What Are the Different Types of Home Exterior Doors?

Nick Mann
Nick Mann
Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

Home exterior doors can substantially affect the overall look of the rest of a house. Styles have gradually evolved over the years, but there are essentially four main types of home exterior doors on the market: wood, aluminum, heavier metal, and fiberglass. Choosing the best option will ultimately depend on the homeowner's taste and security needs. In addition, the cost and amount of maintenance will also play a part.

Wood is perhaps the most traditional type of exterior door. Many homeowners appreciate the rustic style, as well as the elegant appearance. Benefits of wood are its ability to be personalized through staining and the high level of security that it provides. In addition, pricing is usually pretty reasonable compared to other materials. Some cons are that lower quality products usually require ongoing maintenance and can often become damaged by the elements over time.

Aluminum home exterior doors have seen some recent growth in popularity. This material works well for homeowners who don't want to deal with much maintenance. In fact, aluminum is ideal for doors that are in contact with harsh elements on a frequent basis. The structure of the material makes it extremely resistant to corrosion and it can last for a long time. The downside is that aluminum is one of the more expensive materials.

Heavier metal home exterior doors are often the ideal choice where safety is the primary concern. High quality metal is extremely secure and very hard to force open. This is usually the best option if the home is located in a neighborhood with a high crime rate.

The cost of metal doors can differ significantly, and is contingent upon the quality. Higher quality, lower gauge metal is more expensive while lower quality, higher gauge metal is less expensive. In addition, high quality doors tend to be more weather resistant and require little to no maintenance. They can also be easily customized by painting, and hold the paint quite well. Lower quality products often develop rust over time and need periodic maintenance.

Fiberglass is another type of exterior door that some homeowners prefer. In locations that receive substantial rainfall, fiberglass is often a good choice. This material also tends to work well in more extreme climates because of its insulating capabilities. Maintenance is usually not a concern because fiberglass is resistant to damage. The main drawback is that this material is often on the higher end of the price range and can sometimes be difficult to find.

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Discussion Comments


@raynbow- Though it will cost you a bit more money, you should buy a steel exterior door if you can find it in your budget to afford it. Not only is this type of door more durable, but it will last for decades.

You can also save money when you purchase your new steel door. By watching your local sales ads, you should be able to catch one on sale and save quite a bit of money on your purchase.


@raynbow- If you are on a budget, a solid wood door will be durable but also affordable. You can also paint it any color you want, so you will be able to match it to your home's exterior quite easily.


I am looking for a replacement exterior door, and I am debating on the best material to use. I am on a budget, but I want a door that will last. Should I go with hard wood or steel?

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