Your front door is the gateway to your home and commands the most attention from outside. It’s an essential detail that will complete the finished product of your home remodel.
It’s also the first part of your home that your guests will physically touch as they enter your home. So it’s important to choose your new exterior door wisely.
When looking for a new front door, it’s hard to know which materials you should choose and which design will fit your home best. The market for doors is packed with a lot of options and it seems like the possibilities for your new door are virtually endless.
When you’re a homeowner in the market for a new front door it’s easy to become lost in the endless options of exterior doors. Or are you a contractor looking for the best products to complete your client’s remodel? You might be facing questions like, “Should I choose pre-hung or slab?” or “Can I find an of energy-efficient doors that are also stylish?”
There are a lot of things to consider when installing both interior and exterior doors. We want you to be as prepared and knowledgeable as possible. When you know the right questions to ask and the best places to shop, you’ll be on your way to a new door in no time.
We’ve put together a guide that covers different types of doors, what to look for when shopping, and how to get the highest quality doors for your home.
Exterior Doors: Choosing the Best Material
Three important things to consider when front door shopping are safety, durability, and appearance. The safety of your exterior doors will depend on the material, and the choice of material will affect the design.
How do you choose what’s best for your home? Looking at each type of material to choose from will help. It’s important to know the pros and cons of each so that your final decision fits your wish list and your budget.
This is a practical and cost-efficient choice. Fiberglass doors often feature a smooth surface that can be stained or painted to match your style. They can even have an embossed wood-grain surface to give the appearance of a wooden door. Higher-end fiberglass doors can even fool your guests into thinking it is a solid wood door.
What are the pros of having a fiberglass door? They’re very durable and stand up great against the daily wear and tear of life. You can buy them at moderate prices and don’t have to worry about high-maintenance upkeep.
The main downside to choosing fiberglass is that they aren’t the most energy-efficient and can crack under severe impact.
Steel doors are the most popular choice for homeowners. Like fiberglass, they’re not hard on the budget and are low-maintenance. If security and affordability are your top concerns, then steel is the best choice for you.
Steel doors also have insulated foam within the panels, which makes them an energy-efficient and valuable addition to your home. If you’ve already installed energy-efficient windows and want to put in doors that match, then choosing steel is a great option.
The one downside to choosing steel is that it doesn’t stand up the best if your family lifestyle puts a lot of wear and tear on your door. Scratches will rust if not taken care of, and dents can be hard to fix.
Wooden doors are often the most expensive doors to choose from. They offer a truly high-end look that other materials try to mimic. Solid-wood doors stand up well to wear and tear. They also withstand dents and scratches the best.
The main downside to choosing a new wood door is that it’s going to be the most expensive option out of all. They also need regular upkeep to look their best.
To find the most high-quality wood doors for your home, look at how the door is designed. Most modern wood doors combine a solid wood core with veneer skins. This lowers the chances of warping and makes buying a wood door an affordable option.
Make sure the doors you choose use furniture-grade veneer that’s at least 1/16 inch thick. If you’re buying pre-finished wood doors, then find one that’s made with durable stains and a high-gloss finish. Checking these details will help you get the best-quality wood door.
Interior Doors: Combining Quality and Functionality
Your exterior doors play a major role in the finished effect of your home’s exterior, but don’t forget that interior doors also play a vital role in the value of your home. Your interior doors will affect your home’s noise control, privacy, and appearance.
Aside from the style, you’ll need to consider the materials of your interior doors and the way they move within the frame. Here are some things to look for to get the highest quality interior doors for your home.
There are a variety of unique styles that will transform the way your home feels. Choose from traditional hinged or folding doors to give your home that classic feel. You can also opt for wall-mounted barn doors to express your design style.
If you’re working with limited space, then you can choose stylish pocket doors for the most efficient use of space. Don’t be afraid to mix and match styles too.
The material of your interior doors will play a part in the overall design. Since interior doors are protected inside, you can focus more on the style functionality.
Solid wood doors are great for classic hinged doors and make a great long-term option. Just make sure they’re not being used for bathrooms or saunas where moisture and temperatures can warp the wood.
If you need an interior door that’s tougher, hollow-core or MDF are resilient against temperatures and can also be cheaper. Solid-core is also a good option if you need a door that’s good for both temperature control and sound control.
Framing a door is an important part of the installation process. Doors that are poorly framed will lower the quality of your home and won’t be good for sound control or energy efficiency.
Your interior doors can be purchased either pre-hung or as slabs. Pre-hung doors arrive mounted in their frames with hinges attached. Slab doors don’t come with these extras, which means more work for you or your professional installer.
Choosing high-quality materials for your framing is as important as choosing high-quality materials for your doors. Make sure that the best materials are being used for the construction so that you get full value from your new doors.
Something to consider while ordering new doors for your home is the quality of sound control. Having doors with better sound-proofing can increase the quality of your home.
Interior doors get a sound transmission class (STC) number according to the amount of sound it lets through. Doors with 25 STC will be the least soundproof, which means you’ll be able to hear talking at normal levels. Doors with 40-60 ratings will be much more soundproof.
Choosing the highest-quality interior doors all comes down to the materials and installation you choose. Even doors with the simplest design can be made with high-quality materials. It’s up to you to find the best choice that combines quality with functionality in your home.
Choosing Energy-Efficient Doors for Your Home
Even the most stylish doors can turn out to be a disappointment if they aren’t energy-efficient. This concern often comes up when shopping for new windows, but not always when shopping for doors. Air-leakage happens with both though, especially in older homes.
Once you’ve installed windows to slow down air-leakage in your home, you’ll need to work on the energy performance of your doors too. When shopping for exterior doors, choose options that have good insulation.
You should also check that the framing is done properly so that everything is sealed and there are no air leaks. Taking these steps will guarantee that you’ll be happy with your home’s new doors.
Where Should You Shop for High-Quality Doors?
Whether you’re looking to get the best exterior doors or the best interior doors, you’ll need to think about which manufacturing brands use high-quality materials. You’ll also need to think about the best locations to shop for your doors.
Some places will offer low prices but not give you products that use high-quality materials. You might think getting a cheap door is a good idea after looking at your home renovation costs, but down the road, you’ll pay more for repairs and replacements. Choosing a higher quality door will be worth the investment.
How do you know which brands offer the best quality and price? Where are the best places to shop for new doors when the market is booming with suppliers?
Why Shopping at Big Box Stores Is a Challenge
It might be tempting to head to your nearest big box store to choose from their selection. Sometimes for contractors, this is an easy solution because they’re familiar with the company and the products that they sell.
For DIY remodelers who are wondering how to buy a new front door, a big box store might also be the only option that comes to mind. However, choosing this route can result in you buying a new set of doors that don’t offer the level of quality you need.
However experienced the employees at these stores may be, there’s still a lot of room for error because it’s hard to be an expert on every line the store carries. There’s also a higher chance of order errors.
Your best bet for landing the best exterior (or interior) doors is to shop at a place that offers a selection of products specifically picked for their quality.
How Showrooms Give You the Best Home Options
The best route to take when shopping for new doors is to go to a showroom that features hand-picked products made of high-quality materials. It will make the process easier and also help you find new doors that are truly the best.
Often, it’s easier to choose a new door or window when you can visualize how it will look and feel once installed. Showrooms are the best way to experience the products first-hand because they are displayed for customers in a real-life home setting.
For homeowners doing their own projects, showrooms are a great option because they can speak to home experts who specialize in home remodeling projects. Browsing the showroom and experiencing the products first-hand can help them make the most educated decision.
Even contractors can bring their clients with them to a showroom. This gives contractors a chance to talk with their clients about the different options available and how each style will work within their home.
The best part about purchasing new doors from a showroom is that you’ll feel peaceful knowing you’re getting high-quality products. Product lines are only selected for showrooms if they meet high standards and come from industry-leading manufacturers. You’ll get the best of the best with less hassle and stress.
Getting High-Quality Doors Is Easier Than You Think
Don’t forget that top-quality doors are worth the investment in the end. Contractors and homeowners should look for high-quality products that fit in perfectly with the home design.
Whatever your personal design style is like, you’ll be able to find door options that are both durable and stylish. Even finding the perfect energy-efficient door for your home can be a simple task. After you’ve installed energy-efficient windows, take the time to properly install your beautiful new doors with tools that will increase efficiency.
Home remodeling projects can be messy and stressful, but finding the best doors for your home is easier than you think. Are you ready to meet with your contractor today? Make a reservation at a showroom near you to discuss your remodeling project.