What Is the Best Material For An Exterior Door?

Upgrading your entry door can seem daunting at first with all the different options out on the market. If you’re asking yourself what is the best material for an exterior door, you’ve come to the right place. We are breaking down the different entry door material options so you can make the best choice for your home.

The most common materials for front or exterior doors are steel, fiberglass, and wood. They can all protect your home effectively, but each one provides distinct advantages. For instance, while fiberglass is more stylish, steel is evidently more durable. Note: A Provia Fiberglass door is also very durable and it does have reinforcements –depending on the model– and will not chip or dent like regular steel or wood doors. As always, choose the door material that will fit your home’s architecture, personal style, and budget best.

Also, consider the things you can add to a front door to make it fit your needs best. Maybe you’d like more natural sunlight flowing in? Add sidelights or decorative glass to your new door. Are storms a constant concern? Include a protective storm door to your upgrade. Whatever the need or concern, we’ll help you find the perfect door for you.

Front Door Material Types

When it comes to choosing the right front door material for your home, there are several options to consider. Each type of material has its unique benefits and drawbacks, depending on your preferences, budget, and the climate in your area. Here are some of the most common materials used for front doors:

  • Fiberglass
  • Steel
  • Wood
  • Aluminum

Fiberglass Entry Doors

Fiberglass entry doors are ideal for areas that experience harsh climates (we see you, Illinois). This exterior door material offers the lowest maintenance and does not warp or crack under climate pressure. They’re also resistant to denting and scratching, unlike steel or wood doors. So if you’re looking for a door material that’s long-lasting and requires little work, then fiberglass is the one for you!

Besides durability, fiberglass doors also offer next-level style options. NEXT Door and Window fiberglass entry doors deliver a realistic representation of a wood door in Cherry, Mahogany, Fir, Oak, and Knotty Alder with professionally applied paint and stain finishes.

What Is the Advantage Of a Fiberglass Door?

With fiberglass entry doors, you can get an authentic wood appearance without the cost or maintenance of actual wood. You can also easily add in decorative glass to improve your home’s curb appeal. Every aspect of your door from the colors, glass, trim, and hardware options are all selected to create the look you desire.

These beautiful doors are engineered to be highly energy-efficient, sturdy and safe, and offer significant durability and less maintenance than other materials. A fiberglass is a solid option for many homeowners.

Need Help? Our Team Provides Entry Door Replacement Services to Homes in Downers Grove, Orland Park, St. Charles, Madison, & Other Areas

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Steel Entry Doors

For affordability and strength. If you’re looking for durable doors, offer extra security, and can withstand the outdoor elements then consider a steel material. Steel doors are great for entryways but also a good option for garage doors or basement entry doors (especially when a fire-rated door is a city or village requirement) that don’t usually include a storm door for protection since they can handle a lot of different temps. Steel doors usually conduct temperature more than fiberglass doors.

When you think of a steel door you might imagine bulky, cold-looking entry doors, but au contraire, steel entry doors can truly shine in the design department. They are available in a smooth steel or wood grain texture steel. You can customize your door in multiple stains and paint finishes, choose from a variety of styles, and even add in some decorative glass to finish off the look!

What Are the Advantages Of a Steel Door?

Steel doors are strong. And some like the ProVia Legacy Steel line (which is carried at NEXT Door and Window) won’t crack, dent or warp and are the most durable on the market (close to commercial-grade steel). Steel doors can be more energy-efficient than wood doors, but they will vary depending on construction. They’re generally safer doors considering the strength of their material, so are a good option for homeowners who are concerned about security.

Steel entry doors are also budget-friendly, but of course, that’s dependent on customizations. Some special sizes are available only in steel, they’re easier to build. Overall, steel doors are great for Illinois homeowners but keep in mind that these doors can rust if not properly primed and painted so they may require a bit more maintenance.

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Wood Entry Doors

As a window and door company, we simply cannot recommend wood entry doors for a home in Illinois. Wood doors can be incredibly high maintenance, less durable, upkeep is expensive, and they just don’t work well with our Illinois climate where we experience heavy rain, snow, sleet, and high humidity.

We cannot deny their beauty and curb appeal, and know at times (for historical architecture) they are a great fit. But you can achieve the look and feel you’ve always imagined with a fiberglass door. Remember, fiberglass doors deliver a realistic representation of a wood door but are much easier to maintain and a better fit for our seasons.

There are some things to consider if you still have your heart set on a wood door. If you live in a climate like Illinois, this front door material may be harder to maintain unless you add a storm door or have a covered entryway. The wood door should also be kept from direct sunlight because it can easily lose its looks without proper maintenance.

You also want to make sure that you have a high enough porch so nothing puddles near your wood door. As you can see, the wood door is the most high maintenance material before you even purchase it.

wood entry door

Exterior Door Installation & Replacement Services

If you need help comparing the best materials for a new exterior door, give our team a call by phone at (630) 280-2748 to receive support. Our contractors provide reliable window and door installation services in Evanston, IL and many other areas. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your entry door to a steel, fiberglass, or wood material, our Design and Energy experts are here to guide you along the way.

Our staff provides energy-efficient doors and windows from brands such as Marvin and Provia. Our experts can help you visualize this final door appearance with our Home Visualizer tool that allows you to try on styles before buying. We are currently offering in-home or virtual appointments with our experts to get your projects started as soon as possible.


Complete guide to best material for an entry door

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