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Choosing replacement windows or doors is never easy. There are tons of things you should keep in mind such as safety, energy efficiency, durability, and aesthetics.
To help you out with your replacement adventure, here are some useful tips & tricks while you are at it:
First, let’s talk about looks. Even though beauty doesn’t contribute that much to safety and weatherproofing, it is still a very important factor. The door should match the overall aesthetic of your home. Each style makes a statement on its own. Decide whether you want a grand entrance or a minimal look for your front door. This will contribute a great deal to your curb appeal and home value.
Note: Additionally, there are some door accessories you can add, for example, canopies, glass décor, and special knobs. Remember to put the glass as far from the lock as possible since burglars can break it and open the door from the inside.
The type of material you have will determine safety, durability and amount of maintenance. The three main options for door material are wood, steel, and fiberglass. The first one has been used even in ancient, distant times, while the other materials are more modern. However, this doesn’t make the wood of lesser quality. In fact, wood is extremely known for durability, high energy efficiency, and quality insulation.
Do careful research on each material and compare prices, lifespans, maintenance, and vulnerabilities. For instance, wood may be amazing for insulation, but at the end of the day, it is still vulnerable to rot, termites and mold. On the other hand, steel and fiberglass are more vulnerable to cracking and are harder to fix and repair (after storms they usually need full replacement).
It may sound silly to some, but the color is very important when choosing replacement windows and doors. If you choose wood as your material, it isn’t such a problem since wood can be easily repainted. A good thing to know though is that repainting should be done by professionals. There have been lots of cases where DIY repainting jobs ended up damaging insulator qualities and material.
Other materials for doors like steel and fiberglass can be repainted as well, but the process is much harder. When choosing colors, you should also mind the way the rest of the house looks. That’s why most homeowners decide to match colors of exterior shutters/windows with entry doors.
This material is mostly used for storm and patio doors. It is very energy efficient and durable and it has something most doors don’t: a cheap price. If you are looking for a cheap, but safe door, aluminum is a great choice, however, as every door, aluminum has its weak spots.
First, it’s not as safe as other door materials. But for its defense, fiberglass is stronger than it should be, so aluminum is just enough to keep you warm. Second, this material doesn’t work well for homes on beaches and near oceans since the salt in the air can cause corrosion.
Our final tip is to always check warranties. If you find an amazing door which seems ideal for your home, do not purchase it, unless it comes with a quality warranty. There are many types of warranties out there, some covering the full door, some only parts of it and others with exemptions and “special circumstances”.
So read how long the warranty lasts (it should be approximate as the expected lifespan of the door – different for each material and manufacturer), whether the full door is covered (decorations included) and whether in some cases it ceases to apply.