It wasn’t too long ago that home builders and contractors were quite limited in the materials and designs they had to choose from when selecting exterior doors for their projects, but this is definitely not the case today. Over the past few decades there have been several important advances in door design and technology that have improved the quality and performance of exterior doors by leaps and bounds. Several technical improvements such as insulated cores, multi-point locking systems and efficient weather-stripping have greatly increased the quality and performance of exterior doors, providing homeowners with important functional benefits along with visual appeal.
Advancements in Modern Exterior Door Construction
Insulated Cores – Just like you can’t judge a book by its cover, it’s difficult to determine the composition and quality of a door just by looking at its external appearance. In contrast to the solid, ultra-heavy wooden doors of decades past, many modern exterior doors are hollow on the inside, and feature an insulated core comprised of materials such as honeycomb (made of bonded heavy kraft paper), polyurethane or polystyrene. The core serves several functional roles including insulation, structural integrity, rigidity, fire protection, sound deadening, and thermal control.
Different types of core materials have different strengths and weaknesses, so it is important for builders and contractors to thoroughly understand the purpose for which the door will be used in order to select the right exterior door for their project. For example, a polystyrene core is often used when there’s a significant temperature differential between the interior and exterior sides of the door. Polyurethane cores are excellent for insulation, and are frequently used for protection from extremely cold temperatures. Honeycomb cores feature an excellent strength-to-weight ratio, and can be used in a variety of interior and exterior applications.
Multi-Point Locking Systems – According to research published by the Home Safety Council, nearly half of all home break-ins are a result of improperly locked or unlocked doors and windows. To alleviate this problem, many modern exterior doors feature multi-point locking systems in order to add an extra layer of security to standard entry doors. Not only do multi-point locking systems help keep an entryway less vulnerable to intruders, but they also improve door closure and sealing, allowing for greater ease of use along with better energy efficiency.
Weather-stripping – In older times, not much thought was given to the importance of adequately sealing a door; the main focus was just on making sure that it could cover the entryway to the house. As time went on and home building technology continued to improve, manufacturers began to place more emphasis on energy efficiency and proper door sealing.
Air leaks are a common characteristic of a poorly sealed door, and without adequate weather-stripping, those leaks can allow unwanted cold air into a house during the winter, or hot air in during the summer. Not only that, but a poorly sealed door can allow expensive heated or cooled air to escape the house as well! There are several different types of weather-stripping materials available on the market today (e.g., tubeseal, flipperseal, leafseal, etc.), all of which are designed to block air flow and improve the functionality and energy efficiency of the door.
At Nisbet Brower, we offer a wide variety of exterior door types and styles to fit practically any project or budget size. Whether you’re going for a traditional solid wood door or an entry door with more sophisticated features and design, we have an extensive array of excellent options to choose from. Contact us today to see how our team of seasoned professionals can help simplify the process of selecting the right exterior doors for your next building or contracting project.