With Canada’s extreme temperature differences throughout the year, it’s important to choose exterior doors for your home that can easily handle the temperature fluctuations without getting damaged, and keep the home well insulated during the long and cold winters.
50 years ago, you’d have just one choice of material: wood. However, these days, fiberglass and steel entry doors are becoming more popular choices, albeit for their own reasons which we will discuss in detail below.
Benefits of Exterior Doors Made of Fiberglass
- Beauty: Fiberglass doors can be made with a stunning array of finishes, including stains that look just like real wooden exterior doors – but at half the price of a real one. A new technology duplicates the look of oak or mahogany wood grain, and replicates it onto the durable, cost-effective fiberglass for a classy, elegant look.
- Low-Maintenance: Entrance doors often warp and twist over time due to the contrast in temperatures that they have to endure. Doors made of fiberglass do not warp, bend or twist – making them an excellent choice in climates such as Canada. As well, you do not have to worry about rot or rust, and these doors do not dent or scratch easily. Overall, they are very low maintenance.
- Efficiency: A quality door made of fiberglass can offer up to five times more insulation than a wood door, and surpasses the level of insulation on steel exterior doors as well.
Benefits of Exterior Doors Made of Steel
- Low Cost: Steel doors are definitely the lowest priced exterior doors on the market, making them an excellent choice for those on a budget. They also come in a variety of colours and finishes to suit almost any home.
- Medium-Maintenance: While steel exterior doors are not quite as low maintenance as those made of fiberglass, they’re still pretty easy to keep. They do not warp or bend, but scratches can lead to rust if you’re not careful, and the paint can often chip away, needing frequent touch ups.
- Efficiency: As far insulation goes, steel sits somewhere in the middle: a better insulator than a wood door, but not quite as good as a fiberglass one. Steel doors do, however, conduct temperatures. On a cold day, that steel door is going to feel quite cold from the inside. You won’t necessarily be losing heat, but it will feel chilly when you’re standing close to it.
Which Exterior Door is Best for You?
As you can see, both steel and fiberglass materials offer many benefits when used to produce exterior doors. So still the questions remains: Which material should you choose? That depends on a few things:
- Budget: As we stated above, steel doors are the most inexpensive option, although doors made of fiberglass are slowly making their way to the lower price market and will hopefully be available for every budget in the near future. Until that happens, however, your budget will likely play a huge role in your decision. But just remember – a small investment in a top quality door now will last you many years and could save you a lot of money in the long run by providing better insulation and thus lowering your heating costs.
- Time: You might be thinking ‘What does time have to do with my front door?’ But time in this case, refers to how much time you really want to spend maintaining the door in the future – and also how much time do you wish to lapse before having to replace it? Fiberglass is the most durable material by far, will require the least amount of maintenance and will have the longest lifetime.
- Placement: Where are you putting this door? You may wish to choose different materials for different spaces in your home. For a door on the side of your house that leads only to the garage, you might opt for a cheaper steel door where temperature conduction doesn’t matter since most garages are not heated. For the front door – which gets the most amount of use – you’ll want the sturdiest, most durable door that you can afford.
At Toronto Doors and Windows, we have over 15 years of experience with door and window installation, and our qualified team would be happy to offer you personalized advice if you’re still unsure of which doors will suit your needs best.
Whether a simple door replacement, or an entire house fitting of all weather windows and doors, we pride ourselves on the hundreds of satisfied homeowners we have helped around the GTA, and we’d love to help you as well. Give us a call or fill out the online form to get a free quote or ask us any questions you might have about doors and windows. We look forward to hearing from you!