How To Choose The Right Doors For Your Home

Selecting new doors for your home seems like an easy process.   You want something that is both attractive and functional, suiting the style of your home as well as providing both security and substantial insulation.  But before making that final selection, take a few moments to become informed about the choices available, and the advantages (and disadvantages) of each.

Exterior Doors

An exterior door is called upon to fill a more substantial function than an interior one.  It must stand up to the elements as well as endure constant use. Not sure if it’s time to replace your exterior doors? Take a look at the top 4 signs you need a new front door.

Traditionally, entry doors have been constructed of wood.  They are available in a variety of choices and colors and provide a quality, high-end look to your home.  However, wood is susceptible to deterioration and warping, and it will require regular maintenance—staining or refinishing—periodically.

An alternative choice is fiberglass, which can mimic the look of wood, but requires much less maintenance and offers better insulation.

Another possibility is steel, which provides good insulation and tends to be less expensive than wood.  While steel offers security and general durability (it won’t warp or rot), it can rust if the finish paint should get scratched.  And while it can be detailed, it will never attain the look of a wood door.

Interior Doors

Interior doors may be builder-grade hollow-core, or they can be custom-made solid wood.

Hollow-core is a fiberboard construction, is lighter-weight, and more easily subject to damage than wood.  It is less expensive, but will also transmit noise more easily.

Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) doors don’t have any grain and are typically painted.  Because they can be routed, it’s easy to create designs on them, allowing them to have a wide variety of appearance.

Since interior doors don’t have to endure the changes in weather and season and they are generally called upon to provide privacy rather than insulation. Let your personal taste—and budget—be  the deciding factors.

Don’t forget about french doors. Typically used for office doors, they offer many benefits and look great as well.

Fire Doors

Most building codes require that you install a fire door between your home and attached garage, since the danger of a fire starting is much greater in areas where flammable materials may be stored, or where oil may drip from car engines.

Fire doors have ratings that are expressed in blocks of time (20, 45, 60 minutes, etc.);  they are made with features and materials specifically designed to retard the spread of flames.

These types of doors are typically installed on garages, but they can be located anywhere in your home. Your local building code may specify the requirements needed in your area – you should consult with your builder or carpenter to ensure you are following posted guidelines.

Once you’ve done your research and you are ready to proceed with the acquisition of new doors, call 1(800)FIX-MY-HOME or go to where you can enter your zip code and be put in touch with The Handyman Matters office nearest you.  The qualified craftsmen at every location can assist you with this task and any other repair and remodel projects you are considering.