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Replacing Doors in Your Home

If you are a homeowner, you probably already know that exterior doors can be one of the most visually appealing, eye-catching aspects of your home. Not to mention, exterior doors, such as front doors and patio doors, can help to keep your home insulated and protected from harsh weather conditions. For these reasons, it is no surprise that installing new doors is often at top of mind for homeowners who want to boost their home value or simply give their home’s curb appeal a fresh update. Door installations typically take less than a day and come with tons of added benefits for homeowners.

A door replacement may seem like a very simple project at first, but believe it or not, there are several things to think about before replacing your home’s exterior doors. The good news is that being proactive and thinking through the following factors will help you to be completely satisfied with your door installation results and see a great return on your investment. Modernize is here to help with everything you need to know about starting a door replacement project.

front-door

When to Install New Exterior Doors

Homeowners often choose to install new doors when they start to see wear and tear – such as rotting, cracks, stains, and peeling – which is natural for homes that have had the same exterior doors for many years. Other homeowners look to replace their doors in order to update the style of their home and enhance their home’s appearance value. 

It’s also important to consider a door replacement to improve insulation or security. You may discover that your older exterior doors are letting in drafts of cool or warm air during winters or summers, and you need something more energy-efficient. If you live in an area that is prone to harsh seasonal storms, it’s smart to be proactive and consider installing storm doors to better protect yourself and your home.

Questions to Ask Before Starting a Door Replacement Project

Before calling a contractor to replace your door, there are a few things you should think about first to make sure you are going into the project fully prepared:

  • What is my budget? Exterior doors can cost anywhere from $500-$5,000 with installation included. Of course, the higher your budget, the more materials and styles will be available to you.
  • Where will the door be located in my home? For instance, are you looking to install a front door, back door, or patio door? The area of your home in which you are installing the new door will matter.
  • What dimensions should my door be? It’s a good idea to measure your doorway before calling a contractor, but your contractor will need to determine the exact dimensions.
  • What style of door matches my house and neighborhood? There are many different styles when it comes to exterior door types and options. To start, think about what style matches the rest of your home or other homes in your neighborhood.
  • What material do I want to use? There are tons of materials available to you as you begin your door replacement. You can choose between steel, fiberglass, wood, and others, depending on your budget.
  • Which type of door is the most secure? Security is a priority for many homeowners when choosing an ideal entrance door. Ask your contractor about steel doors, storm doors, and other highly secure options. 
  • Do I need any accessories or add-ons? You may want to consider add-ons and accessories for style, security, energy-efficiency, or value.
  • Which door brands should I consider? It’s a good idea to become familiar with popular door brands, so that you have a good idea of what you want once you speak with your contractor.

Types of Exterior Doors

As a homeowner, you probably already know that there are many different types and materials of exterior doors you can install in your home. Your options will be different depending on whether you are looking to replace your exterior or interior doors, but there are some types of doors that can be installed both outdoors or indoors.

Your options include:

Flush Door Flush Door
Paneled Door Paneled Door
Full Glass Door Full Glass Door
Half Glass Door Half Glass Door
Glass Paneled Door Glass Paneled Door
Double Doors Double Doors
Louver Door Louver Door
French Doors French Doors
Storm Door Storm Door
Folding Doors Folding Doors
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When deciding on a type of door, it’s important to think about where the door will be located. For example, is it a patio door, front door, or back door? This will help you determine which type of door is the most functional and visually-appealing for that area of your home.

Pre-Hung vs. Slab Doors

In addition to the door types and styles listed above, any door replacement project will involve either a pre-hung door or slab door.

A pre-hung door is a prefabricated door with an included door frame and hinges. Pre-hung doors are ideal for areas of the home that do not have an existing door frame, and are also more weather-resistant and energy-efficient.

Slab doors, on the other hand, are better for areas that do have an existing door frame and hinges, and simply require a new door “slab.” Slab door installations are often quicker and easier, as well as less expensive, compared to pre-hung doors.

If you are unsure about which type of door your home requires for the replacement, be sure to ask your door contractor for professional guidance.

Exterior Door Accessories and Add-ons 

Your exterior doors are one of the first things your family and visitors will see when they enter your home, so it’s a good idea to look into door accessories that will add visual appeal and functionality. There is a wide variety of door add-ons you can choose from, depending on your priorities in terms of security, practicality, and style.

Consider some examples of popular door accessories, depending on your preferences and needs for functionality, security, and/or style:

Functionality

Security

Style

  • Knobs
  • Hinges
  • Blinds
  • Screens 
  • Doorbells 
  • Door knockers 
  • Locks
  • Deadbolts 
  • Security cameras
  • Peepholes 
  • Glass windows
  • Panels
  • Transoms 
  • Sidelights
  • Grilles  

We recommend exploring security accessories for your door to ensure your privacy and safety. You can also ask your contractor if there are any add-ons that will add to the energy-efficiency of your new doors.

Door Installation Costs

Like any home improvement project, a door replacement will cost you some money. One of the best ways you can prepare for your door installation is to explore cost before beginning the project. Modernize recommends that you consider the different factors that determine pricing, including materials, installation and labor, and the cost of your accessories.

The cost of your door installation will vary depending on whether you are replacing an interior, exterior, or patio door. It will also depend on the type of door you choose. For instance, installing french doors typically costs more than a simple vinyl door.

Interior

Exterior

Patio
$150 – $400 $400 – $1,000

$500 – $1,300

Keep in mind that labor and installation costs vary depending on your location and average rates in your area. When budgeting for your door replacement project, we recommend comparing quotes from three to four contractors in your area to make sure you are finding the best value and rate for your project.

Finding a Door Replacement Contractor

Once you feel ready and confident to start your door replacement project, your next step is to explore door installers in your area who are well-equipped to help. Chances are, you will have many different contractors to choose from, so knowing how to narrow down your options will be very helpful.

Don’t try to compare every single contractor in your area, as this will be overwhelming! Instead, compare just three to four quotes from reliable contractors based on whether or not they can deliver on the needs and priorities you have for your project. Remember not to make a decision based on pricing alone. A low quote may mean lower quality results for your new replacement doors. 

Consider the following factors when comparing contractors and making a decision on who to do business with:

  • Reliability and reputation: Can the contractor provide you with references? Are their satisfactory reviews associated with this contractor online?
  • Cost: Does the contractor’s quote align with your budget?
  • Communication: Can you count on the contractor to maintain great communication with you throughout the door replacement process?
  • Licensure and insurance: Is the contractor fully licensed and insured in your state?
  • Timeline: A door replacement should take less than a day. But make sure the contractor is able to get the job done within your preferred time frame.

When you’re ready to begin your door replacement project, Modernize is here to help you connect with up to four reliable door installers in your area. This way, you can be confident that you’re finding trustworthy, high-quality contractors who you can establish a strong working relationship with, and who you can trust to install the perfect exterior doors for your home.

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