Your entry door can say a lot about your home. It serves as you and your guests’ first impressions when entering, and last impressions while leaving. It keeps rain, snow, debris, and other elements outside and if in good condition, it can even help reduce your energy costs. Unfortunately, entry doors don’t last forever, and eventually, you’ll have to consider replacing yours.
When to Replace an Entry Door
There are two conditions where replacing an entry door is necessary. The first is when your door is too old to compete with modern energy efficiency standards; older models of doors tend to wreak havoc on energy bills. The second is when your door is heavily damaged, and unable to perform its basic duties of keeping the elements out. Beyond those conditions, you may want to find replacement doors if your entry door no longer suits the exterior of your house, or if you just want a change to spruce things up.
There are hundreds of options available for entry doors, so as a new consumer, it’s natural to feel a little intimidated. Still, if you follow these five steps and start out with a good idea of your needs and your budget, you’ll be in a perfect position to make the right decision.
Step One: Find the Right Size
Getting the right size door is vital if you want a smooth installation and proper functioning afterward. Most standard doorways are between 32 and 36 inches wide, but this isn’t always the case. Extra wide doorways can extend over 40 inches, and you may have a double entry door as well. There isn’t much flexibility when it comes to the size requirements of your doorway, so measure carefully and only look at options that fit your intended frame.
Step Two: Choose the Right Materials
Choosing the right materials for your door is arguably the most significant step in the process, as your selection will determine the door’s look, function, and price range all at once. Standard doors are made from wood, and tend to be the most aesthetically preferred choice. High-quality replacement doors feature thicker wood that resists warping and damage, but not all wooden doors are alike. Steel doors are another option. Steel is heavier, and even more resistant to warping damage, but might suffer from peeling or damaged finish over time. Fiberglass and composite doors usually mimic the aesthetic appeal of wooden doors, but offer much more durability and protection.
Step Three: Find a Style That Suits You
Style is the area where you have the most flexibility and the most options to personally explore. You won’t find much difference in function between different styles like you will different materials, but you will find different price ranges and very different tastes.
As a simple example, you may opt for a door with or without windows—and the windows themselves may be traditional, frosted, or even stained glass. They may be arranged in a specific pattern, or there may only be one. Some replacement doors offer arches, while some are more traditional, and your choice of colors and designs are practically limitless. Here, your decision should be based on your own personal preferences; think about what will look best in the context of your home’s exterior, and what you want people to see when they walk into your home for the first time. Take your time to explore these options, and only settle once you’ve found a design that fits.
Step Four: Consider the Quality You Need
Even once you’ve decided on a size, material, and basic style that you want, you’ll have to consider the quality of door that you need. As you might imagine, higher quality replacement doors come with higher price tags, and economy options can save you money, but also offer less functionality and durability. There’s no right or wrong decision here, but higher quality doors do tend to be better long-term investments; they have longer lifespans and add more value to your home. Consider your budget carefully, and shoot for the best-quality entry door you can reasonably afford.
Step Five: Shop Around to Get the Best Price
As you’ve learned, there are countless variables to choose from when purchasing an entry door, so the price can vary dramatically based on the replacement doors you choose. According to aggregated data at Homewyse, a new entry door, fully installed by a door installation contractor, can range from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars. Be sure to evaluate each door option for price as well as quality—it’s nice to save money, but only if you’re getting an appropriate value for your spend. Cheaper options tend to be less durable, less efficient, and aren’t built to last as long, but you can find great deals on high-quality replacement doors as well.
Other Considering Factors
After you’ve selected the proper replacement doors, all that’s left is the matter of installing them. Choosing the right door installation contractor is important to ensure you get the most out of your investment; you’ll want to pick a contractor who is experienced and reliable, but affordable enough to keep you well within budget. It is possible to install a front entry door yourself, but if you don’t know how to install one properly, you risk wasting additional time and money seeking supplementary help. Plus, you don’t want to end up with a half-installed door for the time it takes to find a new contractor!
If you’re interested in learning more about possible replacement doors for your home, or you’ve already made a decision and you’re looking for a door installation contractor, ask us for a quote or schedule a consultation. With over 25 years of experience and some of the best professionals in the business, we know our way around entry doors, and can help you through each step of the selection, buying, and installation process. We’ll make sure you make the right decision for your home.