Manufacturers usually construct entry doors for dwellings of wood, steel or fiberglass. Many people assume that steel doors are the best choice when the primary concern is security. However, each material has its own strengths and weaknesses. A homeowner should carefully evaluate the security advantages of each material before choosing a door for a new house or for a remodeling project.
Tradition, appearance, durability and the sense of security a thick wooden door gives to many people help make wood the most popular choice for home doors. The security level the door provides depends on the type of wood, the design and construction of the door and the frame and locks. According to the Steel Entry Doors Help website, the best woods for home doors include oak and mahogany.
Doors made of steel are stronger and provide more security than either wooden or fiberglass doors. However, they have drawbacks. While steel doors do not warp or crack, impacts can dent them. Exposure to weather can produce rust. Intruders can force open a steel door just as they can a wooden one.
The popularity of fiberglass doors has grown as manufacturers design them to look more like wooden doors. Fiberglass doors require less maintenance and repair than either wood or steel, and weather does not affect them. They are stronger than wooden doors by a factor of about three.
The frame and locks used with a door determine the door's effectiveness. An intruder can kick open a steel door just as easily as a wooden one if the door has a soft wood jamb or short screws attach the lock's strike plate. Glass panels can reduce the security of a door. Glass panels close to the door knob allow an intruder to break the panel, reach through and open the door.
- Product Info Center: Types of Entry Doors for Home Use Available in the Market
- Steel Entry Doors Help: Wooden Exterior Doors
- This Old House; Here's How to Pick a Front Door; Don Vandervort
- "Complete Idiot's Guide to Remodeling Your Home"; Terry Meany; 1999
- Steel Entry Doors Help: Fiberglass Exterior Doors
- The Home Depot: Entry Doors: Insulation, Security, Light and Durability
- Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
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