Whether you’re replacing your front door due to damage or to simply enhance your home’s curb appeal, here are five things you’ll need to consider.
1. Your Budget
When it comes to considering how to choose a front door, you must first decide on how much money you’re willing to spend on the project. Front doors vary so much in price that you can go from spending a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars in the blink of an eye. What’s more, the project may not be limited to just the door itself. Consider whether you need to replace other elements, too, such as the frame and threshold. This is especially important if you’re replacing the door due to damage.
2. The Door’s Material
Remember this: The material of your new door will directly affect its performance — which includes durability, energy efficiency, required maintenance and long-term appearance. Before you decide that cheaper is better (It’s a door after all, right?), consider the long-term benefits rather than the higher upfront cost associated with a door made of higher-quality material.
The most popular front door options are made from wood (classic and generally the most expensive), steel (extra durable and energy efficient) or fiberglass (easy to maintain and often the least expensive). Many of these doors offer the option of coming pre-painted or stained and including decorative glass, which can range from basic to ornate.Related: Amp Up Your Curb Appeal
3. The Size of Your Current Front Door
Perhaps the most important consideration is the size of your current door. After all, even being off by less than an inch can mean your home is less energy efficient and more vulnerable to outside elements, such as rainwater and pests. Don’t assume that you have a standard 36-inch wide by 80-inch long, 2-inch thick door. Also, take your sidelights, above-the-door windows and other decorative elements around the door into consideration when getting an exact measurement, especially if you’re going to be replacing the entire door frame. It’s certainly possible to measure your door correctly yourself, but you may want to save yourself the headache of ordering the wrong-sized door and simply have a professional do the measuring and ordering for you.
4. What Type of Front Door is Best for Your Home
When it comes to types of front doors, you’ll want to choose a style that not only complements your home’s design but also your personal style. Wish you had a door that could accommodate that oversized, stylish door handle that you’ve seen on the home improvement shows? Ever wonder what a bold painted color or dark wood stain would look like on your house? Picking out the right type of door for you involves more than just scrolling through the options on a website. Now’s the time to truly make your front door your own.
Likewise, while you’re considering all of your options, also consider that a popular style that you’ve been admiring lately may not be the perfect fit for your house. For example, even though you may like the look of a three-fourths-lite door (one that is mainly glass), you may not like that you’re blinded by the sun in the morning or evening and anyone walking or driving past your house can see straight in.
5. Who’s Going to Install the New Door
Unless you miraculously have a truly standard-sized door with hinges, a knob and a deadbolt in the exact same place as your last door (which is doubtful) or you’re confident in your DIY abilities, it may be best to reach out to a professional installer. Remember that talk about outside elements and lost efficiency with an ill-fitting door? Those costs can really add up.