Replacing your exterior door is an upgrade that can pay for itself (or even make you a profit) by increasing the value of your home when it’s time to sell. Also, front doors are the first impression a guest gets of your home, so of course you want your entryway to reflect the style of your home. But you also need it to do its job, which is to protect your home from the elements and burglary. Older doors (made of wood or wood veneer) don’t withstand well–they can crack or de-laminate after a couple years of exposure to wind, rain and sun. Here are a few tips so you know what to consider when you’re revamping your entryway with a custom door:
Wood doors appear to be the most common, likely because of their grandeur, strength and timelessness. Different finishes can appear cherry, mahogany, oak, walnut, maple, fir and pine–but don’t necessarily have to be made of their respective tree type. Most doors combine several materials. For example, they will be steel or fiberglass on the inside and wood on the outside, or finished with a wood-esque finish. Generally, for the highest quality door, look for the most precise carving and molding as well as the thickest stiles and rails. These are rules of thumb for a well-designed and long-lasting door. Lastly, the material is arguably what matters most when designing a custom entry door, so pick a material that works for your home and climate.
Prices for different types of doors range, so be prepared to spend an amount consistent with what type of door you’re getting–basic doors are in the hundreds-range, while solid-wood doors or artful glass can bring you up to several thousand. Plus, quality installation is necessary, so check your local companies’ listings for that. But, despite how large the price tag seems, remember that a front door is a sound investment. According to Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value report, installing a new entryway door returned almost 130 percent of what it cost to install–making it the only project out of the report that had an immediate positive return.