Remodeling Magazine lists the 2015 recoup values for a fiberglass entry door and steel door replacement at 72% and 101.8%, respectively. So if you have been thinking of replacing your doors, now is the perfect time to make that investment, especially if you’re looking to sell your house sometime soon. However, before you do commission such a project, make sure you consider your decision from different angles, so that you’re sure to make the most of your investment.
Steel. Steel is a popular choice among many homeowners because it makes for a formidable barrier against unwanted guests – human or otherwise. It is also cost-effective, costing less than fiberglass or wood in general. However, steel ironically doesn’t last quite as long as you might think it would because, despite its strength, the material can quickly deteriorate under certain conditions – especially if you live near, or by the sea.
Fiberglass. Fiberglass is designed to look like real wood, and it requires little maintenance. It is also impervious to the elements, and will not show signs of physical damage through changes in temperature. Price-wise, it can cost considerably more than steel, though.
Wood. Wood is the most expensive of the three materials, but also has the most aesthetic appeal. Wood doors certified by the Forest Stewardship Council are also sustainably grown and harvested, which are plus points for the eco-conscious.
Doors may also be prepped to keep the worst of the weather out through these:
- Weather seal system. Weather stripping is necessary for sealing your doors against the elements. Some models come with durable compression weatherstripping, while others are designed with silicone weatherstripping. These are fitted against the doorstop, and beneath the door.
- How your doors are designed also plays a role in how well they keep the heat, rain, or wind out. Your door and frame materials must always be selected with the actual conditions that its bound to be exposed to in mind. Consider, too, getting overhead awnings for additional protection.
Much like windows, there are also various types of energy efficient doors available in the market today. When choosing, look for:
- Insulated core, such as polyurethane
- Wood, vinyl, or thermally broken metal frames that require little maintenance
- Low air leakage rates
- Warm edge glazing system; and
- Heat-resistant window trim
ENERGY STAR rates doors according to energy benchmarks established by the National Fenestration Rating Council, and we recommend choosing products that are:
- Ideal for your climate zone. Some products work well for heating-focused climates, and work badly for cold-focused ones. ENERGY STAR has a product label that lists the values of a certain product, and it is important that you check.
- Compliant with your building codes. Any home improvement project is subject to building codes, at both state and local levels. Doing this ensures that you get a permit for the project, as well as truly harness the door’s functionality. In some states, there are federal tax credits for using energy efficient products, too.
A door replacement is a rewarding investment, but it’s just as important that you get the right kind of help – professional help – for installation. Verify your contractor’s credentials, and make sure they have an outstanding partnership with a trusted door manufacturer.
General Manager David Reber is one of the home improvement experts whose experience and proficiency are what makes Renewal by Andersen® of Kansas City a leader in the local window replacement industry. His passion for helping homeowners make smart home improvement decisions is evident not only in his interactions with clients but also in his write-ups on the company blog.