Good, Better, Best: Exterior Doors For Your Home

Exterior doors are a big deal. They’re one of the first things you see and interact with when walking into your home. They also help protect the interior of the home from the elements and contribute to the home’s overall energy efficiency. When trying to find the best exterior doors for your home, the wide range of available options can feel less daunting if you consider your selections in terms of good, better, and best. 

As one of Portland’s leading experts on residential design and remodeling, our team at Lamont Bros. understands the challenges your exterior doors may present. Finding the balance between cost, aesthetics, and functionality can be a difficult task. Fortunately, we’ve helped many homeowners through the process of finding the perfect exterior doors for their home. Now, we’re going to share some of our insights and experiences with you.

In this article, you’ll learn about the different types of exterior doors, their strengths and weaknesses, and where they rank in our good, better, or best categories. With this information, you’ll be more confident in your knowledge and ability to select a great door for your home. The specific products we’ll discuss include:

Good: Steel and Fiberglass Doors

When considering exterior doors for your home, the “good” category offers steel and fiberglass doors. These materials strike an essential balance between affordability, durability, and energy efficiency, making them a practical and cost-effective choice for many homeowners.

Steel Doors

Steel doors are highly valued for their security features and durability. They are engineered to endure harsh weather conditions and deter unauthorized entries, making them an excellent choice for homeowners prioritizing safety and longevity.

Advantages of Steel Doors:

Strength & Security: These doors provide an exceptional level of security, making them almost impervious to break-ins, which is a significant consideration for homeowners concerned about safety.

Energy Efficency: They are also energy-efficient. The core of the steel doors is often filled with insulation, which can help reduce energy bills by maintaining indoor temperature levels.

Disadvantages of Steel Doors:

Limited Aesthetics: Despite their strength, steel doors may not offer the same aesthetic appeal as wood doors. This can be limiting for homeowners who prefer a more natural look.

High-Maintenance: They require maintenance to prevent rust and corrosion, especially if the protective paint layer is damaged, which might add to the overall upkeep cost.

Fiberglass Doors

Fiberglass doors are popular for their durability and versatility, offering the appearance of wood without the maintenance. They’re well-suited for homeowners looking for a long-lasting, energy-efficient option.

Front door of a home with modern brick-pattern windows
Fiberglass doors can offer a variety of design styles and colors.

Advantages of Fiberglass Doors:

Durability: Fiberglass doors are highly durable, resistant to warping, denting, and rusting, making them ideal for various climates.

Aesthetic Options: They offer a wide range of styles and finishes, including those that mimic the look of wood, providing aesthetic flexibility for homeowners.

Disadvantages of Fiberglass Doors:

Cost Considerations: hese doors tend to be more expensive than steel doors, reflecting their enhanced durability and aesthetic options.

Limited Customization: While offering many styles, true customization is somewhat limited compared to fully custom wood doors, which might be a consideration for those seeking a unique entryway design.

Better: Semi-Custom Wood Doors

Semi-custom wood doors represent a step up in the “better” category, offering homeowners a balance between customizability and cost. These doors combine the natural beauty and warmth of wood with the flexibility of semi-custom designs, allowing for a more personalized touch than standard steel or fiberglass options.

Semi-custom wood doors offer elegance and charm.

Advantages of Semi-Custom Wood Doors:

Natural Beauty and Warmth: Wood doors offer unmatched aesthetic appeal, adding character and value to your home.

Customizable Options: While not fully custom, semi-custom doors provide a range of design choices, allowing for personalization within certain constraints.

Repairable: Unlike steel or fiberglass, it’s much easier to repair minor damage on wood doors, extending their lifespan.

Disadvantages of Semi-Custom Wood Doors:

Maintenance Requirements: Wood doors require regular maintenance, including painting or staining, to protect against the elements and prevent warping or rotting.

Energy Efficiency Concerns: Although solid and sturdy, wood doors may not offer the same level of insulation as their fiberglass or steel counterparts. This may slightly affect your home’s energy efficiency.

Best: Fully Custom Doors

Fully custom doors are at the pinnacle of exterior door options, offering unmatched personalization and quality. You can have these doors tailored to your specifications, incorporating unique materials, designs, and features.

custom door with ornate glass and side windows

Advantages of Custom Doors:

Maximum Customization: Allows for unique designs that perfectly fit the architectural style and material desires of homeowner’s vision.

Premium Materials: Use of high-quality woods and finishes ensures durability and a standout appearance.

Architectural Integrity: Tailoring every aspect of your doors allows them to perfectly complement your home’s architectural details, enhancing curb appeal and creating a stunning first impression.

Disadvantages of Custom Doors:

Cost: When it comes to exterior doors, there is no more expensive option than full custom. The price reflects the level of customization and craftsmanship, putting it in the highest possible tier.

Maintenance & Replacement: Depending on the materials and finishes chosen, these doors might require more upkeep. Also, due to their customized nature, it can be very difficult to find a replacement if the need arises. 

Want More Design Inspiration for Your Home?

After reading about the different types of exterior doors, do you feel more confident in your ability to choose the right one for your home? As you continue to expand your knowledge of the different types of products and materials for your home, take a look at some of our past projects to gather inspiration. Check out our Work Portfolio page to see how other Portland homeowners just like you have transformed their homes.

Planning a home remodel, but not yet working with a professional designer? If you need the help of a pro to plan and budget for your home renovation project, click the link below to schedule a free design consultation with a member of our team. We’ll help you through the process of remodeling from start to finish, so you never have to face the challenges alone.