Once your old door becomes damaged or pale, it is time to purchase the new, modern version with better characteristics. Since you use it every day, they can’t last forever. On average, you don’t need to change high-quality doors for at least 25 years if you take care of it regularly.
Keep in mind that the right type of the front door can save energy and money, increase the comfort of your home, and contribute to its beauty. Most contemporary options are energy-efficient, secure, and require low maintenance. I will offer you a new front door buying guide to help you determine the essential things you need to pay attention to.
Before making a final decision about the new front door, you want to buy, pay attention to these things:
- Brand: Always take care that all components of your new entry system come from one manufacturer. That way, all door parts will fit perfectly.
- Insulation: Check for a thermal break of steel and fiberglass doors. This feature provides additional insulation by stopping the transfer of cold and heat through the panel.
- Window part: If you want the door with a window part, always choose Low-E glazing to prevent break-ins.
What to Check When Buying a New Front Door?
1. Door material
The high-end look of the traditional wooden door is irreplaceable. Nowadays, you can find models made of oak, pine, mahogany, cherry, maple, fir, and walnut.
These doors are best at resisting wear and tear and won’t dent. Plus, it is not complicated to solve possible scratches. You can find an adequate model for any door opening, including non-standard ones in the old houses.
The primary downside of this model is the price. Plus, these doors require regular maintenance, including varnishing and painting. They are not highly energy-efficient, and you can expect them to warp and rot over time.
These doors are inexpensive, resistant to wear and tear, moisture-resistant, energy-efficient, and require low maintenance. You can paint them when needed and get a broad warranty.
The downside is that you can’t find models with non-standard sizes. There is no way to form them to fit a frame of an old house appropriately, and they may quickly crack under impact.
Aluminum doors with an insulation core are durable, stable, and highly energy-efficient. They practically don’t need any maintenance and withstand harsh climatic conditions. You can find a variety of colors and styles customized for each home. This material is desirable for storm doors.
The primary disadvantage of this option is aesthetic. If you live in a region with high humidity, you will spot ugly stains all over the door surface. Keep in mind that these doors are expensive, and you can’t install them on your own.
These durable, affordable, and energy-efficient doors offer security, require low maintenance, and come with a full warranty. They are also resistant to warping, shrinking, and swelling.
Keep in mind that adding glass panels will lower the insulating value of these doors. The disadvantage of this choice is the impossibility of solving a problem with scratches, dents, and rust. Plus, you have limited options for non-standard sizes.
One more thing! You can’t pair them with an aluminum storm door. Heat often builds-up between these two materials, and you may have an issue with peeling off the steel door finish.
These durable doors offer the ultimate quality. They are safe, secure, available, withstand any weather condition, and enter natural light into your home. You can find a wide variety of customized designs on the market. On the other hand, these doors are expensive, and the material is heavy and challenging to install.
2. Door style
The door produced in a classic style features two to twelve raised panels. Some models contain colored panes and glass inserts with scrollwork. You can pick out the door made of wood, metal, or fiberglass for your home. However, there is an option to order a custom model as desired.
Modern doors with straight and sleek lines fit perfectly stylish contemporary homes. You will have various models at your disposal, including:
- Doors with blocked raised panels
- Doors with square raised panels
- Doors with panes of frosted glass
- Doors with panes of translucent glass
You can expect that minimalistic but large hardware follows the same style.
These doors are often made of wood, and it is an excellent solution for houses with wood, brick, and stone exteriors. It’s up to you to choose between a traditional rectangular and arched form with scored lines, raised panels, or glass.
Craftsman style doors are highly popular these days. You can choose a model made of wood or fiberglass. This type of door usually features straight lines and one window with stained glass on the top. However, you can find an option with a large glass panel that offers a better view. Custom styles are available, as well.
You can fit arched doors into a variety of styles and add a distinctive look, romantic appearance, and elegance to your home. You can’t find them as a standard option, but you can look for a custom-made model or special order. Only that way, you can install it to fit the exact specifications of your home.
3. Door type
These doors are decorative and offer an elegant look to your home. You can choose the frame made of any material available on the market, depending on your needs. However, this door type has two disadvantages. It is not the most secure option and doesn’t offer enough privacy.
These doors are an ideal combination of traditional aesthetic quality and a fantastic view that only a large window can provide. You can also pick out the frame at will. On the other hand, there is always at least one panel you can’t open, which can be impractical.
These doors are an excellent addition to your home since they add one more layer of protection to the existing exterior door and increase your home’s energy efficiency. You can pick out the model made of steel, PVC, or aluminum, depending on your needs. They are durable, reliable, and won’t warp, crack, or rot over time. On the other hand, they are too heavy and quite expensive.
4. Energy efficiency
Your front door’s energy efficiency is one of the crucial considerations when you decide to purchase one. To evaluate it correctly, you should check three points.
- Always pick out an energy star certified model. It is a symbol you can find on the package and the product itself. The federal government supports this program, which provides unbiased and credible information about the energy efficiency of each device bought.
- Once you decide to buy doors, windows, or skylights, you should look for the NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council) certification. This label will help you compare the level of energy efficiency of particular brands.
- In the end, you should determine R-value, which measures thermal resistance. Keep in mind that you need the door with a higher R-value because it means that that particular model offers better insulation.
In some cases, you can reduce energy loss by almost 30% after replacing the old entrance door with the contemporary model, especially if you pick out the one made of steel or fiberglass.
The safety of your home is a crucial feature of each front door. In most cases, it doesn’t depend on the material, since all of them are more or less sturdy and reliable. When it comes to security, the essential parts are quality hardware and lock with a 1 inch (2.5 cm) long deadbolt.
Once you decide to buy the entrance door, check if it is reliable. When the core of the door is hollow, burglars can break it effortlessly. Plus, consider buying a security camera and the door with a window. That way, you can always check who is at the front door.
- Solid wood doors are pricey. Their price ranges from $500 to $4,000. The cost will depend on your choice, including whether they are single or double, wood type, and possible upgrades.
- Standard steel doors will cost you from $150 to $300. However, the price can go up to $1,500 if you pick out the model with glass or upgraded sidelights.
- Doors made of fiberglass are affordable and can cost you at least $200 without hardware and glazing. Since accessories are pricey, you will need to pay up to $4,000 for a fully loaded system.
- Aluminum doors are an expensive option. The lowest price starts at $900, but most models cost from $2,500 to $5,000.
The primary reasons to buy a new door include aesthetic upgrade and its age. Whether you want to beautify your home, increase its energy-efficiency and safety, or reduce noise coming from outside, you should make a wise choice. Think about your reasons and pick out the model of the door that fits them best.