How Should You Choose Replacement Exterior Doors?

August 05, 2010

Be comforted that most people use different kinds of exterior doors for their homes and that there are a lot of different options available. In fact, your new door options depend on a variety of factors including your climate, your neighborhood, your security needs, your home style, and your pocketbook. New doors come in a range of materials--each with its own set of plusses and minuses. You won't need to settle.

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Consumer Reports says that appearance, price, and materials are key factors when homeowners evaluate their new door options. Materials include vinyl, wood, steel, other metals, glass, and fiberglass. Additional new door options include solid doors, panel doors, sliding doors, glass insert doors, storm doors, doors with sidelights and transoms, and custom-made doors.

You should also evaluate replacement exterior doors by their durability, insulating and sound buffering qualities, and security. While poring over your hardware options to match new doors with your home style, consider the quality of the lock systems. You'll find deadbolts and new digital touchpad systems that won't compromise aesthetics in the name of security.

Additional New Door Options to Consider

You probably wouldn't choose a smaller side door for your entry. And you probably won't want a series of solid exterior doors to replace your sliding patio doors. That's why a one-size door doesn't suit all the applications for your home. But there are qualities of each to consider. For example, front exterior doors and side doors may come with a foam insulation core. You won't choose those for sliding patio doors where clear, double-paned glass is the better option.

Conversely, glass sliding patio doors can come with multiple panes treated with coatings to protect your furnishings and flooring from harmful solar rays. No matter style of door you choose, new doors should always be installed in concert with tight weatherstripping. Many doors already come equipped with built-in magnetic weatherstripping, while others will require you to treat the frames or apply caulking to seal thresholds before adding your trim.

Always choose the highest-quality product that you can afford for all your replacement exterior doors.


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