Replacing your entry door is not only a good investment in your home, but it could also kick up the curb appeal of your home. You have many options, but before you pick out the entry door of your dreams, do some research.

Exterior doors can be made of either steel, fiberglass or wood – understanding the pros and cons of each type of material will ensure that you choose the best entry door for your home. Replacing your exterior door can save you money in the long run. According to a 2015 report of the National Association of Realtors, you could recover 75% of the cost of your new entry door if you decide to sell your home in the future. In addition, you could save 10% off of your yearly energy bills by installing an energy efficient exterior door. When shopping for your new door, be sure to look for the Energy Star label.

With so many choices available, picking the right door for your home can be confusing. A good place to start is to compare the different materials that make up exterior doors: most doors are made of either steel, fiberglass or wood.

STEEL:  A steel door is the most economical choice, so if your main goal is price, then a simple steel door may be right for you. Keep in mind that steel doesn’t hold up to heavy rain or salt air as well as fiberglass or wood. Steel may also dent, and repairs can be costly. Even though you could save a substantial amount of money up front, you may have to replace that steel door after only a few years. It may be worth your while to choose something different if your entry door will be heavily exposed to the elements or will get a lot of foot traffic.

FIBERGLASS:  If limited maintenance is your goal, then take a look at fiberglass doors. Fiberglass doesn’t expand or contract too much as the weather changes. A fiberglass exterior door can last for 15-­20 years, and may not need a paint or stain touch up for several years after installation. Fiberglass doors come in a variety of styles and can be stained to look like real wood, and it’s foam core also offers considerable insulation.

WOOD:  If you want to make a stunning entry statement, then wood might be your best choice. Wood is pricey, but it’s rich look makes it THE go­to choice for high end projects. A wood entry door requires much more maintenance than either steel or fiberglass. Wood doors need to be repainted or refinished at least every two years to prevent warping and splitting, and to maintain that rich classic look. However, it’s easier to repair scratches on a wood door than to repair dents in a fiberglass or steel door. Whatever material you choose, remember that your exterior door should complement your home, and make it aesthetically pleasing to the eye, creating a great first impression.  Pick out a color and some hardware, and make that entry door your own.

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