What Should I Consider When Buying a Custom Exterior Door?

Amy Hunter

A custom exterior door is a great way to add an impressive look to the front of your home. A custom exterior door is more expensive than a stock model door, but adds a wonderful look to the entire house. Custom exterior doors provide a limitless degree of options and styles, which allow you to make your home truly one of a kind.

Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

You can find a custom exterior door available in either wood and fiberglass. The advantages and disadvantages of each of these materials is the same as those encountered with standard doors. Before ordering your custom exterior door it is important to consider the drawbacks of each of these materials and determine which works for your situation.

Custom exterior doors are available in many different species of wood. Domestic choices, such as oak and pine, are often less expensive choices, while rarer or more exotic species, such as mahogany, will add to the cost of the door. If you are interested in wood, you should carefully look at samples of a wide variety of woods.

Wooden doors are typically less expensive than fiberglass doors, and provide a warm, traditional look. Wood does require a certain amount of maintenance. Wood exterior doors are susceptible to moisture and the lack of it in the environment. In wet or humid weather, the wood can swell, making the door difficult to open or shut. A wood exterior door must also be stained or painted in order to get the longest life.

Fiberglass door has the advantage of being virtually maintenance free. Unlike wood, fiberglass doors can withstand extreme weather as well as abuse. They are resistant to dents, scratches and dings. It isn’t necessary to paint fiberglass doors, but if you do, it is virtually impossible to tell the difference between these doors and wood. Fiberglass doors are even available with a realistic wood grain.

The decision between wood or fiberglass custom exterior doors is a matter of personal preference. Appearance, the amount of abuse the door will take and the costs are all important considerations. One way to save money when looking at custom exterior doors is to visit stores that sell them. Often they will have some doors on hand that have been ordered but not picked up. These doors are available at a substantial discount.

Another way to create a custom look without blowing your budget is to buy a stock exterior door and add a custom look. Even stock doors allow you to add a window over the door, known as a transom, and sidelights, or the windows along either side of the door. Regardless of your budget, there is a way to create a custom look for your home.

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