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Is a Fiberglass or Steel Entry Door Right for Your Home?

When you decide to upgrade your entryway door, you may think about numerous specifications. For instance, you may picture decorative glass inserts, a specific color that complements the hue of your home, and secure hardware to protect your family and belongings.

In addition to these considerations, you must also think about one of the most fundamental characteristics of your new entry door: the material. Two of the most common entryway door materials currently on the market are fiberglass and steel.

Each of these materials can work well for most homes, but choosing the right material for your home can provide you with more energy-and-cost efficiency, security, and longevity. In this blog, we provide you with the information you need to evaluate whether a fiberglass or steel door is right for you.

Fiberglass

When you hear “fiberglass,” you may think about insulation or surfboards. However, fiberglass is one of the most common and one of the best options for exterior door materials currently used. Residential-grade fiberglass composite has a smooth surface and an insulated core.

Fiberglass doors are ideal for homeowners who:

  • Are looking for a low-maintenance entryway door option since fiberglass never has to be refinished and resists corrosion well
  • Prioritize the energy efficiency of home upgrades and want the high ENERGY Star ratings often found in fiberglass door models
  • Want options for color and texture since fiberglass can be finished with almost any paint color or pattern
  • Want the look of a wooden door without the risk of damage caused by expansion, contraction, and water damage in inclement weather conditions

Fiberglass and steel doors are often in similar price ranges; however, fiberglass can sometimes be more cost-effective due to its low-maintenance nature.

Despite these benefits, fiberglass doors may not be a perfect fit in households that:

  • Have small children or participate in sports on the property regularly since fiberglass can crack during impact incidents like being hit with a foul ball or being rammed with a runaway skateboard
  • Require high levels of protection from hurricanes, hail storms, or tornadoes since the debris from these storms can also cause pitting or cracks in fiberglass surfaces

The lightweight nature of fiberglass can make the labor costs associated with installation more affordable, but some homeowners find that they miss the sound and heft of conventional wood or steel doors when they choose fiberglass.

Steel

Steel doors are often associated with warehouses and other commercial properties, but many homeowners find this heavy-duty material a good investment for their residential entryways as well. Steel used for doors is galvanized, or finished with a protective zinc coating, to reduce the risk of rust development in the future.

A steel door might be right for your home if you:

  • Are looking for the highest level of protection against would-be intruders entering your home through a broken front door
  • Hope to get a high return on your investment in the resale value of your home since a 2016 Cost vs Value report showed steel doors had a 91 percent return compared to fiberglass’s 82 percent return
  • Live in a climate with regular occurrences of potentially damaging weather phenomena, including gale-force winds, blizzards, ice storms, tornadoes, and so on
  • Want a long-term investment so you won’t have to purchase a new entryway door for a long time since steel doors can last for decades when well maintained

Steel is one of the most frequently used materials in all types of construction for good reason. When you choose a steel door, you can reasonably expect the door to stay beautiful and strong for years to come.

That said, you may want to steer clear of a steel door if:

  • Your door often gets bumped or scraped, such as by a stroller, dog’s claws, or bicycle since the coating on steel doors can become scratched or dinged and require refilling to restore it
  • You live in a particularly hot climate since the surface of steel doors can become extremely hot to the touch when in direct sunlight or high temperatures and, if you have a lower-quality steel door, could translate into unwanted heat transfer

Like fiberglass, steel can be finished in many colors and textures, including faux wood grain. However, some homeowners find the color selection more limited and the patterns less genuine looking on steel doors than on their fiberglass counterparts.

Use the parameters discussed above to decide if either fiberglass or steel is the obvious choice for your entryway door material. If you still aren’t sure which material would be most advantageous for your home, discuss your concerns and options with a windows and doors contractor to receive personalized recommendations.

For high-quality fiberglass and steel doors in a wide variety of styles designed to complement the architecture of any home, browse the collections we offer at Shank Door.

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