If you are looking for a way to refresh your home in 2017, consider replacing your front door. As a focal point, doors make a significant impact on the appearance of your home. When buying a new door, you need to take materials into consideration – like fiberglass and steel – as well as styling and energy efficiency. Even though many doors look nice, not all doors are created equally. Every homeowner should have a front door that provides both beauty and security in the new year.
Choosing the Right Material
There are four main types of materials for doors: fiberglass, steel, wrought iron, and wood. When choosing a new door, the first thing you must do is decide on whether you will be replacing the entire entry system or solely the door. In today’s marketplace, doors are commonly sold as an entry system package that includes the door (pre-hung on the jamb), the sill, and full weatherstripping. If you don’t want the entire system, you may be limited to doors made out of wood simply because fiberglass, wrought iron, and steel cannot be planed if they don’t fit your existing frame. Regardless of your decision, each door material has its benefits.
- Fiberglass – Fiberglass doors come in a wide range of prices to fit any budget. They are extremely durable, weather-resistant, and energy-efficient. Some lines feature raised wood-grain and paneling to mimic the appearance of real wood, while others are flat and smooth. Fiberglass can be painted any color, and it can come with or without glass accents.
- Steel – Steel doors are extremely economical. They are durable, low maintenance, and do not swell, shrink, or warp like wood. Some even come pre-insulated with an energy-efficient foam. Just like fiberglass doors, they are sold with or without glass detailing and can be painted to match any color. They do not offer faux wood-grain, but they do come in a variety of paneling options.
- Wrought Iron – If you need extra security, then you may want a wrought iron door. The most secure material, wrought iron is also durable and weather-resistant. Wrought iron doors can be impressively detailed – but these details come at a price. In addition to being expensive, they are also somewhat difficult to install simply because of their weight.
- Wood – Like fiberglass, wood doors also come in any price point. They can be paneled, completely flat, or adorned with window accents. They can also be stained to bring out the warmth of the wood, or painted to match shutters or other architectural accents. Wood doors can also be very secure – with many featuring steel cores. Although wood doors are beautiful, they do require more upkeep than the others. If they are not maintained, they may rot or buckle.
Choosing the Right Styling
When shopping for a new front door, the most important thing to consider is the design of your home. You want your door to highlight your home’s architectural features, making it stand out in a good way. If the door is too traditional or too modern for the rest of your exterior, it will stick out like a sore thumb.
The most common elements for front doors are:
- Paneling – Paneling adds depth to more traditional front doors. In the manufacturing world, non-paneled, flat doors are called “flush.”
- Glass – Glass can be stained, silk-screened, frosted, etched, beveled, or plain. It can come in practically in size or shape, depending on what you want for your home. Just keep in mind that if the glass is not insulated, it will impact the energy-efficiency of your door. Glass can also affect your door’s security.
- Blinds – If you are worried about glass and privacy, don’t be. Many doors now have blinds inside of the glass panels to block out sunlight (and potential onlookers).
- Sidelites – Also spelled “sidelights,” these are windows that run along the side of your door. They can sit on both sides of your door, or just one, and can feature windows of all shapes and sizes.
- Transoms – Transoms are the windows that sit above your door. They also come in a variety of shapes and are typically designed to complement specific sidelites.
Choosing the Right Energy Efficiency
The hunt for the perfect front door should always begin by looking for the Energy Star® logo. These doors have been deemed energy-efficient by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and can potentially reduce your energy bill by 7-15%. In addition to the Energy Star® logo, look at the quality of the door sweep, any attached weatherstripping, and whether or not the glass is insulated or coated. A lot of expensive heat and air conditioning can leak through your front door, so make sure that you choose one that doesn’t hurt your wallet – and the environment – month after month.
The Right Front Door for Your Home
After you choose the right material, styling, and energy-efficiency for your front door, don’t forget to read the manufacturer’s warranty. A new front door can be a significant investment, so you want to work with a reputable company that stands behind their product.
If you need any help choosing a front door for your home, feel free to contact the experts at DryHome. We carry major brands like ProVia, Jeld-Wen, Pella, and Benchmark, and we have over 30 years of experience in protecting homes against the elements. Front doors are an integral part of your home’s appearance; let DryHome reinvigorate your home with a new front door today!