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17 Divinity St
Bristol, CT, 06010
United States


Since 1975, O'Donnell Bros has been providing greater Bristol and Central Connecticut with residential and commercial remodeling solutions. We specialize in roofing, siding, windows, doors, gutters, downspouts and so much more. We look forward to helping you with all your remodeling needs. 

An Entry Door Buyer’s Guide – Tips from The Pro


O'Donnell Bros President, Bob O'Donnell, is a regular contributor to The Bristol Press. Read his home improvement articles here.


An Entry Door Buyer’s Guide – Tips from The Pro

Chelsea O'Donnell

A front door is one of the most defining features of a house. It welcomes people into your home and sets the stage for what to expect on the inside.  An entry door can really increase the curb appeal of your home, and it generally recoups between 80 and 95% of its cost in resale value. So if you’re thinking about an upgrade, here is what you should consider.

Entry doors are generally made of wood, fiberglass or steel, and each material has both positive and negative factors. To make the comparison simple, I am going to focus on three important factors: energy efficiency, maintenance, and price. 

Fiberglass is the newest kid on the block and it’s a favorite because of its flexibility. The material gets a tick for energy efficiency is generally a top performer for retaining heat and air conditioning, and reducing your carbon footprint. Fiberglass doors can also be made to look quite unique in terms of style, even mimicking wood or metal to ensure your personal aesthetic can be achieved. Fiberglass doors are also very sturdy and generally stand up to most kicks, bumps or denting. But it’s not all gold stars for fiberglass. Under extreme impact or weather conditions, fiberglass has been known to crack, and although it’s not common, it is something to consider. Also, these doors tend to be a bit more expensive than your average steel option, but less expensive than most wood models. 

Steel doors are a popular choice because they are relatively low cost and provide one of the strongest options available on the market. From a security perspective, a steel door is a reliable choice and it will stand up to most wear and tear with ease. Steel is also relatively easy in the maintenance category as it really only needs to be repaired when it's scratched or dented.  Conversely, weather can play a part in the lifetime of a steel door as they do have the potential to rust when hit with severe and persistent rain, snow and other wet weather conditions. Additionally, steel doors are huge heat conductors, to the point where we often don’t suggest pairing one with a storm door if it’s facing south as the heat that collects between the two doors has the ability to melt parts of the door or even shatter the glass.

Lastly, there are wood doors, which are probably the most aesthetically pleasing. In addition to looking beautiful, they also resist scratches and are very difficult to dent. Of course, with the good comes the bad, and with wood, the biggest negatives are its price and upkeep. Wood is easily the most expensive of the three options, and the material does need to be painted or stained every few years to ensure it still looks like new.

No matter which type of material you choose, you want to ensure you’re purchasing a door from a reputable manufacturer and that you have a rock solid warranty. Also, be sure to choose a professional, recommended contractor for the installation, as the fitting of the door can make all the difference in terms of performance. Most of the time, the air that flows through the home generally comes from the gaps and spaces between windows and doors, not the product itself. There’s no use spending good money on a new door and have a bad install impact its performance. Don’t forget, if you have a question, I’m here to help!