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6 Best Front Doors for Security

Tuesday July 31st, 2018
Family safety. It's one of the first things you consider when building a new home, before moving into a new neighborhood, and before purchasing your dream home to remodel. While technology has improved with home alarm systems that connect directly to local police stations and fire departments, break-ins still happen. And they occur 34% of the time through the front door! What can you do about it? Get a better door. Consider entry doors like:

6 Best Front Doors for Security

  • Solid Mahogany
  • Solid Steel
  • Steel Core with Wood Exterior
  • Steel and Mesh
  • Sliding Meshtec Screen
  • Solid Wood Slab
Are you surprised to hear that the front door is a popular entryway for burglars? In many homes, the front door is a weak spot. If an exterior door isn't maintained or updated through the years, the front door will experience wear, tear, and even warping. When it starts warping, the deadbolt won't fit correctly, and one good kick might be all it takes to gain entry.

Once you've got your front door sorted, consider your patio door next. Around 22% of burglars access the patio door instead of entry doors when breaking in. If you want to secure your home as much as possible, purchase heavy-duty exterior doors for front and back entrances for maximum effectiveness.

6 Best Front Doors for Security

Solid Mahogany

Wood doors are perfect for keeping would-be intruders out. Mahogany is one of the most common woods used for solid wood doors. Exterior doors made of this deep-hue wood are incredibly beautiful and lend an air of sophistication to your house that would otherwise be impossible to achieve. The wood is amazingly durable, sturdy, and dense.

A solid wood door is nearly impossible to kick in or force open for the average would-be burglar. It takes much more than a forceful kick or a shove to open. Wood is so hearty, it's difficult to even dent.

Mahogany is resistant to insects and decay, making it ideal for legacy homes since it should last for generations. And, at a whopping 150 pounds, mahogany front entrance doors aren't about to budge easily. These make a great first line of defense and will undoubtedly make an intruder think twice about trying to enter through the front.

Not only are they excellent for security reasons, but these solid wood doors are easily customized. Mahogany sands and finishes well, and it can be stained and re-stained for different looks depending on personal preferences. Mahogany is an excellent choice for your security and its ability to be modified when updating the look, style, and feel of the home.

Solid Steel

If you're looking for the absolute gold standard in terms of safety, burglar prevention, and fire-retardant materials, a steel door could be the answer.

When it comes to durability and longevity for a high traffic front door, it's hard to get anything better than a steel security door. These doors are typically made from 24 or 22-gauge steel plates with high-density polyurethane foam in between, providing excellent insulation. They are so durable, "cycle tests" performed on steel doors rate them to hold up to over a million cycles of opening and closing the door. In other words, once you put a steel door on your house as your high security door, you won't need to replace it for generations.

Steel doors form a sort of door barricade because they're nearly impossible to bust through. This is the material that doors at the Pentagon are made from for their safe rooms. If it's good enough for the Pentagon, it should be good enough to provide door security for you and your family. Not only are they excellent at keeping unwanted intruders out, but they have the highest fire safety rating and the best hurricane resistance of any door on the market. They also form a formidable barrier against tornadoes and outperform any other material in tornado resistance tests. Thanks to their excellent ratings, steel doors can serve multiple functions as an exterior door, security door, and a storm door.

Steel Core with Wood Exterior

Not everyone is thrilled with the look of a steel security door. While these doors can be painted, they may not mesh with your farmhouse or rustic feel. If you want a steel door's strength and security and the pleasing aesthetic qualities of a solid mahogany option, you might want to choose a steel core with wood exterior. This has all the strength and security of a high security door and boasts the loveliness, stateliness, and vibe of a solid wood door.

Steel core doors are incredibly sturdy, well-built, and nearly impossible to break down. They have all the benefits of a straight steel door. They're great at keeping intruders out, weathering storms, and have a long life of use for multiple homeowners or generations of family. No burglar will make your front door their point of entry if your door looks solid and well-built. A burglar wants an easy in-easy out weak point in your home. A steel core door equipped with a smart lock or standard deadbolt will discourage even the most enterprising of would-be robbers. This option is, hands down, one of the best front doors for security. This setup also works if you need the best security for double front doors.

With a mahogany exterior, you'll gain the benefit of being able to sand, refinish, and stain the surface to suit your tastes. When you remodel, you'll be able to change the look of the door without compromising on the security of your home by re-staining the wood with the stain of choice. Add the finishing touches to your new look by replacing the exterior door knob, and you're all set. If you ever sell, this door will be a highlight for prospective buyers.

Steel and Mesh

A steel and mesh door is typically known as a security screen door. These doors provide the benefit of added security to your front entryway while allowing air to pass through when the main door is open.
The security screen door can be closed with the deadbolt lock engaged while still enabling cool afternoon breezes or the morning sun to enter. The security screen also provides homeowners or anyone inside with protection should someone come to the house who shouldn't be there.

Steel mesh is incredibly difficult to bust through, so the security rating on these doors is excellent. Though the security screen is not a solid door, it still provides extra protection to all in the house.
Steel and mesh doors make the perfect addition to a regular back door or side entrance in your home as well. These work well for any entrance where you want the benefit of a security door and a screen door's airflow. If you're not in love with the all-steel look of these screen doors, you may be able to customize your choice by adding wood trim to the outside to soften the look.

It's important to remember that steel and mesh doors do not substitute for a solid door. They should only replace your screen, not the entire door setup. If you're looking for front entry doors best for security, then one of the other options on this list is a better choice. If, however, you're looking to replace your current screen door with one that gives you an extra layer of protection, this door is right for you. If you're DIYing installation, putting this screen up is just as easy as installing a front entry door.

Sliding Meshtec Screen

Though relatively newer to the market, Meshtec is making quite a splash in the patio door and screen door scene. So, what is it? Meshtec is made of stainless-steel mesh that is woven into high-tensile strength. Each strand of wire is tested individually to pass international strength testing standards. The stainless mesh is so tough that kicking and ramming against it won't make a difference. Even a knife can't cut through it! Thanks to a patented formula, the steel mesh is corrosion resistant, even against salty sea spray, and it filters 60% of harmful UV rays without detracting from airflow or views. That is one powerful screen door!

Where might these types of security screen doors be used? They can be used both as a front door addition or on your all-glass patio doors. A glass door can be an easy access points for burglars, even with door security bar. Aside from the crash made when breaking glass, glass doors can provide a fairly easy entry point for intruders. With a Meshtec screen, the glass doors will be protected from objects, projectiles, and people trying to break it. Thanks to the screen's strength, potential intruders won't be able to get past the screen to get to the glass behind it. Meshtec is an ideal solution for security if you have large glass patio doors and need an extra layer of protection.

Solid Wood Slab

As with a solid mahogany door, many solid wood slab doors will provide both a layer of durability and security while allowing you to maintain your unique home aesthetic and style.
Not all homes work with a stainless-steel door or even a steel core and wood exterior door. Sometimes, the only thing that fits is a wood slab door. If this is your situation, don't despair. Wood doors are exceptionally durable, strong, intruder-resistant, and long-lasting.

While mahogany is the standard for many exterior doors, several other wood options perform just as well.

Cedar is used for exterior doors thanks to its rating as one of the world's most durable wood species. Homeowners also enjoy its natural preservatives that repel insects and moisture. If you're in an area where your exterior door gets hit by the elements—rain, wind, snow, sunlight—cedar is an excellent choice.

Walnut is known for its durability and resistance to rot and deterioration. It is stable and strong, making it an excellent option for slab doors.

Red oak and white oak are dense woods that are extremely strong and highly resistant to insects, making them excellent candidates for exterior door slabs.

Cherry wood is known for its density and strength, moisture-resistant qualities, and resistance to rot and decay. This wood is a favorite along with mahogany for exterior doors, as even excessive exposure to the sun doesn't cause the wood problems.

Alder is known for its distinct rustic look and feel. While this wood can be used for exterior doors, it is a "soft hardwood," which means it is more prone to denting and scratching. It is also less resistant to humidity. Alder is best for low traffic homes in temperate zones that aren't known for excessive humidity or exposure to moisture from rain or snow.

Feel Secure and Look Great

While you're at it, check the screws that were used to install the latch plates and hinges into the door jamb. The screws that were originally put on your front door’s hinges are likely about an inch and a half long, which could make it easier for a burglar to kick the door in. Consider installing longer 4-inch screws in their place that go through the door frame and into the framing of the house for added security and peace of mind.

You don't have to sacrifice looks for security or security for looks. There are a wide range of available doors to provide you with an extra layer of security and keep your family safe while maintaining the overall look and feel of your home.
Whether you need a solid mahogany door for the exterior entrance, a Meshtec screen for your back patio, or a steel core with wood exterior to give you added safety while maintaining your home's aesthetics, you won't go wrong. Thanks to the numerous options available to you, you can increase your safety and keep your home looking beautiful.
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