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Thread: What type of exterior door?

  1. #1
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    What type of exterior door?

    A wood door is really tempting because it can look soooo good. But not for long, unless you pamper and protect it. Fiberglass is way more durable. Steel is too, it can rust but it works well with magnetic weatherstripping.

  2. #2
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    If you have the chops to build a nice wood door, go for it, but only if it is well protected from the weather by a porch. Steel doors are forever if you keep them painted, but then all of mine are either protected by a porch or are going into the garage from our mudroom. Fiberglass is a nice in-between as they can be made to look like wood doors but don't rust or rot or have finish failure due to the weather, although I suspect that might not be the case if they are subject to a lot of direct sunlight.
    NOW you tell me...

  3. #3
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    I built all of the interior doors for our house, but when it came time for the front and back doors we went with fiberglass. The mud room off the garage got steel.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bender View Post
    A wood door is really tempting because it can look soooo good. But not for long, unless you pamper and protect it. Fiberglass is way more durable. Steel is too, it can rust but it works well with magnetic weatherstripping.
    For what? House or shop? I like all steel doors in the shop, single and double for space. a steel door in at the laundry room entrance, and wood doors on the other three entrances. Never had rust on a steel door.

  5. #5
    As a contractor I would recommend fiberglass. It Can “look” like wood. More durable and less maintenance. Best value in my opinion.

    steel is reserved for tight budgets or pure utility. It dents and rusts and is just less maintenance heavy than wood if exposed.

    The carpenter in me loves wooden doors. But they are maintenance heavy and prone to movement. Under a deep porch they are not as bad. Exposed and naked to the environment they are a horrible idea for most people because they will not get the requisite upkeep.

    climate also plays a part. I’m in the Midwest with 4 seasons. Drier climates may have different wear.
    Last edited by Neil Gaskin; 02-01-2020 at 10:26 PM.

  6. #6
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    My wife loves the steel front door because, magnets, inside and out. My steel shop door has a magnetic HF flashlight that lives on it.
    Bil lD

  7. #7
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    I made a back door, and put a safety glass pane in it. It is 1 3/4" thick. I has a southerly exposure in Galveston County Texas. It was a fun project. It is 15 years old and has not warped or deteriorated. It is painted.

  8. #8
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    Check this site for good door wood.

    https://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=m...haracteristics

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Gaskin View Post
    The carpenter in me loves wooden doors. But they are maintenance heavy and prone to movement. Under a deep porch they are not as bad. Exposed and naked to the environment they are a horrible idea for most people because they will not get the requisite upkeep.
    I'd like to add that if you do not have a porch, the maintenance on a wooden door can be significantly reduced by installing a storm door over it. My folks' storm door is mostly glass - so it showcases the wooden door but also adds weatherproofing and a little more security. (The glass is some high impact resistant variety.) Prior to the storm door, my Dad had to refresh the finish on that wood door yearly with marine varnish. Now it's been 10 years between, even in direct sun. It's really been a surprise.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frederick Skelly View Post
    I'd like to add that if you do not have a porch, the maintenance on a wooden door can be significantly reduced by installing a storm door over it. My folks' storm door is mostly glass - so it showcases the wooden door but also adds weatherproofing and a little more security. (The glass is some high impact resistant variety.) Prior to the storm door, my Dad had to refresh the finish on that wood door yearly with marine varnish. Now it's been 10 years between, even in direct sun. It's really been a surprise.
    True. But if the glass storm door is subject to direct sunlight, it can become a hotbox which can exacerbate the wood movement. My first steel door came with fake molded plastic raised panels. They looked like Salvador Dali artwork after a few hot summers in the brief sun it got in a deep porch shortly after I added my storm door.
    Last edited by Ole Anderson; 02-10-2020 at 8:53 AM.
    NOW you tell me...

  11. #11
    Fiberglass doors make some noise when the sun hits them and they expand in the mornings. Other than that I like them for people who want a good looking door without having to do anything other than clean it occasionally

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Ole Anderson View Post
    True. But if the glass storm door is subject to direct sunlight, it can become a hotbox which can exacerbate the wood movement. My first steel door came with fake molded plastic raised panels. They looked like Salvador Dali artwork after a few hot summers in the brief sun it got in a deep porch shortly after I added my storm door.
    Well, I agree that can happen Ole, and it was a worry I raised when he bought that storm door. But it hasnt happened here and it's been 10 years. Could be his front door is a little less "direct" than yours - I don't know.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

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