Tips for Buying New Exterior Doors

Published: 07th June 2010
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If you live in an older home and your exterior doors are older as well, it's time to think about replacing them, especially your front exterior door. Front doors are the focal point of every home; the eye is drawn to them and they have a huge impact on the overall visual impression your house makes. In addition, today's steel doors and fiberglass doors offer huge advantages in energy efficiency; they will help insulate your home much better. That's not all-fiberglass doors and steel doors also offer greater security.





If it's been some time since you've looked for new doors, you will be pleasantly surprised by the enormous range in choices available. Today's entry door comes in a choice of materials from the aforementioned steel and fiberglass doors to more traditional ones made of wood. You can also order custom doors or premanufactured ones that offer many attractive features such as decorative glass inserts or internal blinds. You can also shop for an Energy Star rated door, which, when used with Energy Star rated windows, will help significantly reduce your home's heating and cooling expenses. Also remember, if you choose a steel door or one made of fiberglass, it will be virtually maintenance free!





Before you start shopping for a new exterior door, there are some things to keep in mind. First, of course, you need to consider your budget and decide what you want to spend on a new door. With all the choices available, the range in price can be wide. Some of the other things you will be considering before shopping will help you set your budget. For example, how important is aesthetic impact? Do you want to ramp up the curb appeal of your home with an architecturally beautiful exterior door, complete with decorative glass transoms and inserts? Remember the more glass used in and around the door, and the more elaborately styled that glass is-whether frosted, leaded, or something else-the higher the cost of the door. Another thing to think about in terms of appearance is do you want a flush (smooth) door, or a paneled one.





Next, give some thought to what type of material you prefer for your exterior door. As already mentioned, steel doors and fiberglass doors insulate better and are lower maintenance than those made of wood. Wood becomes damaged over time from exposure to the elements and also needs more constant upkeep to maintain an attractive appearance.





Measure the opening the door will hang in. You will want to choose a door the same size as the one you're replacing, unless you're remodeling the entire front entrance.





Do you have storm doors already? If so, your new door won't need to be highly insulated. But if not, then choose one of the better insulated exterior doors available today, such as an Energy Star rated door. If you do, you won't even need storm doors in terms of insulation.





Finally, remember when shopping for new entry doors to choose good locks to go with them. You usually have to buy the door knobs and locks separately from the door itself. Another thing to keep in mind when considering security is the fact that glass features near the door knob or lock can lower overall security. Also, steel doors and fiberglass doors generally offer a higher level of security than wood.





There's no reason today to make do with an older, drafty unattractive entry door with so many options available. Study our tips and have fun shopping for your new exterior doors!



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