Your home's entry door plays a lot of important roles. It secures your entryway against would-be intruders, withstands the elements, and increases the curb appeal and value of your property.
Yet, even the strongest entry doors need replacement eventually due to exposure to weather, everyday use, and other factors.
If your entry door is more than 30 years old, or shows signs of wear like warping, cracking, or other damage, it might be time to replace it. You may also choose to upgrade an exterior door to give your home's facade a contemporary facelift.
Keep reading to learn more about determining when to replace an entry door. We'll also give you some handy tips on choosing a replacement door and making it last longer.
Repair or replace your entry door?
When can you repair an entry door?
In general, you can get away with repairing exterior doors when certain non-structural features or mechanicals wear out or sustain damage.
It's common for glass lites to get broken, knobs or handles to stop working, top hinges to come loose, and weather stripping to wear out. These are all parts of a door that you can repair or replace without the need to install a whole new door.
When should you replace an entry door?
You should replace an entryway door when there are bigger structural problems with the door, such as if the door frame or slab gets damaged or compromised in a major way.
For instance, wood doors can become warped and damaged over the years from exposure to rain, sun, and other weather. If you don't repaint and perform maintenance on wooden doors every few years, the wood can crack and split.
Though steel or fiberglass entry doors are much more durable than wood doors, it's possible for them to get damaged from heavy use over the years.
If your door feels like it's sticking in the jamb, has gaps between the slab and frame, or has large dents, cracks, or other highly-visible damage, it's time for a new one!
What to look for in a replacement door
The first thing you want to do when you're shopping for a replacement door is measure your entryway to ensure you get a door that fits it perfectly.
To do this, first remove any trim surrounding the door opening to expose the entire opening. Then, measure the height and width of the opening in several places to find what size of door you need to fit it.
Wood entry doors come in a wide variety of hard and soft woods and can be simple or have carved detailing, so you're certain to find one that matches your home's architectural style and your budget.
You should also know that wooden doors need the most maintenance of all the options available to you.
If you want something more durable, consider a steel or fiberglass entry door. Doors made from these materials are highly resistant to warping and weather damage.
A steel door can add a sleek, modern touch to your home's exterior and fiberglass can even look like real wood.
No matter what type of door you decide on, there are many decorative features you can choose from.
Any type of door can come with decorative glass inserts to let light in and give your entryway an elegant look.
You're also free to choose from a wide variety of colors, finishes, and door hardware like handles, knobs, and knockers to truly personalize your home's entry door.
For the highest level of security against forced entry, look for a replacement door with a multi-point locking system and strong hinges.
Consider a solid wood, steel, or fiberglass door without any glass panels if security is your main concern.
If you do want a door with glass inserts, get one with impact-resistant security glass.
Energy efficiency ratings
To help improve your home's energy efficiency, look for entry doors that meet the EPA's ENERGY STAR program requirements.
If you're opting for a door with glass components, make sure they're low-emissivity (low-e) glass.
Energy-efficient exterior doors may cost you more upfront, but they can help save you a lot of money on your monthly utility bills in the long run.
Maintaining your new replacement door
How to make your entry door last longer:
- Clean your door with mild soap and water every spring and fall.
- Repaint or refinish wood doors every three to five years.
- Don't kick or slam your entry door.
- Check the weather stripping every fall and replace it if needed.
- Lubricate the hardware with spray lubricant once a year.
Replacement entry doors from Hodges
Hodges Windows & Doors is a leading supplier of entry doors in Northern Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC. We're proud to offer replacement entry doors from the industry's top brands. Contact us today for a free quote!