How to Choose Metal for Custom Windows and Doors

Custom metal doors and windows are an excellent choice for homeowners who value both beauty and utility, as they can provide a sleek, modern look while also being energy-efficient and eco-friendly.

In choosing the right doors and windows for your home, it’s important to consider materials that are not only visually appealing but also durable, safe, and cost-effective. Custom metal doors and windows are a great option for achieving this balance, and in this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide on how to weigh those qualities when choosing the right metal for your custom doors and windows. 

When it comes to custom metal doors and windows, steel is a popular choice due to its durability and strength, among many other benefits. We’ll also touch on the pros and cons of other materials, so whether you’re in the market for steel doors and windows, aluminum-framed windows, bronze windows and doors, or even custom wrought iron windows and doors, we’ve got you covered. With some key features to look for and some helpful tips as you move forward with the buying process, after reading this article you’ll be ready to choose the custom metal windows and doors you’ve been dreaming of!


steel entry doors


An Introduction to the Materials Available for Custom Metal Doors and Windows


Custom metal doors and windows offer a unique blend of aesthetic appeal, durability, and energy efficiency. The type of metal used for your custom doors and windows can greatly impact their overall appearance, strength, and environmental performance. When choosing the right metal for your custom metal windows and doors, it is important to consider the different options available.

Overall, the type of metal you choose for your custom metal doors and windows should reflect your personal style, budget, and environmental concerns. The four main types of metals typically used for residential metal doors and windows are steel, aluminum, bronze, and iron. Each metal carries unique characteristics and we’ll review the key similarities and differences to inform you in choosing the metal that is best suited for your home.


Steel Doors and Windows


black steel doors and windows


Steel is a popular material for custom metal doors and windows due to its strength, durability, and energy efficiency.

Custom steel doors and windows can provide a sleek, modern look that complements a variety of architectural styles, including contemporary and industrial. Additionally, steel frames are highly durable and require minimal maintenance, making them a great long-term investment for homeowners who want to avoid costly repairs or replacements in the future. Steel is also a highly energy-efficient material and can be customized with thermal breaks and low-E glass options for maximum energy savings, helping to reduce heating and cooling costs and improve the overall energy efficiency of your home. 

However, there are some drawbacks to choosing steel for your custom metal doors and windows. For example, steel frames can be more expensive than other materials, which may be a concern for budget-conscious homeowners. Steel is also a relatively heavy material, which can make installation more challenging and may limit the size of your custom doors and windows. However, some modern designers are crafting more lightweight models that feature slim sightlines and sleek designs while retaining the desirable features associated with residential steel doors and windows, such as weather-resistant hardware, thermal breaks, and enhanced security. Overall, if you are looking for a durable, energy-efficient, and modern option for your custom metal doors and windows, steel may be the perfect choice for you.


steel windows


Aluminum Doors and Windows


Aluminum is another popular choice for custom metal doors and windows. It is a lightweight and lower-priced material, making it an excellent choice for smaller homes and budget-conscious homeowners. Aluminum-framed custom windows offer a slim, modern look that allows for maximum light and visibility, making them a great choice for homeowners who want to make the most of their views. Additionally, aluminum is a recyclable material, making it an environmentally-friendly choice.

However, when weighing options for custom metal doors or windows, there are a few key things to take into consideration. Aluminum windows and doors are not as strong as those made from some other materials, such as steel, which can impact durability over time. Additionally, aluminum framed doors can be more susceptible to corrosion than other metal doors, which can impact their appearance and performance and result in the need for more maintenance than other metals. Overall, if you are looking for a lightweight and versatile option, custom aluminum doors and windows may be a great choice, as long as you are aware of the potential limitations.


Iron Doors and Windows


For those seeking a more traditional or historic look, custom iron doors and windows may be a preferred choice. Wrought iron offers a classic appearance that can enhance the charm and character of any home. Wrought iron doors or windows can be customized to fit any size or style, are long-lasting, and due to their heftiness, provide an enhanced level of security for homeowners.

However, because iron is so heavy, installation and shipping are often difficult and expensive, especially for larger framed doors. It is also prone to rust and corrosion, so if you live in a humid climate or near the ocean, it is not an ideal choice. Finally, while wrought iron windows and doors are highly customizable and durable, they are a relatively expensive option. 

Iron offers a classic look for residential metal doors and windows, and is a great choice if you’re looking for a metal door or window that will give your home increased curb appeal – just be prepared to pay for it. 




Bronze is a material that has been used in architectural design for centuries and offers a warm, rich look that is perfect for traditional or historic homes. With its signature patina, a custom bronze door it is often the showpiece of a property’s entryway. Bronze is also a long-lasting option as long as it is cared for correctly. 

That being said, bronze is quite expensive, and is often considered a luxury option for homeowners. It is heavy, which makes it durable but also difficult to transport and install. Finally, bronze requires regular maintenance to maintain its appearance and prevent tarnishing, which can be a concern for homeowners who want low-maintenance options. 

Architectural bronze doors and windows can be customized to fit any size or style, making them a great option for homeowners who are looking for a unique and elegant look, as long as they are willing to invest in regular maintenance.


Things to Consider when Choosing Metal for Custom Windows and Doors


custom steel windows


When it comes to choosing custom metal doors and windows for your home, there are a number of important factors to consider, including style and aesthetics, safety and durability, energy-efficiency, and of course, cost.

Custom metal windows and doors offer a sleek, modern look that can add a touch of sophistication to any home. However, it’s important to choose a metal that fits with the overall design of your home, whether that’s the industrial look of residential steel windows or the rustic charm of a custom wrought iron door. In addition to their beauty, metal doors and windows are incredibly strong and can last for decades with proper care and maintenance. They also offer superior resistance to weather and other elements, making them an ideal choice for homes in areas prone to extreme weather conditions.

Metal windows and doors can also help keep your home comfortable and reduce energy bills by offering superior insulation properties. This is especially true for doors and windows with thermal breaks, which provide an additional layer of insulation to keep hot and cold air from escaping. When considering your budget, metal doors and windows may be more expensive than those made of other materials upfront, but their durability and energy efficiency can ultimately save you money in the long run. Finally, it’s important to consider the impact that your choice of materials will have on the environment. Choosing a metal that is recyclable is a great way to minimize your impact on the planet while still enjoying the many benefits of having custom metal windows or doors.


Durability and Strength


Exterior Steel Doors


Durability and strength are critical factors to ensure that the doors and windows can withstand everyday wear and tear and potential impacts. Out of the materials highlighted in this article, steel is often considered the strongest and most durable option. Steel has a high tensile strength and is able to withstand extreme weather conditions, making it a popular choice for doors and windows that need to be both functional and long-lasting. Additionally, steel can be easily shaped and formed into intricate designs, making it a versatile choice for custom doors and windows.

While iron may be a popular choice for ornamental windows and doors, it is generally not as strong as steel. Iron is more brittle and prone to rusting and corrosion over time, which can impact the overall durability of the product. Alternatively, bronze offers exceptional durability and resistance to corrosion, but comes at a premium price. Finally, aluminum is a lightweight and more affordable option that can resist corrosion but may lack the strength and resilience of steel or bronze. For those seeking strength and durability, steel is likely the best option for crafting custom metal doors and windows that will stand the test of time.




Maintaining custom metal doors and windows is also essential to ensure their long-term appearance. For those seeking minimal upkeep, steel is an excellent choice. As a highly durable material, steel requires very little maintenance to keep it looking its best. Regular cleaning with a soft cloth and mild soap is typically all that is needed to maintain the sleek, polished appearance of custom steel doors and windows.

Aluminum windows and doors also require very little maintenance, however, homeowners will need to pay close attention to hinges, window handles, and other hardware, as aluminum tends to suffer from increased wear and tear over time. While wrought iron may be a popular choice for ornamental accents, it can rust and chip and may require media blasting to re-touch the surface. Finally, custom bronze windows and doors are known for their stunning patina, but require cleaning and polishing on a regular basis to keep their signature gleaming surface.


Aesthetics and Style


custom steel window


For custom metal doors and windows, the material used can have a significant impact on the overall look and feel of the finished product. Windows and doors should complement a home’s design and architecture, and with a variety of finishes, colors, and styles, there are many great options available for homeowners. 
When traditionally designed, custom iron doors or windows will add a touch of old-world charm to any home. The natural patina of bronze is recognized for its rich and luxurious appearance. Aluminum, while not as ornate as iron or as rich as bronze, offers a classic, minimalist look. Finally, steel, with its sleek and modern appearance, is an ideal choice for those seeking a contemporary design. Steel is also versatile, making it perfect for a range of custom designs, from bold geometric shapes or intricate patterns and details, to universally appealing classic steel windows and doors.


Cost and Budget


Custom metal doors and windows are an investment, and it’s important to select a metal that is within your budget while still meeting all the necessary requirements. While the initial cost of materials can vary, it’s also important to consider the long-term costs of maintenance and the impacts your choice may have on your heating and cooling bills.

Custom aluminum doors and windows are typically the most affordable option making them an attractive choice for those with a limited budget. However, it’s important to consider aluminum’s durability over time, as it may not be as cost-effective in the long run.

Steel, while initially more expensive than some other materials, can save homeowners money in the long run due to its energy-efficient properties and low maintenance requirements. Wrought iron doors or windows, on the other hand, can be costly due to their weight and design and require additional maintenance and repairs to maintain their original look. Bronze is also expensive, both to purchase and install, but is a long-lasting material that will be enjoyed for many years to come as long as it’s well taken care of.


Impact on the Environment


With homeowners becoming more environmentally conscious, the impact of using certain materials for residential metal doors and windows has become a major consideration. Steel, for example, is 100% recyclable, making it an eco-friendly choice for those looking to reduce their environmental footprint. Additionally, steel has excellent durability, and thermally broken steel doors and windows are highly energy-efficient, which can reduce the need for frequent replacements and lower energy consumption over time.  

While it is a more energy-intensive material to produce than steel or iron, aluminum can be recycled indefinitely, also making it an eco-friendly choice. However, it does not have the same energy-efficiency characteristics as doors and windows made of heavier materials.

Additionally, iron and bronze doors can also be recycled, and their durability can result in less waste and lower environmental impact. That being said, it is important to note that both may require additional maintenance and coatings to prevent rust and corrosion, which can negatively impact the environment over time.


Energy-Efficiency and Thermal Conductivity


Thermally broken steel doors and windows


When it comes to custom metal doors and windows, energy efficiency is a top priority for homeowners. With modern technology and advanced materials, it’s easier than ever to keep your home comfortable and efficient. Steel, iron, bronze, and aluminum all have their own unique qualities that make them suitable for custom doors and windows, but when it comes to energy efficiency, thermally broken steel windows and doors stand out.

Thermally broken steel doors and windows are designed with a thermal barrier between the interior and exterior of the frame, which significantly reduces heat transfer. This means that in the summer, cool air stays in, and in the winter, warm air stays in, resulting in lower energy bills and a more comfortable home. 

In comparison, iron, bronze, and aluminum are all highly conductive materials, which means they can transfer heat or cold more easily than steel. While bronze and aluminum can be thermally broken, they don’t quite match up to the energy efficiency of thermally broken steel. Iron, on the other hand, is not typically used for thermally broken doors and windows due to its high conductivity and weight.


The Benefits of Custom Metal Windows and Doors


steel windows and doors


In choosing custom metal doors and windows, there is a multitude of benefits for homeowners looking to elevate the style and function of their living space. The sleek and modern look of metal frames can give a home a contemporary edge, while also providing ample natural light and unobstructed views. Plus, with a range of customizable options, including different metals, finishes, and designs, homeowners can create a look that is uniquely theirs.

Beyond aesthetics, custom metal doors and windows can also add significant value to your home. As a highly sought-after feature among homebuyers, these upgrades can increase your property value and make a home stand out on the market. Plus, with the added benefit of improved energy efficiency, homeowners will enjoy lower energy bills and a more comfortable living space. Custom metal doors and windows are can be designed with thermal breaks to reduce heat transfer, keeping a home cool in the summer and warm in the winter, all while reducing one’s carbon footprint.

Investing in custom metal doors and windows is a smart choice for homeowners who want to improve the look, value, and energy efficiency of their homes. With endless design possibilities and a range of environmental benefits, it’s no wonder why these features are becoming increasingly popular among homeowners who want to make a statement and reduce their environmental impact.


Choosing the Right Metal for Your Custom Doors and Windows


steel doors manufacturing


Choosing the perfect metal for your custom doors and windows can seem daunting, but with the right approach, it can be a fun and exciting process. The first step is to evaluate your needs and preferences. Are you looking for a sleek and modern aesthetic, or do you prefer a more traditional style? Do you value energy efficiency and sustainability? Are you seeking a budget-friendly option, or are you more focused on durability and strength? Once you have a clear idea of your goals, you can start exploring the different metal options available.

Each metal has its own unique qualities and characteristics, so it’s important to consider the benefits and drawbacks of each. Steel is incredibly strong and durable, and with a contemporary look, it’s ideal for modern homes, while bronze offers a classic and elegant look that is perfect for historical homes. Custom aluminum doors and windows are lightweight and less expensive, making them a popular choice for more budget-conscious homeowners, and wrought iron doors and windows are known for their strength and security.


An Expert’s Opinion




When designing custom metal doors and windows for your home, consulting with an expert can be an invaluable step in the process. An expert can help you navigate the many options available, providing guidance on materials, design elements, and energy efficiency considerations, and offering any specialty solutions you may need for your custom steel windows and doors. They can also help you visualize the end result, providing 3D renderings to help you see what your custom doors and windows will look like in your home.

Another benefit of working with an expert is that they can provide you with a wealth of knowledge on the latest trends in custom metal doors and windows, and inspiration for unique designs and features that will make your home stand out. With their expertise and guidance, you can ensure that your custom metal doors and windows not only meet your functional needs but also elevate the aesthetic appeal of your home.


Choosing Steel as the Best Metal for Custom Doors and Windows


steel commercial doors


The choice of material for custom metal doors and windows depends on a variety of factors, including budget, energy efficiency, and desired aesthetics. While iron, bronze, and aluminum may have their own unique benefits, steel stands out as the most versatile, stylish, and practical choice for homeowners looking to invest in custom doors and windows.

Not only is steel incredibly strong and durable, but it’s also highly versatile, making it a popular choice for designers and homeowners alike. Steel frames add a sleek and modern touch to any home, while also providing unparalleled security and protection against the elements. Plus, with options like thermally broken laser fusion welding and cold-rolled steel, you can rest assured that your custom steel doors and windows will provide excellent insulation and energy efficiency.

In addition to its functional benefits, steel is also a beautiful and elegant material that can add a touch of luxury to any home. Whether you opt for a minimalist, industrial look or a more ornate design, steel frames can be customized to perfectly fit your unique aesthetic. And with its durability and longevity, steel can increase the value of your home for years to come. So, if you’re looking for custom metal doors and windows that are both practical and stylish, steel is the way to go.

By considering these factors and working with a trusted custom metal doors and windows company like Portella, homeowners can find the perfect balance between cost, style, and quality.

For some inspiration, check out the gallery of Portella custom metal doors and windows, and to begin your design journey today, visit our list of Portella retailers to find the closest dealer near you!

Request a Quote
Contact Us Today to Get Your Project Moving.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *