowners also want to know more about the integrity of the doors they're choosing so they can be sure they are making a good investment.
If you’re interested in replacing your front doors and have asked yourself, What’s the best door material? Or What brands can I trust? You’re in luck because we have the answers to both of those questions in this article.
WHAT IS THE BEST MATERIAL FOR A FRONT DOOR?
This is a subjective question–fiberglass, steel, and wood are the most common for entry doors but your best option is primarily about your personal preferences. Some door materials are more durable and provide more insulation while others stand out for their aesthetic appeal.
Doors are available in multiple materials, some popular materials include fiberglass, steel, and wood. Each material has strengths and weaknesses that you’ll want to take into account as you decide which is best for your home and lifestyle. Learn more about these materials below.
Fiberglass is a composite material made from a combination of glass fibers and polymer.
Generally, fiberglass is considered more secure and more energy efficient than other materials including wood. Seasonal contraction and expansion don’t affect fiberglass as much as wood. This is a benefit for doors with glass panels because the fiberglass material holding the panes of glass is more likely to hold the glass seal intact.
When the seal is damaged or broken insulated glass loses its insulating benefits. Regardless, this is a highly durable material that can withstand lots of use without showing a scratch. It’s also resistant to warping and rot and requires little maintenance. Fiberglass doors can be susceptible to fading but they can also be repainted if needed.
According to Consumer Reports, steel doors account for about half the market. The metal material works well in grand entrances but it does require maintenance and care to prevent dents and rust.
On the plus side, steel doors provide good security and you won’t worry about the material cracking, warping, or rotting. Steel doors are also constructed with thermal adhesives and foam centers to increase insulating properties.
Wood is a traditional building material that can be transformed into beautiful and customizable products. Doors are available in a wide range of wood species, colors, finishes, unique grain patterns, and door styles. Wooden doors have the same weaknesses we see in wooden windows–they are susceptible to rot, warping, and peeling–as such, they require more maintenance than other materials and over time require periodic repainting or refinishing.
WHO ARE THE BEST FRONT DOOR MANUFACTURERS?
If you’re like most shoppers you’ll start your search for your new doors online. Starting your search online helps you save time before visiting multiple stores or showrooms. Manufacturer websites often provide product details that many retailers don’t provide. Additionally, manufacturers can give you a list of retailers that carry their products.
Listed below are some of the top manufacturers according to Window & Door magazine.
Andersen Windows & Doors
Andersen Windows & Doors is one of the biggest names in the window and door industry. Andersen has over 115 years in business– with that much business history it’s no surprise that they are one of the biggest names in the window and door industry and one of the most trusted brands by builders. They carry a wide selection of products to meet every style and budget.
Andersen residential entry doors are made from wood which can be left natural, stained, or protected by aluminum exteriors. For homeowners concerned with mobility, Andersen’s front doors have a low-profile sill option and can be made for either an inswing or outswing operation.
JELD-WEN was founded in 1960. The company began with 15 employees and now employs over 20,000 people worldwide. The early success of JELD-WEN and their reputation for building reliable products allowed the company to expand its manufacturing force as well as its product offerings.
Today, among its many other window and door options JELD-WEN offers All Panel, Glass Panel, or Dutch Panel exterior doors. The product lines are available in wood, fiberglass, or steel options.
Pella, whose history started in 1925, began offering entry doors in 2000. Pella’s history is marked by continuous innovation and expansion.
Pella’s entry doors are available in fiberglass, steel, or wood. The Pella series is available in a broad range of styles including doors with glass and solid panel doors. The choice of prefinished stained or painted is available for fiberglass or steel doors. Fiberglass is often considered one of the most energy-efficient choices available but if you prefer the appearance of wood, Pella’s VividGrain stain process provides a wood appearance on the fiberglass panel.
Therma-Tru was founded in 1962 in Toledo, Ohio. This company launched the first fiberglass door on the market in 1983 creating a product that provided the beauty of a wood door but with better performance. To this day, Therma-Tru continues to be a leader in fiberglass and steel door systems.
Therma-Tru offers 7 entry door product lines made from fiberglass or steel materials. Among their product offerings, you’ll find decorative glass features as well as solid panel doors.
ProVia is a faith-based company located in the heart of the nation’s Amish population. This company, like many great companies, began in a garage and with craft and care has expanded to distribute products throughout most of the U.S. With over 40 year years of experience, ProVia is known for manufacturing high-quality entry door systems along with several home exterior remodeling products. ProVia has a reputation for old-world craftsmanship and for the care they give to their customers and put into their work.
Whether you’re looking for steel or fiberglass doors you’ll find them with ProVia. In fact, ProVia manufactures the most energy-efficient door available in the U.S. Doors in the Embarq series are made of fiberglass and are thicker than other doors on the market. The Embarq door design features a dual perimeter seal, custom bottom sweet to keep out unwanted elements, and insulation channels in the side rails and header of the door.
If you live in North Texas and are interested in buying new entry doors, our team at Brennan Enterprises can help you out! We’re preferred dealers for Andersen Windows & Doors and ProVia. Learn more about us on our About Page. If you decide you’d like to do business with us but aren’t 100% decided on Andersen or ProVia, give us a call and let us know what you’re looking for we’ll do our best to get you the door of your choice or even have one custom made.