Steel exterior doors are an old stalwart of the trade, an entry door that provides excellent security and durability for a very reasonable price. Steel entry doors have been around for many years and, as manufacturers have improved the technology, steel doors have moved on from the days of buying an ugly lump of steel, resplendent with institutional grills and bars.
Until a few years ago, steel doors were the preserve of industry, providing security and surviving the rigors of heavy use. In recent years, steel doors have become very popular as entry doors for the home, and manufacturers responded by designing elegant steel doors that are worlds away from the industrial, cyberpunk look.
Available in a wide range of colors, textures and finishes, they rival wood, vinyl and fiberglass as an excellent choice; like the other types, they possess their own set of advantages and disadvantages.
The Advantages of Steel Exterior Doors
Steel exterior doors are extremely robust and secure, making them a realistic option for many homes and businesses. The price has fallen dramatically over the past few years, making steel front doors an excellent mid-budget choice.
Durability: Wooden exterior doors are prone to rotting and splitting, especially in harsh climates. Steel doors can handle adverse weather and, unlike wooden doors, do not require treating with paint, stain or varnish every year. Even if they develop dents, auto body filler will take care of that.
Security: Your entry door is often the weakest part of your home and you want to make sure that your door is sturdy. Steel doors and steel door frames can survive the attentions of the most determined criminals and, if fitted with high quality locks, bolts, and security grilles, they are practically indestructible.
Screens: Many steel doors are fitted complete with a screen that lets air and light in when the door is open, but keeps insects out. In mosquito country, this is a very useful addition.
Design: While steel exterior doors cannot match fiberglass or wood for elegance, the range of colors and styles available ensures that you should be able to find one that matches your external décor perfectly. Some versions incorporate decorative glass panels, allowing natural light to flood into the home.
Price: Steel doors are very reasonably priced, when compared to the better quality wooden and fiberglass doors, and they are a great investment, adding to the value of your home, especially in areas where security is a concern.
The Disadvantages of Steel Entry Doors
Steel exterior doors are an excellent solution where security and strength are paramount, but they do have their own, unique set of disadvantages. Most of these are minor, but steel doors are not appropriate for every home.
Insulation: Steel entry doors are very poor insulators of heat, making them a poor choice in many climates. In the winter, a steel door will let a large proportion of the heat out, driving up your utility bills. In the hot summer, steel doors can actually radiate the heat of the sun into the home, making it very uncomfortable.
Fitting: Steel doors require a very strong and robust steel frame, and fitting these is beyond all but the most competent DIY enthusiasts.
Door Hardware: If you want to personalize your door with door knockers, door knobs and address plaques, drilling and filling holes is difficult when compared to wood and fiberglass doors.
Weight: Many steel exterior doors are made from very thin gauge steel for lightness, but this means compromising on security and durability. If you opt for heavier gauge doors, they can become very unwieldy to open and close, often requiring pneumatic closers.
Appearance: The range of steel exterior door options has grown in recent years and you can choose from a range of styles, from vivid color to imitation wood. However, they are not as elegant as wood or as subtle as fiberglass.
Steel Exterior Doors – The Secure Choice
There is little doubt that steel entry doors deserve their place as a popular and practical choice. Where security, durability and peace of mind are important, they are a great option for most homes and businesses. As with any door, you should try to make sure that you look for a good quality option, because cheap steel exterior doors can carry all of the disadvantages with few of the advantages.