Wood is a very common material for doors, both exterior and interior. The types of wood most often used range widely, from oak, cedar, and walnut to mahogany, maple, fir, and pine. Many manufacturers also experiment with other options. Today, most exterior wood doors are made of wood veneer panels about 1/16” thick, with insulation material installed between these panels. Read on for more information to decide if this material is a good fit for your home.
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Costs of Wood Doors
A wood entry door is often the most expensive option, ranging from $500 to $4,000 for standard doors and more for custom doors. The cost of stock wood doors, however, typically starts around $200, which makes them a low-cost alternative to solid wood doors.
Durability of Wood
Exterior wood doors are a solid investment for the long-term, as long as they are well maintained. Wood doors that are exposed to direct sun for more than 4 hours a day can lose their color and texture. A wood entry door generally holds up best under a covered entryway, which can protect it from rain and snow.
Keep in mind as well that new manufacturing techniques have made exterior wood doors much more resistant. Additionally, many of today’s wood doors are comprised of a wood veneer over an engineered wood core. This minimizes the wood’s expansion and contraction that eventually cause warping.
How to Treat Wood Doors
Homeowners should look for durable stains and clear finishes, such as polyurethane. Applying the finish to the door's top and bottom edges can help prevent wood entry doors from absorbing moisture and swelling. When looking for pre-finished doors, look for durable stains and high-gloss finishes.
Repairs and Maintenance
Many of the repairs for wood doors are fairly easy. Unlike other types of doors, scratches or small gouges can be easily fixed. Especially in harsher climates, exterior wood doors require regular maintenance. Homeowners can expect to perform touch-ups every two to three years. Hairline cracks or changes in color or texture are often signs that it’s time to apply a new finish.
Energy Efficiency and Tax Credits
Wood exterior doors are one of the least energy efficient options. An insulating material’s resistance to conductive heat flow is measured in terms of its thermal resistance, or R-value: the higher the R-value, the greater the insulation. Wood doors typically fall between R-2 and R-3, as compared to most steel or fiberglass doors which fall between R-5 and R-6, or higher.
Summary: A Classic Choice for Your Home
Wood exterior doors can be expensive and less energy efficient than other options. However, today’s improved technology has increased this material’s durability, and a wood door is an elegant choice for a wide variety of homes. Get started installing an exterior wood door by contacting contractors in your area today.