Wood doors offer a high-end look, but they need more maintenance over time. Steel doors are superior in strength and insulating value, but they are easily dented and scratched, states Mr. Handyman. Happily, a third alternative exists for homeowners that want a customized entry door, superior energy efficiency and low maintenance price: It is called fiberglass. Fiberglass has both advantages and disadvantages that buyers should understand before purchasing doors.
Versatile and Durable
Fiberglass doors are available in a complex selection of styles, colors and finishes — to fit every house exterior. And if you tire of the appearance of your fiberglass door as time passes, repainting is obviously an alternative. Fiberglass is more durable than other substances; it resists dents and scratches and can be impervious to rot and rust which plague doors manufactured from steel or wood. In addition, this type of door never bows or warps from exposure to weather.
According to the Department of Energy, fiberglass and steel-skinned doors have greater R-values compared to wooden doors of comparable styles, which means that they keep your house warmer in winter and cooler in summer. A windowless door made from fiberglass offers five times the insulating value of a similar door manufactured from strong wood — a large factor in energy efficiency for homeowners that are worried about the size of their monthly utility bill.
When properly installed, fiberglass doors provide superior security. Your entry door is just as secure as its frame, but composite door frames have double the screw-holding power of wood. Furthermore, fiberglass doesn’t deteriorate over time like doors manufactured from steel or wood. Homeowners never need to worry about repairing rusted-out areas on fiberglass doors or replacing them since they’ve deteriorated from decay.
A Pricey Option
Because of its versatility, superior insulating power, durability and convenience, fiberglass remains among the costlier door options on the industry. While cheap fiberglass doors are available, they are not recommended; they could crack and need more maintenance throughout their lifetime, offsetting the initial savings. Fiberglass doors don’t always work in older homes since they are usually manufactured with the door frame attached, which means that installing one in a door that’s not standard size requires the assistance of a professional.