When you’re building or renovating a home, projects can add up quickly. Still, it’s important to know that every investment will continue to pay off for years to come. One of the smartest investments of all is installing a new front door. The exterior front doors are the first thing many people notice when they see your home.
Moreover, replacing your door can increase your home’s curb appeal, value, security, and energy efficiency. How can you tell if it’s time for a new front door? Inspect your entryway for common signs of damage today, and keep reading to find out how to measure for a replacement and what to look out for when choosing your new door.
Why You Should Buy a New Front Door for Your Home
Installing a new front door is one of the best ways to revitalize your property. In fact, by replacing that old, damaged door, you can drastically improve your curb appeal, energy efficiency, and security.
Maximize your curb appeal and ROI
When planning a renovation or building a new home, it’s helpful to consider the return on investment (ROI). The ROI measures the amount by which the home’s value increases compared to the improvement cost. Completing projects with a high ROI can help you get as much back on your investment as possible when you sell your property. According to Remodeling Magazine, investing in a new entry door has an average ROI of 74.9%. Each year, the Magazine reports the ROI of common remodeling projects. Front doors have topped the list for many years.
The exterior door is an important focal point for visitors, neighbors, and potential homebuyers. Or that reason, your front door is crucial to your home’s curb appeal and perceived value. In addition to ROI and curb appeal, investing in a quality entry door will provide protection and energy efficiency. A new front door is one of the most affordable and important investments you can make. Even if you’re not selling your home, it will provide value to your family for years to come.
Invest in your home security
Security firm ADT reports that the front door is the most common entry point for intruders. That’s why it’s so important to keep it secure. But if you overlook or fail to maintain this exterior door, years of wear and tear may weaken its integrity. For instance, warping is a common defect that can cause the deadbolt to fit incorrectly. Without the full protection of a deadbolt, a burglar could force open the front door with surprisingly little effort.
When should you replace your front door?
Many homeowners inherited their front door when they purchased their home, and it may or may not reflect their personal style. As time goes by, a homeowner may take the door for granted instead of evaluating it regularly for maintenance or repairs.
Here are some clear signs that it’s time to invest in a new entry door:
- Light peeking through – Is there light coming in around the perimeter of your door, or even through cracks in the door itself? Remember, if light is entering your house, other things can get in too. This includes water, wind, dirt, insects, and rodents.
- Hot or cold air coming in – If you don’t see light coming in but feel a draft, there may be a gap around your door framing or damaged weather stripping. It would be best if you replaced the weather stripping regularly to ensure a good seal. However, if you’re feeling drafts year after year, it’s probably well past time to replace your front door.
- Heavy dents – On a well-used door, wear and tear is normal. However, some types of damage go beyond looks. For instance, large dents can indicate compromised structural integrity, especially if located near the door’s perimeter.
- Hard to open or close – If you often struggle to open or close your front door, your door has likely expanded, contracted, or even warped. And when your door no longer fits properly in the door jamb, the compromised seal will allow air, water, insects, and other pollutants into your home.
- Lock is not working properly – A front door that doesn’t lock properly is an obvious security issue. If possible, perform maintenance on the lock as soon as you can. However, if you find you need to replace your entire lock system, consider this an opportunity to install a new, more secure door.
- Exterior rust – Visible rust indicates there is moisture inside your door frame, which is likely causing rot. Indeed, many manufacturers do not fully galvanize their steel doors. As they rot from the inside out, they become structurally unsound, making it easy for intruders to force entry.
- Rotting, flaking, or softened wood – If you see rotting or flaking near the bottom of the door jamb (the casing around the door), this is a surefire sign it’s time to replace the door. You may also notice that the wood is getting soft to the touch. This is another sign of rot and indicates it’s time to replace both the door and jamb.
- Splitting and peeling – If not maintained, wood and engineered wood doors can become cracked, warped, and weathered. This leads to rot while simultaneously attracting termites and other wood-destroying insects.
- Increased energy bills – Front doors that leak air around the frame can significantly compromise your home’s energy efficiency. Leaks force your HVAC system to work harder to maintain temperatures. Also, older front doors lack energy performance innovations that are huge money savers during hot summers and cold winters. If this applies to your home, consider investing in a new exterior door immediately.
How to measure for a new front door
Before you can start shopping for your new front door, you need to know exactly what size door you’re looking for. If you’re set on replacing your door, start by measuring your old door’s width, thickness, and height. Also, measure the thickness of the wall so that you get the proper door jamb width. While doing so, take note of the door swing direction. Finally, stand inside your home, and see which side the doorknob is on. If it’s on the right, you have a right-handed door. If it’s on the left, it’s a left-handed door.
Historic or custom homes sometimes have non-standard-sized doors. Luckily, our DSA Dealers and Custom Design Team can custom-fit or modify our doors to fit a wide variety of homes and design preferences. When you purchase your new entry, it’s best to order your door as a pre-hung package with the weather stripping, threshold, jamb, and hardware included. This confirms that all the components are designed to work well together. At DSA, we test our pre-hung doors for infiltration and thermal efficiency to ensure each DSA homeowner gets an enduring entryway to enjoy for years to come.
Where to buy your new door
Make the best investment in your home! DSA works with a network of trusted dealers and home professionals extending to the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States to make sure that each homeowner receives a professionally fitted, customized, and installed DSA Door. Our teams of skilled artisans hand-assemble, sand and finish each door to the highest quality standards. To find your dealer, click here or visit DSADoors.com/Dealer today!