Choosing the Right Door

Your door is the entryway and the initial threshold impression of your home to yourself, and everyone who comes to your home.  So, when your door is shabby, peeling or cracked, it may chip a little off of your confidence quotient every time you come through it. 

Replacing a damaged or aged front door can be overwhelming, but All Pro Xteriors wants to make it easier for you.  All Pro Xteriors uses only high quality materials for your replacement doors and windows.  That means we can give you options and you will know any choice will protect your home in all kinds of weather, during any season.  That leaves you with aesthetic choices to make.  Because the front door of your home should reflect who lives within, deciding on the right style for you and your family can slow the process.

Still, the value of your new home supersedes the cost of replacing your front entry door, according to Remodeling Magazine.  And with the range of designs, colors, materials and safety available in several price ranges, it could be helpful to go through an organized process of decision making.  Here are some tips that might help.

1.  Establish whether you need a new door.  Is your door an ugly color, or is it functionally impaired?  An ugly color can be painted, but a door with broken or non-existent seals is another matter.  The first step is to figure out whether you need a new door or a bucket of paint.  Sometimes, even when the door is functional, if you hate it, and hate coming through it every day, it is time to replace it.

2. Set your budget.  There are incredibly beautiful doors out there from standard options to custom made entrances.  Any home improvement project can go over budget, but if you know going into the search how much you want, and how much you can afford to spend, you are more likely to avoid expensive cost overruns.  Since not every cost is hard, it is a good idea to buy below your total budget, in case more work, such as replacing part of a rotten threshold is required for the installer to complete the project.  Replacing a front door is as much an investment as other home maintenance and improvement projects, so here are some questions to consider when balancing the cost of your replacement door against the value it will deliver:

  • What are the upfront costs vs. the benefits throughout the lifespan of the replacement door?
  • What are the maintenance requirements of the replacement door, especially if it is wood?
  • What is the energy efficiency and weather rating?
  • What features are included in the replacement door? 
  • Are there additional finishing costs, or staining or painting before the replacement door can be installed?
  • What about hardware and accessories?  Are they provided or do you need to make additional purchases?
  • Once the new door is in, do you need to remodel or replace adjacent features like lighting, stairs or doorbell?

Once you have decided the TOTAL cost you can pay for replacement door and any resulting feature changes, it is time to check materials within your budget.  This is not just a visual preference.  The material of your replacement door will affect its performance, endurance and maintenance.  According to, doors all show similar strength when impact tested, but other material difference are:

Steel: While more energy efficient than wood, steel doors don’t weather as well as fiberglass and wood doors. They dent and can rust if they are not properly painted.  Otherwise, steel is fairly lower maintenance. This is half the door market today.

Wood: Wood has the high end look that other materials try to reproduce.  Solid wood doors resist wear and tear, are unlikely, to dent and scratches are easy to fix.  However, wood doors require regular painting or varnishing and are more expensive than similar door made from other materials.

Fiberglass: Doors made with fiberglass can be smooth surfaced or embossed to resemble wood grain.  These doors resist wear and tear better than steel doors, can be painted or stained, cost less than other door materials, are dent resistant and need little maintenance.  The one flaw in a fiberglass door is that they can crack under brutal force attack.

3. Figure out the Correct Size to Order.  This needs to be exact, and should be handled by your All Pro Xteriors professional.  But as important as getting a door that fits, if your entryway has a larger opening, you may need to consider sidelights, or other decorative elements at the same time as you replace the door, so the design is cohesive.

4. Choose Your Style. Curb appeal is not just for others that see your home.  You want to feel just as good about coming to your door as you want other to feel.  Here, the choices may be about traditional vs. artistic vs. contemporary.  Contact your All Pro Xteriors team or call us at (952) 486-7834 to set up your free consultation.