The front door says a lot about you and your home. It is the first impression visitors get of your property and can significantly impact its market value. It's not surprising that a replacement front door often features highly on a property owner's wish list.
Front door replacement is not only about looks. Homeowners can decide to replace the front door for more than aesthetics. Daily use over time can lead to draughts that reduce energy efficiency, waste heat and high utility bills. A damaged or worn front door can make your home more susceptible to burglary or some other break-in.
A replacement front door can complement the property's existing style or be used to make a statement. Whatever the approach, the design, materials, fixtures and finish should all play a part in the decision. The latest replacement doors on offer by manufacturers provide a vast choice of materials, styles and colours. Front door replacements can also come with guarantees of low maintenance, high security, proper insulation and energy efficiency.
An adequately maintained front door can last for decades. Doors usually need regular maintenance and odd repair to keep them in good condition. The cost of regular repairs is relatively low, so it makes sense to take good care of your front door for as long as possible. However, there comes a time when it makes better sense to replace your front door rather than carry on repairing it. Things to look out for when considering a replacement door are:
Badly worn hinges. If hinges are rusty, it's a sign that water is getting where it shouldn't. Light rust can be removed easily, and hinges can even be replaced, but if water regularly reaches the door panels, it is worth considering a replacement door.
Warped or split panels. Wooden doors expand and contract with heat and humidity, so it's not unreasonable to expect panels to bend or crack over time. Paint, varnish or wax can even promote splitting as wooden doors are less able to 'breathe'.
Soft and spongy surfaces. Exposure to wet can result in wood starting to rot. If caught early then repairs can last quite a long time. But the longer it lasts, the worse it gets. If wood rot threatens the door's integrity, it may be time to get a replacement.
Damaged frame. A front door is only as strong as the frame. A damaged frame usually means the door fails to fit correctly, which only causes more problems over time. If the door doesn't align properly or the hinge screws come loose, it is probably time to call in an expert.
Apart from aesthetic appeal, the front door should also be carefully chosen for its energy efficiency and level of security. Size, shape, materials and durability should be considered, as well as the cost.
Door size and shape. The new door must fit the frame properly, so take extra care when measuring height and width. Width measurements are best taken at the frame's top, middle and bottom.
Door materials. Front doors come in all sorts of materials these days, including uPVC, wood, and composite (a range of materials). Your choice will depend on the age and style of your property, the maintenance overhead and the required level of security.
Timber doors are the most versatile but the most expensive, and they require regular painting. uPVC doors are cheaper and need little maintenance, although they may look out of place in older properties. Composite doors are made from several materials such as wood, metal and uPVC. They are long-lasting with good thermal efficiency but come with a high price tag to match.
Front door replacement is best carried out by an expert professional. It can make for a successful DIY project, but doing it properly requires some specialist tools and experience in fitting doors. There are plenty of online guides if you prefer to do it yourself. When replacing your front door, you should consider the cost of installation as well as the door itself. Prices will increase if you also need to replace the door frame, are thinking of any customisation or need extra door furniture such as additional locks, knockers, letterbox flaps, doorbells, numbers and so on. You may also wish to have the door painted, oiled or waxed to provide a premium finish, and you need to consider disposing of the old door and frame afterwards. These can all add to the overall cost of front door replacement.
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