If you’re planning on sprucing up your home this season, you should focus on components that contribute to its look and feel. These include your entry and patio doors, which are more than just openings connecting your indoor spaces with the outdoors. Are they still in tip-top shape? You might want to invest in an upgrade when they’re already showing some of these telltale signs:
Difficult Operation. You’ll know your doors are already old and failing when they stick and jam. Inoperable doors are a risk to your home’s safety and security, as they make it hard to open, close or lock your exterior doors properly. While this can be dealt with by getting newer hardware, sometimes the issue lies in the doors’ adjustment. Worse still, your existing doors may have already warped from being exposed to extreme changes in weather and temperature.
Obvious Damage. Fluctuating weather and temperature can be especially harsh on your exterior doors, causing holes, gaps, cracks and other visible damage. Add peeling or fading paint, plus broken glass to the mix and you get doors that are just begging to be replaced.
High Energy Bills. Extensive damage to your exterior units doesn’t just look unsightly; it can also compromise the comfort and energy efficiency of your home. Costly energy can leak out of these cracks and openings, creating thermal instability. Your HVAC system will then work hard to stabilize indoor temperature, leading to excessive energy use that can cause spikes in your utility bill.
Should you notice these indications on your exterior doors, now is the perfect time to invest in a door replacement. This project may not be as luxurious as getting an outdoor spa or remodeling your master bedroom, but you’ll soon see a noticeable difference in your home’s overall appearance and comfort.
Benefits of Door Replacement
1. Enhanced Curb Appeal. As mentioned, exterior doors are highly visible design elements that can help your home make a better impression from the street. That’s why, when investing in new doors, you need to take a few design factors into account. After all, you’ll want replacement units that can make your home stand out, but not because they look out of place.
Door Styles. This is especially important when it’s patio doors you’re replacing. With the right door style, you can hit two birds with one stone, improving both the aesthetics and functionality of your living space. Patio doors are available in hinged French and sliding glass options. Hinged French doors are found most often in traditional homes because of their timeless good looks. In fact, they can serve as instant focal point in any room they’re installed in, highly recognizable by the glass panes extending their length.
Sliding glass doors, on the other hand, are a staple in Contemporary and Modern homes because of their sleek design, reflecting the distinctive focus on a brighter, more open feel to the space. Narrow frames and expansive glass areas make up sliding glass patio doors. Unlike hinged French, they operate by gliding smoothly along their track.
On the functional side of things, both hinged French and sliding glass patio doors excel at providing access to natural light, thanks to large glass areas, which also maximize viewing areas. Sliding glass doors have slight edge, however–their glass is devoid of “muntins” for an uninterrupted view of the outdoors. Plus, they move neatly to the side when you open them, which helps save space. On the other hand, hinged French doors have a wider opening which allows for smoother traffic in your home. This makes entertaining guests a breeze.
Interior-Exterior Colors. One fun thing about investing in door replacement is you get to pick which color to use for your new unit. According to Sherry and John Petersik of Young House Love, “the door is the smile of the house.” You’ll want to choose a color that’s both elegant and welcoming. Of course, you’ll still need to consider if your choice actually does suit your home perfectly. For instance, don’t pick a loud door color for your stately Colonial home if you’re aiming for historic accuracy. Take your pick from more muted tones of gray, blue, black or white instead.
Looking for a door to ensure your Cottage or Cabin home stays charmingly rustic? Most replacement doors come in stainable wood finishes. If your home has a modern look, then your color options will be more flexible. You can even choose green, which is a lovely choice for front doors, as you can see from these fine examples from Brittany Bailey of PrettyHandyGirl.com.
Hardware Options and Finishes. What makes quality entry or patio doors stand out is the attention given to even its smallest components, like the hardware. One prime example is the range of French door hinges and handles exclusive to Renewal by Andersen®. Each one can be the perfect finishing touch to your new patio door. You should not overlook hardware finishes, as well. What’s popular today are metallic finishes, which add glow and elegance to any door unit. Renewal by Andersen’s Estate™ Hardware Collection, for instance, comes in bronze, brass, nickel and chrome.
Grille Patterns. Whether you’re aiming for historic accuracy or looking to transform the look of your home, keep door grille patterns in mind. Some can offer classic good looks like Colonial and Prairie, while others are sleek, such as Short and Tall Fractional.
2. Improved Energy Efficiency. Browse the available options for entry and patio doors today–you’ll find they are designed with both aesthetics and energy efficiency in mind. Not all of them can offer equal performance, however. This will depend on the material and glass they use.
Framing Material. Choose replacement doors that use durable framing material. Some of the most popular options include wood, which is known for its strength and insulating properties. Wooden doors, however, are prone to rot, mold and other types of moisture damage. They’ll also need frequent maintenance to keep them looking good and performing well.
Vinyl is also a favorite among homeowners because it’s cost-effective and versatile. The downside to vinyl doors though is that they tend to have a shorter life cycle than other options. They also have propensity to warp when exposed to extreme changes in weather and temperature.
Aluminum is a good material if you want doors that can resist most type of damage. However, aluminum is a poor insulator because it conducts heat very rapidly. Weigh in each material’s pros and cons before making your decision. For a better, longer-lasting alternative to wood, aluminum or vinyl, ask your door contractor about fiberglass or composites.
Glass. Take into account the glass included with your entry and patio doors, as well. Make sure they use low-emissivity (low-E) glass, which helps lower the amount of heat transferred to and lost from your home, resulting in cooler rooms. Because it helps minimize the workload of your HVAC system, this glass also allows for reduced energy bills. Low-E glass also comes with UV-blocking technology to protect your home’s interior from sun damage. Modified Low-E glass is gaining traction now, such as Renewal by Andersen’s exclusive High-Performance™ Low-E4® SmartSun™ Glass, which is used for the brand’s patio door options, ensuring reliable energy performance all year round.
3. Better Home Security and Safety. Old and damaged exterior doors may pose a safety and security risk, but you no longer have to worry about this when you invest in a door replacement. The entry and patio doors available on today’s market have a superior, more durable construction, designed to be highly resistant to any type of damage to ensure stable and lasting performance. When combined with better hardware and locking systems, you can always expect a safer and more secure home.
4. Reduced Noise Transfer. Do traffic noise and loud neighbors make it difficult for you to relax inside your home? You should replace those old doors already with newer, better ones! Replacement entry and patio doors can reduce, even effectively block outdoor noise because they have greater insulating value. Simply put: where air can’t enter, noise can’t follow.
5. Greater Return on Investment (ROI). A shiny, new entry or patio door can provide you with a healthy return on investment. In fact, according to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report 2018, you can recoup up to 72.9% of costs when you go for a door replacement. A home that’s beautiful, comfortable, and energy-efficient translates to increased value. There’s a certain amount of satisfaction of knowing that, even if you’re never planning to sell your home.
An Important Note
To fully get the most of your door replacement, it pays to hire a reliable door company for the job, making sure they’re licensed, insured and bonded. Working with a certified door company is a huge advantage as well because it gives you access to higher quality products and the generous warranties included with them.
Once you’ve taken these items into consideration, there won’t be anything stopping you from enjoying the benefits involved with professional door replacement.