The selection of exterior doors will require the purchaser to answer numerous questions. To avoid mistakes when ordering we have provided a Buyer’s Checklist to help. We suggest that the person responsible for the installation be involved in measuring for Size, and Jamb Width. Special attention is needed to determine the Handing, the direction in which the door operates. Not all manufacturers use the same handing convention, therefore a simple drawing showing the location of the hinges in relation to the inside of the building is strongly advised prior to ordering doors. The Polaris Door Stylizer will allow you to check out different glass options, colors, and options such as sidelights, and transoms.
Steel vs. Fiberglass Construction
The difference in energy efficiency between the two door types is minimal. Both have foam filled cores yielding nearly identical R-Values. One may argue that steel is more likely to conduct heat/cold, however this is a minor point. Steel doors are less expensive and have a greater selection for size and glass options. Fiberglass doors are usually chosen for visual effect. A wood grained textured, fiberglass door can be stained and finished to very closely resemble a wood door, providing stunning visual appeal.
Finishing & Color
Both types can be ordered as non-finished/primed where the homeowner or installer can paint or stain to match existing trim. They may also be ordered as factory finished where you can select from the available colors or stains supplied by the factory. The doors may also be finished in different colors on the inside and outside. Another point to consider prior to ordering is to coordinate the color scheme for hardware, the hinges, and the glass caming.
As an afterthought, kick plates may be easily installed in the field, but small items such as peep sites, mail slots, and deadbolt boring are more easily completed at the factory. An ADA threshold may also be helpful for wheelchair access.
You can use the Polaris Door Stylizer to choose your type of door.