What to look for when buying a steel door

by Jess Andree

You’ve learned about the pros and cons of wood, steel, and fiberglass doors and decided to go with a steel entry door. How do you know you’re getting a steel door that will meet your security, energy-efficiency, and aesthetic needs?

One of the most important things to look at is the core. A polystyrene core will be less expensive, but it also has a lower R-value (more heat loss) because the insulation block creates opportunities for pockets of air to develop. A polyurethane core is more energy efficient because it gets sprayed into the frame which eliminates any air gaps and provides a rigid panel.

Another thing to ask about is the steel skin itself. Thinner-gauge steel will dent more easily and is prone to more waves than a thicker gauge steel. Galvanized steel is steel that has been dipped in a zinc coating to prevent rusting.

Next you want to examine the door frame. A less expensive door will have a wood sill substrate, opposed to a composite sill substrate that resists rot, insect damage, and decay. The critical bottom of the door should have thermal protection if you want to avoid frost. Weatherstripping should be low-wicking so it doesn’t absorb any moisture, and it should extend slightly over the edge to keep all water and air out.

Last you want to look at the overall door and frame construction and make sure any applied casings are fastened securely and correctly so your installation will go smoothly.

At Remodelers Outlet, we pride ourselves at offering “Quality Products at Outlet Prices” and if you compare apples to apples, that’s exactly what we do. Our steel doors may be priced higher than some of our competitors, but in a side-by-side comparison, our doors are the ones with double-dipped galvanized steel in a thicker gauge, a polyurethane core, and composite frame system. We also have a variety of styles in stock and even have an in-house custom shop if you need any alterations.


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