What Should I Consider When Buying a New Front Door?- Toby in Prescott Valley
Toby, in Arizona, your No. 1 consideration is which way the door faces. Exposure to the sun can turn your home’s beautiful first impression into an eyesore that peels and cracks and needs to be refinished every year. Does the front door of your house face due south, or southeast or southwest, where it will take a direct hit from the sun every day? If is does, a wood front door is going to require an awful lot of maintenance. You might want to consider buying a fiberglass door that looks like wood but won’t warp, split or swell and requires far less maintenance. Do you have the time, money and patience to refinish your wood door every single year? If not, fiberglass might be a better choice. The sun can still damage the finish on a fiberglass door, but it won’t damage the door itself because fiberglass doesn’t splinter or expand and contract with the weather. What style of door do you like? Rustic looks, with raised panels and rich stains are popular for stucco homes. But if you love in a contemporary or Craftsman-style home, you might want to consider a smoother or more traditional look to suite your house or neighborhood. Would you like the door to include glass inserts or sidelights? You will have dozens of styles to choose from – ranging from stained glass to beveled glass to clear glass. Consider your privacy and security. How much to you want to spend? You can buy a front door for as little as $850 installed, but an average front door price is between $1,500 and $2,000. Adding transoms and sidelights and the price increases. How big was your old front door? Unless you want to pay to have your home’s entryway enlarged, select a door that is the same size as the one you are replacing. Do you want an energy-efficient door? Steel and fiberglass are better insulators than wood. Still, a front door is such a tiny piece of the home’s envelope that even an inefficient door is not going to make much difference in your air conditioning bill. In fact, you lose more cool air through leaks under and around a door than you do through it. Remember, hanging a door improperly can cause it to sag, rub and open and close poorly, which could make it wear out sooner.