As colder weather approaches, homeowners become aware of drafts. One familiar cold spot in the house is exterior doors. It is noticeably cooler around exterior facing doors this time of year. 

While energy efficiency is typically a big piece of the decision, when considering replacing your front door, looks are equally important. Replacing your home's entry door accomplishes more than just creating a cozier interior.   

Your entryway is a big part of your home's curb appeal.   

Not only does the entryway make an impression on you, but a good-looking front door can also do wonders for your home's resale value. With so many door styles available, choosing a new entry door for your home can feel like a daunting decision.   

Not only is there an incredible selection of door styles to choose from, but you also must take into consideration the material of the door.   

For a long time, wood has been the material of choice for many homeowners. Its beauty and durability made this material ideal. But, with advancements in science and fabrication, wood is no longer the best choice.   

When it comes time to replace a door, most people turn to fiberglass and steel to safeguard their investment.   

Fiberglass and steel are both more resistant to the elements, easier on maintenance requirements, better on energy efficiency, and often a less expensive option than wood. But how do they compare to each other? And what are the accompanying features?   

Let's break it down:  

STEEL DOORS  

If you're looking to have new doors installed on your home, you can't go wrong with steel. It is a versatile material that comes with a lot of options. Some may even surprise you!  

  • When you think of a steel door, do you picture an old rusting door on the back of a building that only gives access to an alleyway? While a reinforced steel door is excellent for rear door security, you can get a whole lot more style and elegance from steel than this. But, it is essential to note that when it comes to home security, steel might give a hair more protection than fiberglass.  
  • Steel doors can come with a woodgrain. It's true! At Window Nation, our exclusive accent finishing technique creates a finish that gives our steel doors the appearance of real wood if you want a door that looks like a fine oak door but has the durability and low cost of steel, no problem! While the wood finish on a steel door can't thoroughly compare to the same look with fiberglass, it is worth taking a look at, especially for the cost.  
  • Do you want windows in your new doors? There is a wide selection of glass options available for steel doors. You don't have to worry about fiberglass beating out steel in this department.  
  • While steel is strong and durable, it is more prone to scratching and denting than fiberglass. Though it is possible to fix dents with an auto-body repair kit, and cover scratches with putty and paint, this is something to consider when getting steel.  
  • Steel can become hot to the touch on a warm sunny day, but that heat isn't going to get through the insulation that comes with these doors easily. You're not going to lose any energy-saving benefits by choosing steel.  

FIBERGLASS DOORS  

Some in the industry advertise that fiberglass comes with all the benefits of steel, without any of its limitations. This is only partly true.  

In almost every way, fiberglass doors are slightly better than steel. But, this material will crack if struck hard. Steel will not.  

Here are some other things you may want to know about fiberglass.  

  • There are many styles, colors, and grains to choose from when selecting fiberglass as the material for your new doors. If you're looking for doors that will closely approximate the look of real wood, this is the best option.  
  • With fiberglass, you don't even have to think about rust. While it is relatively easy to keep a steel door rust-free, some homeowners prefer not to have to worry about it. If that sounds like you, fiberglass is the way to go.  
  • Fiberglass isn't as heavy as steel, but that doesn't mean you'll have to sacrifice having that satisfying "thunk" sound when you close your fiberglass doors. At Window Nation, we manufacture the internal structure of these doors to simulate the same weight of wood. You'll be happy with the sturdy sound you'll get with this option.  
  • Exposure to heat over time can cause doors to crack, swell, and warp, which can harm the frame and seal of an entry door. While steel and fiberglass are more resistant to this than wood, fiberglass is slightly better. The material will hold up against extreme temperature fluctuations and keep its shape for a long, long time, but you'll have to pay a little more for this added durability.  

When it comes to getting a new door for your home, you can't go wrong with either of these two materials. If you've been thinking about upgrading, let Window Nation help. Schedule your free, no-obligation in-home estimate today, and let's get started! 

Here are the top 3 reasons our doors are a great fit for you:

Security and ease of access

The days of inside-only access to your patio are long gone! Today’s more modern door designs come with top of the line security features including an exterior key lock and a secondary dead bolt. You can enjoy a sliding door which can be accessed from the outside as well as a peace of mind from the extra lock security.

Durability

Our 100% vinyl screen frames are designed to last even in the harsh months of Winter. Much like our vinyl replacement windows, these frames are less susceptible to damage and are designed to move smoother in comparison to standard frames. This offers you a smooth, clean look to your home -- a great bonus to the quality.

Cost efficiency

Saving energy means saving money! Energy.gov shared that a common way air and heat escape the home is through the cracks or openings of windows and doors. Polypropylene is a plastic that is commonly used for microwavable containers and bags made to preserve food. We use the same material in the composition of our doors and Energy Star windows because of its high resistance to heat and moisture. This not only makes our product more robust, but more efficient to keeping moisture and air outside where they belong.

With our sliding, entry, and French doors, you are guaranteed a long-lasting and efficient investment. We offer a lifetime limited warranty should you have any issues with your door, but we are always working to provide the best quality in the market!

When you start thinking about replacing your windows, make sure you think through all of the glass options. Your new windows will be 87% glass. So it stands to reason that choosing the right glass is just as important as choosing the right frame. At Window Nation, we make things simple. We've already done the hard part of choosing the best glass options. All you have to do is pick the ideal glass options for your specific needs.

PANES OF GLASS

The first option you'll want to consider is whether or not to go with double pane or triple pane. Double pane windows come with one area of dense gas. Triple pane comes with two. The more dense gas you have separating the interior of your home from the temperature outside, the better. But each of these window types has their advantages. If cost is important to you, double pane glass will be the better choice. It stands to reason that two panes won't cost as much as three panes. If you live in a state that has a basic climate, this could be the perfect choice. If keeping the cold winters out of your home is most important to you, triple pane is the way to go. While you'll pay more for those windows, you'll make that money back in savings on your energy bills.

LAMINATION

If safety is a concern for you, lamination is an important option to consider. Laminated glass will prevent the glass of the windows from turning into several sharp pieces when broken. Homes with children in them should seriously consider this glass options.

TYPES OF COATINGS

When glass companies talk about glass coatings, you're likely to hear the term Low-E. But what exactly is Low-E? It stands for Low Emissivity. If you're still scratching your head, we understand. This is science stuff. Emissivity is basically the ability of an object to radiate heat. In the case of windows, that radiation of heat happens on the opposite side from where the heat is coming from. If the heat source is the sun, low emissivity is going to be a low radiation of heat into your home. Okay. The science lesson is over. But hopefully, you get the point. Low-E is good. And a window that provides better resistance to radiated heat is better than one that lets the heat come right in. Modern windows come with a metallic coating that reflects heat back to its source. The more precious the metal is the more heat will be reflected off the glass. The best metallic coating would be platinum. But a platinum coating is very expensive. Most of our competitors use tin. But we feel that this is not the most cost effective choice. Just like platinum, it is too far to the extreme. Instead, we use silver. This metallic material does a fantastic job of reducing emissivity for a price that won't put you in the poor house. Metallic coatings have another benefit besides keeping the heat from the sun out, they help to reflect harmful ultraviolet light as well. Our coatings can block as much as 99.97% of this harmful ultraviolet light. Why do we say harmful? UV light makes your furniture fade. Have you heard the term sun-faded? Part of the damage the sun does is through the effect of UV light. The other part is the drying effect of heat. Low-E coating on your windows will help to keep both of these out of your climate-controlled home.

GAS

Between each pane of glass we use argon and krypton gasses. These gasses are denser than air and reduce convection. That means the temperature of the outside air is less able to get into your house. While krypton gas is slightly better, you can't go wrong with either of these options.

SPACERS

You'll also find spacers between each pane of glass. These hold those panes in place. But the fact that these spacers can allow heat to transfer through is often overlooked. Most companies use aluminum or steel spacers, which are conductive materials. We prefer to use spacers that are made from a non-conductive material that achieves a higher level of energy efficiency, retains gas longer, won't sweat, is flexible, and won't rust. If you're ready for a window replacement, and you want some help walking through these options, we're happy to help. At Window Nation, we know windows. Reach out to us for immediate assistance.