Curb appeal. It's what realtors stress when listing your home - how your house and yard look from the curb gives potential buyers the first impression of what might await them inside. Your landscaping, trimmed lawn, condition of your siding, and your front porch area all play an important role in good vs. bad curb appeal. It's significant when selling your home, but also important in general because it greets visitors and makes your home inviting.
Your entry door is an important part of that first impression. It's also essential in protecting your home from drafts, outside noise, poor energy efficiency, and would-be burglars. How is your front door holding up? There are telltale signs to look for that indicate it might be time to replace your entry door.
One of the most common problems with entry doors is how well it opens and closes. If you see any gaps or the door doesn't appear to be hung plumb within the frame, it may just need a simple adjustment to the hinges. But other reasons could be causing this. Over time, doors can warp due to fluctuations in temperature and humidity, especially if the door is wood. In areas like Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC, weather extremes range from hot summers with near 100% humidity to cold, dry winters. This causes doors to warp due to shrinking and expanding during weather extremes.
While weather can cause warping, it can also do a number on the look of the door itself. Being exposed to temperature extremes, driving rain, strong sun, and heavy use can cause dents, dings, cracks, and fading. Some damage can be remedied with a fresh coat of paint. But you'll eventually need to consider replacing your door as it ages.
Another important function of your entry door is to filter outside noise. This is especially important if your home is close to the street or in a high traffic location. Sometimes, repairing or replacing the weatherstripping around the door will help this issue. This can also help with the energy efficiency of the door by blocking drafts from entering your home. Older doors aren't as capable of filtering outside noise as newer doors are.
Your entry doors protect your home from the elements, but they also protect your family and your belongings from unwanted visitors. Almost 70% of burglars get into a home through a door, whether locked or unlocked. And 60% of burglars use force to gain entry into a home. An older, damaged, or failing door is an easier target for thieves. It's important that all of your exterior doors are made with a solid core for strength. You door hardware should include a heavy duty deadbolt with a one inch throw bolt, and the strike plate should be attached with at least three inch screws to attach it securely to the door frame.
Replacing an old, worn entry door can do more than just bump up the curb appeal of your home. It will open easily and close with a tight fit within the door frame, filter outside noise, and protect your home from burglary. Inspect your existing entry doors and consider replacing any that are worn or damaged.