“One often overlooked home remodeling project that significantly enhances curb appeal, reduces a home’s energy bill, and increases security is the front entry door,” said Lance Dahl, CR, Senior Sales Representative – Exterior Products with Callen Construction, Inc. in Muskego. Given the value a new front door adds to a home, it’s important to give it the attention it deserves. “So, if you’ve noticed your front door is difficult to open, causes a draft, or condensation tends to form on the interior glass panes, it’s strongly advised to consider front door replacement,” he said.
A door that sticks, whether occurring when you open it or close it, is not only bothersome, but it can exacerbate any current damage to the door as well. Just like a home’s framing, front doors expand and contract with the passage of time. “As they soak up and expel moisture, they bow and twist out of their original form,” Lance said. Various weather conditions are the main culprits, as extreme temperatures, sun exposure, high humidity, and precipitation all cause front door distortion over time and can explain why it is difficult to operate.
Furthermore, if this problem is left untreated, a front door can experience mold, water damage, leaks, and rot. “Not only can a compromised door be more susceptible to insects, but to intruders as well,” said Lance. “Therefore, it’s essential to replace your front door if any of these signs occur. In addition to being simple to operate, a new front door should provide maximum safety as well.”
Is there a draft in your home during times of extreme temperatures? If so, you may want to closely examine the front door, as it’s a common source for a draft in a home. If you can see sunlight peeping through the frame of the door, or if you physically feel a draft, you can be assured the front door is to blame. “Since it’s failing to properly keep the cold air out of the home, it’s no longer energy-efficient – a misfortune that will likely be reflected on your energy bills,” he said.
Keep in mind that a draft sometimes isn’t the reason for the indoor temperature changes. For example, panes of glass and other construction materials can deteriorate over time and no longer be sufficient insulators. As a result, cold or hot outside air can manipulate the front door and eventually enter the home, creating an uncomfortable indoor environment. “Either way, both scenarios are problematic, as they can negatively impact your home’s indoor temperature and raise your energy bills. So, if you can confirm your front door is the source of temperature fluctuations in your home, replacement is necessary,” said Lance.
Another clue that points toward front door replacement is the presence of condensation.
“If you find your door’s glass inserts are prone to condensation or are consistently soiled or foggy, chances are seal failure or water damage is at fault,” he said. “Under these circumstances, it’s nearly impossible to maintain the glass panes cleanliness. Older doors with glass inserts are particularly vulnerable to seal failure or water damage. Not to mention, these signs generally indicate a water leak or overall inefficiency. In order to prevent further damage, it’s essential to replace your front door.”
One of the first exterior elements of a home that a visitor notices is the front door. So, if something is amiss, you and your guests are sure to take note. “If you’re considering front door replacement, put on your detective cap and confirm whether or not your front door is challenging to operate, is the source of a draft, or regularly exhibits condensation, as this will allow you to make a more informed decision,” Lance said.