Tue. Aug 16th, 2022

Do you require a new front door? We feel the same way. A front door serves a dual purpose: it keeps homeowners safe and warm while also displaying our home’s style and personality.

So, when it’s time to replace, shouldn’t we take our time choosing the ideal Internal Doors? But hold on a second. How do we go about doing that?

What factors should you consider before purchasing a new front door? (Spoiler: there are more elements to consider than you might imagine….)

The entry door, according to Houzz, is the “portion of the façade that makes a statement about who you are.”

Oh, my goodness. That seems like a tall order for a rectangle piece of cloth to fulfill. What is the current message on my front door? Is that what I want to express to the rest of the world?

My front door is currently proclaiming to the world, “I’m run down, cracked, and I don’t match.”

To be honest, that’s a very good representation of me. I’m a stay-at-home mom with three energetic kids under the age of six (including a pair of precocious 2-year-old twins) and an overgrown high-energy dog, all of whom are vying for my attention. Every day, I wear sweatpants and am lucky if I get a comb through my hair.

But that’s not the side of me I’m talking about. I want to show the rest of the world. Yes, I’ll show my buddies. But not in the rest of the world.

I’d rather show off my, shall we say, more polished side. It’s what I was like before I had kids. A good mix of functionality and appeal. Perhaps not sweatpants and uncombed hair, but classic black pants and a smidgeon of muted lipstick.

I was standing in the kitchen a few days after we moved in, looking about at my new home, when I noticed something odd about our front door.

The entrance door lets in a few rays of sunlight. Not in the vicinity of the front entrance. However, it was through the front door. There are around a dozen cracks in the wood that are about 1-2 inches long.

I thought to myself, “Wow, that’s interesting.” What was happening on here?

Our main entrance

There are three cracks: one on the top left, two on each corner, and one on the bottom right.

Our door, it turns out, is constructed of solid wood. Solid wooden doors, however, split or break when not properly maintained and exposed to the weather. Whoops! Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, who

However, because we were on a budget and had other significant, expensive tasks to complete (such as a new furnace), replacing the door wasn’t a top priority. So I used a toothpick to seal the crevices with wood putty, which provided a temporary remedy and stopped the draft. The task of “replacing the front door” was added to our enormous to-do list. We all have that never-ending home renovation to-do list.

And, as we all know, life gets in the way, and some projects never get finished. So a new external door was added to the to-do list.

I was standing in the kitchen a few weeks ago on a sunny winter day when I noticed it out of the corner of my eye. A ray of sunshine. Actually, there are a couple of streaks. And indeed, it’s coming from the front door’s cracks. Sigh….

So here I am, considering our next course of action. Actually, I retract that statement. I know what we’re going to do next. Last October, I quit my work to remain at home with my kids (twin daughters – surprise!) and keep the mayhem under control. As a result, with our household income nearly halved, we live frugally until I return.

For the time being, the temporary repair will suffice. Applying wood putty and using toothpicks to re-fill the cracks. [I have to say, I’m astonished that the original wood putty lasted so long!]

However, I continue to fantasize of a new front door. While we enjoy the new coat of paint in the meanwhile, we plan how we will select a new one.

What criteria do we use to choose a new door? What factors should you consider before purchasing a new front door? I’ve never purchased a brand-new entry before. It appears simple at first glance. Isn’t it just as simple as going to the shop and picking one out?

Wrong! Nothing is ever straightforward and easy when it comes to home renovation projects… Especially when it comes to the issues that older homes provide. Sigh…

I’m a bit of a research junkie with a type-A personality. Some could say I research things “to death” (ahem, my hubby). However, I disagree.

When purchasing a new front door, there are four factors to consider after conducting research and consulting experts:

Material \sStyle

Security of energy efficiency

But there’s one more I’d like to add: budget. I’m a property owner. And I believe we can all agree that budget is an important consideration in any home renovation project.

1. The substance

Wood, fiberglass, and steel are the most common materials used in today’s front doors (or a combination of these materials). And, like with all building materials, it has advantages and disadvantages.

To be honest, there are several contradictions in the benefits and negatives of each website’s material. One website, for example, touted fiberglass as nearly unbreakable, while another advocated for steel doors. I’d love to hear from you if you disagree with my choices below!

Wood

Pros:

  • It has a real wood grain and a strong door feel to it.
  • If you have an older home, this material is more authentic to the original and is easier to install because it can be planed to meet odd angles.

Cons:

  • Durability
  • When exposed to moisture and the environment, wood naturally warps and rots.
  • Small nicks and dings don’t hold up as well (or pet scratches)
  • Lower energy efficiency, however it can be constructed with a low-energy core.
  • Re-sealing and touch-up stain or paint are required due to fading from the sun and natural elements.
  • Limited warranties are available. Manufacturers frequently do not warranty their items against sun damage and require a particular amount of roof overhang.

Fiberglass

Pros:

  • Durable – it is less likely to crack, scratch, fade, dent, or rust, even though it is still susceptible.
  • Moisture-resistant
  • It doesn’t rust, scrape, or dent as easily as other metals.
  • Sun and weather resistance
  • Wood grain texture can be added to make it more versatile.
  • Maintenance-free
  • High-efficiency energy use
  • a large warranty

Cons:

  • Custom orders for doors that aren’t standard sizes are uncommon, which may pose a problem for homeowners with older properties.
  • It was impossible to trim the door to fit the unusual frame of an antique house after installation.

Steel

Pros:

  • Security that is the least expensive – gives the best protection against burglars and thieves.
  • Maintenance-free
  • High-efficiency energy use
  • a large warranty

Cons:

  • Wood and fibres have a shorter lifespan.
  • Durability — it lasts longer than wood but not as long as fiberglass.
  • It’s difficult to repair if it’s dented.
  • Rusty and corrosive

Because it conducts temperature, it’s not suitable for extremely hot or cold conditions.

Custom orders for doors that aren’t standard sizes are uncommon, which may pose a problem for homeowners with older properties.

It was impossible to trim the door to fit the unusual frame of an antique house after installation.
Is this the door to my future? I’m a sucker for ancient houses, so I assumed I’d go with wood. It’s what our house’s original door would have looked like in 1916. By any measure of the imagination, I’m not a true preservationist. But, when the time comes, we’ll restore our old house to its original state.

However, I must concede that fiberglass makes a persuasive case. A steel door is definitely out for me. It just does not have enough advantages to merit consideration. As a result, we’ll concentrate on wood and fiberglass doors when the time comes.

2. Design

The front entry door should represent the architectural style of your property while also emphasizing your personality. Hmm…. But how do you know if that reflection is the one you’re looking for? How do you add personality and charm to your curb appeal?

Style of construction

Determine the style of your home first. Is it more traditional or more modern? Are you looking for a colonial or Victorian style? Craftsman? Farmhouse?

Our front door has always bothered me for some reason. There’s something about it that doesn’t seem to belong in this house. And I figured it out in the end. The architectural style is incorrect.

I’ve recently started looking into the history of my home. Identifying the house’s architectural style is an important part of establishing its history. I identified my house as an American Foursquare House with the help of a good handbook.

My former “daily” residence

During the Arts & Crafts (“Craftsman”) era, this kind of home was popular (1880s-1920s). Simple, linear lines with a concentration on craftsmanship typified this style.

Decorative glass (typically divided into a series of small squares) and an ornate shelf called a “dentil” are common features of Craftsman entry doors. I’ve been collecting ideas on my Pinterest board for inspiration now that I know which style of door my house should have.

Remember to think about whether or not adding glass to your door is a good idea. From a design sense, we prefer glass near the top of the door. However, it makes reasonable that it enables light into the house while simultaneously providing security by allowing us to see who is standing at the front entrance.

Check out Beth’s How to Match the Right Window and Door Styles to Your Home for help identifying your home’s architecture.

Personality

The entry door should not only fit the rest of the house, but also your personality. What’s the greatest method to make your front door reflect your personality while still adding curb appeal? Color.

Do you prefer the color of natural wood stain? Or, as everyone in the interior design world says, “a splash of color”? Check out these resources to assist you in making your decision:

Door stain

Doityourself.com offers advice on what to think about when selecting a stain for your door.

Door that has been painted

If you enjoy taking quizzes, Pella (a national window and door manufacturer) offers a quick color personality test to help you figure out which entry door color is best for you.

Homecraft, Inc., a window and door firm based in the Mid-Atlantic, has a color guide to help customers identify their personalities.

What will my future entry door look like? I’m not sure. Natural wood stain appeals to a part of me. However, painting the front door provides an opportunity to add some color to our otherwise uninteresting home. We painted the entire house in earthy, muted colors to match the Craftsman period a few years ago. So we might add a third hue to the house’s palette. Our door “pops” out of its alcove thanks to a color that is nonetheless period-appropriate.

3. Energy Conservation

I am not an expert on the energy efficiency of doors because I am a typical homeowner. It’s not like you can tell if a door is energy efficient just by looking at it. (Though, in my situation, with visible cracks in the door, it’s safe to say we have energy-efficiency difficulties….) Despite the fact that we can’t see it, this is one of the most crucial factors to consider when purchasing a new front door.

The NFRC label delves a little deeper and provides energy performance ratings in many categories to help you evaluate energy-efficient windows, doors, and skylights.

R-value

The R-Value is a metric for determining thermal resistance. It’s a standard measurement for a range of insulating materials. The better the insulation, the higher the R-value of the energy efficient entry door. A R-10 rating, for example, is higher than an R-3.

4. Safety and security

While aesthetics and energy economy are crucial, we all require a secure door. It is critical to have the assurance that you are keeping intruders out of your home.

The majority of the time, the security of your door is determined by the correct hardware, particularly locks. On entry doors, the most popular types of locks are deadbolts and keyless pad entries. There are far too many alternatives to cover here. However, consider the following two aspects when it comes to the door:

Make sure your front door is sturdy. It’s not hollow at all. Hollow-core doors are simple to kick through or break. Knock on a door if you’re not sure if it’s solid or hollow. Hollow doors echo, whereas solid doors sound “dead.”

Make sure you have a way to observe who is at the front door when you design your foyer. It doesn’t matter if it’s glass, a peephole, or a security camera.

5. Set a budget

I’m a thrifty person. Certain members of the family may object to the term “cheap.” However, once we have some extra cash, I am 100% committed to purchasing a new door. Why? There are two explanations for this.

Doors are inexpensive when compared to other home renovation improvements.
The ROI on entry doors is extremely high (ROI)

Cost of a New Exterior Door

To begin with, new doors are reasonably priced when compared to other home remodeling jobs. Materials account for the majority of the final cost, according to HomeAdvisor.com. The standard cost of each type of door material calculated by Home Advisor is shown here, along with a range when improvements like glass and sidelights are added.

Wood

Depending on the wood type, whether it’s a single or double door, and whether it contains enhancements like glass and sidelights, an exterior solid wood entry door can cost anywhere from $500 to $3,000.

Fiberglass

Fiberglass doors range in price from $150 to $5,000, with the majority falling between $250 and $2,000.

Steel

Standard steel kinds cost between $150 and $300, with modifications like as glass or sidelights costing between $1,000 and $1,500.

Installation

In addition to the material cost, Home Advisor estimates that the average installation cost countrywide is roughly $950, with a normal range of $473-1,422. The cost of installation is determined by the project’s extent and complexity.

Return on Investment for Entry Doors (ROI)

New entry doors frequently rank first on the list of the most profitable home renovation projects (ROI).

What does return on investment (ROI) imply to homeowners?

We will recoup the majority of the money we spent on purchasing and installing our new front door when we sell our home.

According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2019 Cost vs. Value Report, homeowners may expect to recoup 70-75 percent of the cost of a new steel or fiberglass door. (I was unable to locate the percentage for new wood doors.) With that proportion, it’s one of the best remodeling projects for a good return on investment.

Keep an eye out!

Whew! I hope that these five things to think about when buying a new front door will help you choose the right door! I’m delighted I’m planning ahead after all of this research.

Stay tuned for an update as we progress through the buying process! I’m looking forward to putting the experts’ suggestions for purchasing a new front door to the test and seeing how well they work for us. Or if there were any additional considerations we made during the process of purchasing our door.

Have you lately acquired a new front door, in the meantime? How did it go for you? Did you think about anything else when you were shopping for a new front door? Please share your ideas and experiences in the comments section below.

Listen to this episode of the Fix-It Home Improvement podcast about entry doors if you’re still debating whether or not to get a new front door. The first half of the article discusses how to choose a new front door, and the second half discusses how to install it. To hear why Einstein painted his front door red, at least for the first few minutes….