Installing a new front door to make your home more attractive

Your front door is often the first thing a new visitor to your home notices. Installing a new one is a project that can greatly increase the value of a home.

Installing a new front door to make your home more attractive

Materials, looks and durability

Wood is a popular and attractive choice for front doors and can be treated so the door does not swell or warp in excessively wet or dry conditions. It should be resealed, refinished or repainted every few years to ensure the door's longevity.

Steel doors are inexpensive, but they may need to be resealed occasionally. They can also become dangerously hot in the sun. Fibreglass doors are common, as well as notoriously sturdy. They need little maintenance and often come with long warranties. Many fibreglass doors are made to mimic other materials, especially wood.

When choosing a door, be sure to check its thickness, as well as that of the surrounding door frame. A thicker frame and door will generally be sturdier and of higher quality than thinner ones.

Energy efficiency

More and more homeowners are concerned with the energy efficiency of their doors—primarily, how much heat is lost around its edges. To ensure a higher efficiency, check the insulation and weather stripping around the door and replace anything that's been torn.

Steel doors are considered quite inefficient; the conductive nature of metal means that heat and cold both transfer freely between the inside of the home and the outside. Mitigate this by buying a steel door with an insulated core.

The door's security

Most doors are actually surprisingly sturdy, no matter their material. When struck, a door is most likely to fail at its door jamb or strike plate. For security's sake, focus on reinforcing these, or consider a heavy lock or deadbolt.

Installing the door

Usually doors come with a frame, and installing the door is a matter of removing the old door and frame (usually held in with screws) and then adding the new one. Be sure to double-check the tightness of the door's fit and any weather-stripping. If poorly installed, these can affect the door's insulation, and even let water into your home.

Unless you're looking to hire contractors, make sure that the new door and frame are the same size as the old ones. Taking out or adding outer walls to a home involves substantial work that's beyond the scope of most DIY remodelling projects.

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