How to replace your front door

Metal, fiberglass or wood?

You've made the decision to buy a new door. Now you need to decide what kind to buy.

Price, maintenance requirements and longevity will vary based on what material is used to construct your door. In general, metal and fiberglass are more durable than wood.

"Metal doors that need to be painted on-site are typically the most affordable in the short-term, but the sealants are sloppy and it is hard to get a good paint job on-site. It's an extra cost, too," says Mark Clement, a licensed contractor in Pennsylvania and host of the MyFixitUpLife home improvement radio show.

Metal doors require maintenance, too.

"Fiberglass doors tend to be on the higher end when you buy them, but their paybacks over the long haul are well worth the up-front costs," he says. "They’re more energy-efficient than wood and require less maintenance, and can be factory-finished."

Wood doors are typically in the middle for long-term value, Clement says.

They can require repainting and refinishing, and are subject to warping, rotting and cracking.

A well-maintained door can last decades.