Replacement Front Doors: Five Top Things to Consider
July 16, 2010
When buying a new door, you'll have several decisions to make, but choosing the right material is perhaps the single most important one. Replacement front doors come in wood, steel, aluminum, and fiberglass, all of which are popular new door options. Each offers specific advantages and disadvantages
Ask yourself the following questions to determine which front door material is right for your home:
- What is the overall style of your home? Your front door should create a smooth transition from the outdoors to your interior decor. If you have a traditional or historic home, solid wood or wood veneer doors are a good fit and can be customized using finish, panels, and patterns. Conversely, steel doors have a sleek, minimalistic look that's perfect for modern homes. These new door options offer more tips on matching your front door to your home decor.
- Do you experience harsh or humid weather? If the weather in your area is harsh in the winter or humid in the summer, consider a long-lasting fiberglass, aluminum, or steel door. These doors won't warp, and they can reflect your home's style with wood veneers, baked-on polyester finish, or vinyl coating.
- Is safety a top concern? Steel and solid hardwood doors are the sturdiest from a safety perspective, and a frame made from the same material gives added strength. This door installation Web site has more tips for secure front doors.
- Do you use your front door every day? If you usually enter through a side door and only use the front door for guests, a solid wood door is a good choice--it looks nice but doesn't need to stand up to the wear and tear of everyday use.
- What is your budget? A complete door system, including frame, hinges, locksets, and weatherstripping, generally costs between $2,000 and $4,000, regardless of the material you choose. You can save money, however, on the door itself. While prices vary by manufacturer, solid wood doors are typically the most expensive option, starting at $600 for a traditional pine door. Steel doors can cost as little as $150, and fiberglass doors cost about $200.
Buying a new door can be time consuming, but it's an important part of a safe and beautiful home.