A strong, stylish front door makes your house stand out and capture attention. It provides security that gives you peace of mind. And it’s one of those little details that homebuyers look for. So, it’s important to choose the right type of entry door for your home.
If your exterior doors are looking drab, lack specialty features you’d find convenient, are damaged, or don’t match your home’s current style, it is time to consider replacement doors. At John McCarter Construction, we consider entry doors to be an essential element in creating the overall charm of your home exterior. When you have questions about exterior doors or any other exterior element for your home, we’re here to help you receive entry doors you’ll love.
One question we often receive from Michigan homeowners is about the type of door to choose: fiberglass or steel? Both of these exterior doors can be beneficial, depending on the homeowner’s preferences and needs. To give you a starting point as you make your decision, here’s a closer look at how fiberglass doors compare to steel doors.
Fiberglass Entry Doors vs Steel Entry Doors
For a stylish door that looks like wood but isn’t as hard to maintain, fiberglass is worth considering. Fiberglass can closely mimic many wood grains, such as cherry, oak and mahogany, creating a beautiful appearance. Fiberglass usually comes prepainted or stained to achieve a unique, customized look.
Today’s steel doors come in different styles, giving you many attractive options to choose from. With decorative panels and other details, high-end steel doors can mimic the look of wood. Or, you can opt for a smooth, modern style. They can be painted to fit your entry way’s look and feel.
Verdict: Fiberglass provides more style options to choose from, and it mimics the look of wood better than steel. But steel does come in several styles that can look attractive too.
Fiberglass doors are generally a long-lasting option. Unlike wood, fiberglass doesn’t warp or incur damage from weather, moisture, or humidity. It also resists rusting. But if struck hard enough, fiberglass can be dented or cracked.
Overall, steel is a strong and sturdy door material. Steel will last a long time, performing well for years. Steel doors don’t warp like wood, though their surface can become scratched, dented, or rusted if not properly cared for.
Verdict: Both steel and fiberglass outperform wood in terms of resisting wear and tear. If cared for properly, steel is likely to last a little longer than fiberglass.
Ease of Maintenance
It’s easy to clean fiberglass front doors. Simply wipe the surface clean with a soft, moist cloth as needed to clear away dirt and dust. Rinse with a gentle hose spray or a pressure washer on the absolutely lowest setting (because higher settings can dent the fiberglass).
Steel doors have a smooth surface that’s easy to wipe clean of dust and dirt. Don’t rinse with a hose, since the steel surface can rust. If the door is scratched, it should be repainted to prevent rusting.
Verdict: Both fiberglass and steel are low-maintenance entry door options. But it’s important to tend to any scratches on steel right away to prevent rusting.
For energy efficiency, fiberglass simply can’t be beat. It performs better than both wood and steel due to the fact that it is such a long-lasting material. And it is highly effective at preventing air from escaping and affecting your utilities bills.
Compared to wood, steel is more energy-efficient. It also keeps air from escaping and driving up the cost of your utilities. But it doesn’t offer the longevity of fiberglass. And steel can get hot when exposed to sunlight and high temperatures, which makes it a little less efficient than fiberglass.
Verdict: While both steel and fiberglass are energy-efficient options, fiberglass outperforms steel in this area, making it a favorite door replacement option for many homeowners.
When it comes to protection, fiberglass is a lightweight material. This makes it somewhat more susceptible to being dented and manipulated.
For home security, steel entry doors are tops. Their thick, tough nature stands up to just about anything. No thief is going to be able to kick down a steel door.
Verdict: Steel is the clear winner in terms of security, because it is more able to resist damage than both fiberglass and wood.
Price and Return on Investment
Fiberglass doors are typically more expensive than steel but less expensive than high-end wood doors. But since fiberglass lasts longer and is easier to maintain than wood and steel, many homeowners prefer it. Fiberglass gives homeowners around 75% return on investment.
For cost savings, steel doors are hard to beat. A basic steel door is very affordable, and it is typically the most budget-friendly door material when compared to wood and fiberglass. Steel also gives homeowners around 90% return on investment.
Verdict: Steel is a more budget-friendly replacement door than fiberglass and wood, and it yields a higher return on investment. But if style options are a concern, fiberglass offers great options and is less pricey than wood.
Door Replacement that Makes Your Home Stand Out
When you are ready to invest in home exterior upgrades, choosing a new front entry door replacement is a smart choice. This simple detail can really give your front entrance unique charm and beauty that impresses guests and makes you proud of your home.
Our team loves serving Michigan homeowners, and we’re here anytime you have questions about replacement entry doors and other home exterior upgrades. With spring approaching, this is a great time of year to invest in home improvements. Check out these attractive, valuable curb appeal ideas for your home, and when you’re ready to make changes, contact us for a free consultation and quote.