steel entry doors

Which is a Better Choice: Custom Steel Exterior Doors or Iron Doors?

Choosing the right entry door for your home is important. A front door makes a statement about your home and your aesthetic values, but it also needs to be safe, sturdy and functional. It should keep out weather elements as well as intruders, and it should not require you to spend a lot of time maintaining it. That’s why picking the right material for your front door matters.

Exterior steel doors and iron entry doors are two very popular choices, among other materials such as aluminum, fiberglass or wood. Each of these materials has various merits for a residential front door. While they all boast certain properties, steel front doors with glass are the best overall option for your home in terms of value and presentation. Iron entry doors also appeal to some people for a few reasons. Here, we explore the pros and cons of steel entry doors and iron entry doors to help you decide which is right for your home.

If you are considering other types of doors, such as aluminum or fiberglass, be sure to read our companion pieces Aluminum Door vs. Custom Steel Doors and Custom Steel Doors vs. Fiberglass Doors.


custom steel front doors


What to Look For


There’s much to consider when picking a material for your door. Here are some of the most influential factors to keep in mind when trying to decide between a steel front door with glass and an iron entry door.

  • Appearance: Your front door makes a statement about your home — what kind of style do you prefer? Traditional? Modern? Contemporary?
  • Security: Do you need extra protection against intruders? Are you concerned about keeping your family safe?
  • Durability: Think about your area’s climate; are there extreme temperatures or weather events that need to be considered? Do you need safeguarding against corrosion or excessive water damage?
  • Maintenance: How often do you want to maintain your front door? How much upkeep are you comfortable with?
  • Price: How much do you plan to spend on your door? Do you need customized options for an oversized door frame or other unique circumstances? Will you need special glass cutouts?


luxury steel entry doors


Custom Steel Entry Doors


Portella offers unlimited options for custom steel entry designs. We know how important it is for homeowners to choose a door frame that makes a home stand out in the neighborhood. We are experts in energy efficiency of custom steel doors, each of which can be specially ordered to meet specific needs in terms of size or aesthetic.

Entry steel doors are also very versatile and can be made to your unique specifications. A nonstandard door frame or one that is oversized, for example, is no problem when you choose a custom exterior steel door.  Or, perhaps special glass cutouts are part of your creative vision.

Our custom steel doors are created by glass experts who have spent their careers designing and assembling glass in steel entry doors.Their level of craftsmanship is unmatched.


exterior steel and glass doors


Pros of Steel Entry Doors


There are many advantages to selecting an exterior steel door. Steel front doors are very durable because steel is such a strong material. A door made of steel and glass looks sleek while also being sturdy and long-lasting.

Entry steel doors also require little maintenance, which is great, since no one wants to have to fix a front door every couple of years! By choosing a steel and glass door you can minimize upkeep, aside from twice yearly basic maintenance. Steel is corrosion-resistant, so it needs little more than a coat of paint to protect it from the elements. Clearly, steel exterior doors provide substantial long-term value.

Another benefit to consider is the energy efficiency of steel front doors. A foam core inside the steel called a thermal break reduces heat conductivity and maintains temperatures inside the home. This can help reduce energy costs and save you money.

Residential steel front doors are also available in specially designed shapes to meet your unique style preferences. And, they are hard to penetrate, so they are good at preventing intruders.


modern steel and glass front door


Cons of Steel Entry Doors


Exterior steel doors, while an excellent choice overall, can be vulnerable to extreme weather like heavy rain or salt air. They are affordable and durable but can sometimes be compromised by heavy use. Steel front doors are difficult to stain, so they need to be painted, which can sometimes lead to chipping. 

The damage done by dents, for example, can be difficult to fix. And residential steel doors and frames might rust if they get scratched.


custom steel exterior doors


Iron Entry Doors


Iron entry doors are also a popular choice for homeowners because they are super secure but also very decorative. The unique cutouts add a level of sophistication to your entryway. With wrought iron doors, you don’t have to sacrifice security for style — you can have both.


iron entry door


Pros of Iron Entry Doors


Iron entry doors are known for their security. Iron is resistant to heating or bending, which means that intruders cannot easily access your home. Installing iron doors is one of the best ways to dissuade burglars, who often choose their targets based on ease of entry. Entry iron doors can also withstand years of harsh weather conditions and do not rust. And, if fitted with thermal break technology, they also provide good insulation.

Another reason people choose iron doors is for their striking visual elements. Because they are often designed with cutouts, they boost curb appeal, allowing light into your home while also enabling a view of what is going on outside.


custom iron entry door


Cons of Iron Entry Doors


Iron entry doors are more expensive than doors made from other, more cheaper materials. One of the drawbacks to their long-lasting properties is the high cost. However, since they are low maintenance, many homeowners see them as a cost-saving choice over time.

Entry iron doors are also very heavy, making them difficult to move, maneuver and install. Depending on the size, some iron entry doors may weigh up to 1,000 lbs.! Some companies even require customers to unload the pallet from the delivery truck themselves, which is not easy for most people.


iron entry door


The Winner: Steel Entry Doors


While there are advantages and disadvantages to exterior steel doors and iron doors, steel exterior doors are a better choice. Steel doors are usually more economical than wrought iron doors, and they are much more durable. Not only do steel and glass look sleek and sophisticated, they resist corrosion and don’t require a lot of maintenance.


modern black steel front door


Homeowners who want to reduce their energy bill, keep their property safe and invest in a door that will be long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing while increasing the value of their home should choose exterior steel doors. Cost-effective, durable and versatile, custom steel entry doors can be a beautiful addition to your home.


modern steel and glass entry doors


What has been your experience with exterior steel doors? What is important to you when designing a home’s entryway? Reply below!

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