Selecting an Exterior Door Material

An exterior door not only keeps out the cold, but sets the tone for your home's entryway. Add a solid mahogany replacement door with etched glass sidelights, and the neighbors will know you've arrived. Try a basic wooden exterior door with a half moon glass panel at the top and you'll have something stylish and energy efficient. Get the skinny on exterior doors!

Weather and Exterior Doors
When selecting an exterior door, a major consideration is the weather. While it is nice to focus on an attractive style, function really should come first. If you live in a climate with extreme temperatures, the weather is even more important. The good news is that door manufacturers take these factors into consideration.

Exterior Door Materials
Exterior doors have changed considerably in recent years, with styles and types growing to meet consumers' changing needs. There are hundreds of types and sizes, from steel and fiberglass doors to traditional wood models. Many exterior doors are constructed of more than one material, giving you the beauty of wood veneer, for example, with a durable steel interior. Some steel or fiberglass doors may have a wood frame. Ask your remodeling contractor for recommendation as you weigh your options.

Exterior Door Entry Systems
Many exterior doors are sold as an entire system, meaning the door is already hung in the frame and includes weatherstripping. When buying an exterior door with sidelights, the sidelights are usually part of the whole package. This makes installation easier for your remodeling contractor.

When buying exterior doors, also talk with your remodeling contractor about:

* The doors' energy efficiency ratings related to your climate.
* The "R-value" (or insulating value) of a fiberglass or steel door.



Source:  About the Author
Allison E. Beatty is a syndicated real estate writer who has been writing home improvement columns for 15 years.

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