Contemporary homeowner choices: Fiberglass vs. Wood doors

Published: 12th May 2009
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Homeowners who are upgrading, or building a home, must deal with an enormous number of choices. A sole but principal choice among these is the kind of front door to put in. The front entry way to a house is vital in presenting the style and look, and should be compatible with the remainder of the building. It is important because it is the first thing seen to those from the outside.



Luckily, the modern homeowner has nearly an inexhaustible number of choices in the type of front door. One of these is related to the building material for the entryway, of which there exists three fundamental types : steel, wood and fiberglass. The first, steel doors, is a great choice for safety and resistance to humidity or high temperatures. Steel doors are hard to break down, and do not warp if the climate proves too humid. However, steel doors become scratched with ease, and have the detracting property of conducting cold. On a hot day, the steel door can get warm to the touch. On a cold day, indoor warmth can be transmitted and radiated to the outside via the steel door. The second type is a wood door. Not surprisingly, one made of wood slowly will show a lot of use, from scuff marks to bubbles. The intense rays of sunlight also hold all the wavelengths of light that break down wood chemical bonds. Minor damage can be fixed by resanding, pluggin and refinishing, but structuralmajor damage like warping because of high humidity levels in the air is not so simple to deal with. Homeowners concerned about such issues may rather go for a fiberglass door. At the same time there is no doubt that wood provides a classy look, these days the texture of wood can be approximated with fiberglass placed using high technological construction methods.



Fiberglass is a amalgamation of glass and plastic. Glass and plastic are two very distinct materials. Glass is a transparent, hard material composed of amorphous silicates that convert between soft and hard states in high and low temperatures respectively. Plastic is a malleable and flexible material composed of carbon polymers that have been extracted from petroleum base extract and irreversibly fired into their final shapes. Combining the two is hardly easy, but was made feasible with the invention of fiberglass: the reshaping of glass into thin filaments, and subsequent mingling with polymer resins resulting in a novel, hardy, castable substance. As a result, many parts of modern homes that are exposed to severe elements, such as garage doors and panes, are made of fiberglass which can resist the elements.



Because fiberglass is such a versatile material, picking a fiberglass entry way suggests that there are a great number of choices in looks. A fiberglass door has equal or higher power efficiencies as wood without the high heat conductivity of steel. They can be customized in appearance like wood, and can be manufactured in a procedure to mimic it. Fiberglass entry doors also do not bubble or warp like wood, nor dent like steel. The invention of this material has been accompanied with a shift in the way front doors are installed. Previously, a single piece of wood may be substituted in for the former door by unhinging the old one and putting in the replacement on the old frame (or jamb). In contrast, recent years have found an increase in "entry systems". The entire exterior frame of the door, threshhold-interface, and sealing material, tied together by hinges and locksets, are included in the entry system. Because the door arrives as a complete package, the problem of thermal transmittance and heat-loss through the door can be lessened greatly by the manufacturer via consistency in factory procedures. Choosing fiberglass entry doors implies choosing price in addition to long-life and style. The look of contemporary fiberglass doors resembles wooden ones. Only close-up would you be able to tell the signs in materials.



Understanding the facts of fiberglass entry doors assists the consumer immensely in selecting the appropriate door.



Vernon Stanford is a hobbyist doing household woodwork in his spare time. He occasionally contributes to a site about Fiberglass Entry Doors.

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