As any expert will tell you, exterior doors will last an average of 30 years. How many years of use you get from a front or back door depends on the original quality and how well you maintain it. If you've decided that a current exterior door has seen better days, there are a few points to keep in mind when you look at replacement options. Follow these guidelines and you'll end up with a door that lasts for decades.
Standard or Custom?
One of the first points to settle is whether your entry doors are standard in size or if you will need to work with a professional to create custom doors. Standard sizes are readily available in a number of designs, allowing you to find something that fits the home style with ease. If the front or back entrance is a little larger or a little smaller than standard sizes, it may be possible to customize a prefabricated door. If not, a professional can design and construct a door that fits perfectly.
What Sort of Materials Work Best?
You'll find that the choice of materials is key to being happy with the new door. Consider what type of exposure the door gets to the elements. For example, is the front door protected somewhat by a porch or is it directly exposed to sunlight, wind, and rain? When that's the case, opting for materials capable of holding up to that constant exposure is your best bet.
Make sure you compare the merits of each material. You may find that vinyl or fiberglass is ideal. At other times, wood or metal may be perfect. Even glass entry doors made using safety glass and double panes could be the right choice for your home.
Thinking About Style
Some door designs look nicer on larger homes while other styles are perfect for smaller homes. Try to go with something that fits in with the general style of your home. An ornate door will look out of place on a house with a simple facade. By contrast, a plain door paired with a more elaborate home facade will also look out of place.
What must the new door provide in the way of security? Ideally, intruders will find it difficult to break through and help themselves to whatever they like. Always opt for a door that is reinforced in some manner. The extra time a burglar would take to deal with a complex lock or attempt to damage the door enough to get inside could be just enough to allow the authorities to arrive.
As with any type of home repair or maintenance, there's the need to consider how much you can spend for the new door. Even if the budget is modest, there are options available. A contractor can come up with solutions that are in your price range and make sure you get the most benefits for the cost.
Don't attempt to get by with caulking your doors another year. Talk with an expert and explore the options for a new front or back door today. In no time at all, you'll have a new door that looks great, offers a reasonable amount of security, and will last for decades.