Thinking about installing a new exterior door? Are you constructing a new home and not sure which type of door you should choose? At Keyprime Roofing, we’re here to help. In Minnesota, it’s always important to consider the striking weather differences between summer and winter when selecting an exterior door. Unlike those living in more temperate climates, as a homeowner here, you must be mindful of the harsh conditions winter often presents. With those conditions in mind, only then can you select the most appropriate materials. How do you know what the best option is for your home? Below, we discuss the advantages and potential pitfalls of some of the most popular types of exterior doors.
What to Look For in an Exterior Door
When your geographic location is prone to harsh, cold winters, you must consider your climate when selecting entry doors for your home. Not only do the proper doors cut down on your winter heating costs, but they boast incredible resilience to the harsh elements. When considering exterior doors for your home, look for the following traits:
● Insulation. To prevent warmth from escaping and cold air from seeping in, your exterior doors must contain adequate insulating material.
● Weather resistance. Entry doors should be capable of withstanding high winds and repelling moisture and heat.
● Strength. Exterior doors should be durable enough to withstand decades of use and harsh weather conditions. They should also be capable of withstanding physical force if home security is a concern.
● Warranty. The strength of the door’s warranty is often an indication of its quality. Doors that offer impressive warranties are typically manufactured by companies that stand behind the strength and durability of their products.
Most modern doors worth their weight offer a strong combination of the above traits. But with such a wide variety of different materials, structural variances, and aesthetic options, how do you choose the most appropriate door for your home? Here are the most popular options:
By far the most traditional choice, wood doors have earned their reputation for durability and longevity. While solid wood has long been a choice for its sturdiness and aesthetic appeal, wood-core doors with veneer overlay are a popular take on the traditional style. The wood-veneer combination eliminates cupping and twisting issues that commonly plague solid wood doors and is engineered to last decades with proper maintenance.
Many modern wood doors are factory treated to withstand harsh elements like wind, rain, and moisture, but as you well know, wood is never fire-resistant. As far as insulation, most wood doors have an R-value—the measurement of how well a material resists heat—of 2.5. To illustrate, a double-paned glass window also has an R-value of 2.5. Of course, wood doors also offer substantial strength which provides adequate home security and protection against the harsh elements. However, wood works best in protected environments such as covered entryways or under awnings. Keep in mind that wood doors require the most maintenance of all exterior door types.
Fiberglass exterior doors are well-known for their strength, substantial insulation, and design versatility. Comparable to steel in their strength, fiberglass offers sturdy protection against outside elements and security threats alike. Because they are impervious to rust, these exterior doors also stand up very well against heavy precipitation. If you prefer the aesthetic of a wood door, but don’t fancy the yearly maintenance and potential for warpage, a fiberglass door is a great alternative.
Unlike wood, fiberglass has no potential for warpage, swelling, or rot; however, this highly versatile material can be customized to bear a striking resemblance to a solid wood entry door. And, with a much higher R-value than a wood door—2.5 versus 5-6—fiberglass offers nearly three times the insulation of a solid wood or wood-core door. Keep in mind that fiberglass is generally the most expensive of all exterior doors—but for good reason. Of all exterior door materials, fiberglass offers the longest life and greatest return on investment.
Definitely the strongest option among exterior door materials, steel offers extreme security protection due to its thick, impenetrable design. An insulated steel door offers comparable energy efficiency to that of a fiberglass door; however, unlike fiberglass, steel is prone to rust, corrosion, and dents. Even so, steel requires less maintenance than wood.
As for resilience, steel doors do very well in cold, windy conditions and can endure decades of heavy use with little sign of wear. Overall, steel is a great choice if you know you don’t want a wood door, but can’t abide by the price tag of fiberglass. Both fiberglass and steel are comparable in insulation and weather protection; however, steel is considerably more secure.
While not quite as sturdy as steel, aluminum offers homeowners substantial strength and security. Provided the door contains adequate insulation and glazing, aluminum is also energy efficient. Depending on interior insulation, aluminum door R-values can vary considerably, typically making them a less desirable choice in colder climates. Like steel, aluminum is impervious to rot; however, the material offers a distinct advantage that steel does not: corrosion resistance. Aluminum also boasts impressive longevity and can handle years of heavy traffic with little sign of wear. As for price point, aluminum doors tend to be slightly more affordable than their steel counterparts.
If your home features a patio or deck, you likely have at least one sliding glass exterior door. To provide the best protection against harsh, cold winter weather, it’s critical you select the appropriate type of glass. Low-cost glass doors typically feature panels constructed of only a single pane—not much protection against heat loss during winter. Double-pane doors or insulated paneling, however, offer improved energy efficiency and resistance to high winds and physical force. When looking for the most energy-efficient glass doors, be sure to select options that feature at least two panes, preferably insulated with gas to mitigate heat loss during winter.
High-Quality Door Installation in Minneapolis, MN
At Keyprime Roofing, roofing isn’t our only specialty! We also offer complete installation of entry doors, patio doors, and storm doors. The quality of your door installation is just as important as the quality of its materials, and we pride ourselves on our knowledgeable and comprehensive installation services. Whether you’re replacing an existing door or selecting one for new construction, we’re here to provide efficient, expert service. Give us a call at 952.426.0132 to schedule your consultation, or message us on our contact page for any questions. We’re the hardest working contractors in the Twin Cities metro!