Your homes exterior doors play an important role in framing your house, making every day a little brighter and more comfortable. Changing your front door can increase home value, enhance security, brighten your view, save energy and reduce on dust and allergens.
As you start shopping, consider these items to help focus your search.
Are you replacing the door or the entire door frame?
Sometimes replacing a door means just removing one door and adding another. But in other cases, you could be ripping out and replacing the entire door frame, which includes the door jambs and threshold.
Replacing just the door isn’t as simple as you might think. First you need to determine if you need a left or right hand door. To do this you can stand in the doorway and face outside. If the door handle and lock is on your right, you have a right-hand door. You then need to measure the height and width of the existing door jamb between the inside edges of the casing. Making sure you have the proper jamb size measurements is key, you don’t want your new door to show up and not fit into the existing hole.
Consider your lifestyle.
Keep the people, places and things in your life in mind as you shop for a new door. Do you have little ones or pets you have to keep blinds or shades away from? Do you redecorate frequently? Is there a particular view you’d like to preserve or create? Does your area see extreme weather temperatures? Depending on your answers to these questions you can narrow your selection down significantly.
Different material types.
Wood doors provide a high-end warm, natural look and can be stained or painted to complement your home’s style. These doors provide design flexibility. Natural-finish stock or custom wood doors come in oak, cherry, walnut, mahogany, maple and pine. Many stock wood doors are a sandwich of wood-veneer skins over an engineered wood-core. This configuration is a cheaper option to solid-wood doors.
A disadvantage of wood is over time, wood can naturally warp due to the elements of the outdoors. Because of this, you might have to replace exterior wood doors more frequently than those made from fiberglass or steel.
When shopping for a pre-finished wood door, look for durable stains and clear finishes. High-gloss sheens offer the best protection for painted doors. This also helps prevent a wood door from absorbing moisture and swelling. Pay careful attention to detailing, the more intricate the carvings and moldings, and the thicker and wider the stiles and rails, the better the door. The same goes for panel thickness.
This door type is relatively inexpensive and can offer your home protection from all outside elements, both weather and security based. The inner frame is made of wood or steel and the cavities within the frame are filled with high-density foam insulation. The panels provide a smooth surface that creating an even color when painted.
Any damage made to a steel door, like dents, can be hard to repair and will likely not pop out of the material. Their baked-on polyester finish will also require periodic touchups
This door is practical choice for most home owners. Fiberglass doors are great for protecting your home against extreme heat and cold with their insulated cores and are more durable than traditional wooden doors. These doors are available with a smooth surface or, more typically, an embossed wood-grain texture. Beneath their molded surface is a framework of wooden stiles and rails and the voids in the framework are filled with polyurethane-foam insulation.
These doors can cost slightly more than wood options; however, their long-term energy savings may be enough to pay you back down the road. Fiberglass-composite doors also carry longer warranties.
Variety of features and options.
Try out different finishes, add stylish hardware, or select a patio door with grilles tucked between the panes of glass. All the items below are added features that let you personalize your doors.
Finishes & Colors
Depending on the manufacturer doors can be available in a wide range of finishes and colors to complement both the interior and exterior of your home.
Weathertight technology and more durable frames, not only keep your home protected against drafts and leaks, but keep your entry door looking great for years.
Decorative glass can bring your entry door the added style, privacy or natural light you’re looking for.
Sidelights & Transoms
These provides more natural light and curb appeal to your home. You can get a variety of shapes and styles to create the dramatic entrance you’re always wanted.
Grilles create the look of individual windowpanes, giving you the most authentic look of true divided-light doors. You can tailor these to best fit your hone’s architectural style.
Door hardware can be as beautiful as it is functional.
Innovative high-transparency screens are practically invisible and can help with your home’s light, ventilation and view. Screens also let you bring the outdoors in.