It's no secret that the garage door has become the new American front door. Seventy-three percent of Americans say they now use the garage as the primary entrance to their home. Many survey respondents confessed to not carrying a key to their front door anymore!
Even if you aren't giving your front door the use it once enjoyed, it still plays an important role in your home's security, energy efficiency and curb appeal and needs to be kept in good working order. (If for no other reason than to ensure you receive the annual delivery of Thin Mints and Dosidos from the neighborhood Girl Scout troop.)
How do you know whether it's time to replace your front door or a simple repair will do? Answer these questions to find out.
Courtesy Popular Mechanics
- Does your door open and close properly? Does it seal properly? Is it drafty or is water getting inside?
- Does it have lots of dings, dents or is it rusting?
- Is the glass in the door, foggy (seal broken), cracked or broken?
- Is the door weathered, cracked, split, rotten or warped?
- Is there rot around the jamb? How about water or insect damage?
Even if you answered yes to some of the above questions, sometimes it's more cost-effective to replace or repair the door yourself IF:
- You are replacing a single door and frame.
- You are replacing the door only and the hinges and lock are in the same location as the current door.
- You don't encounter any problems when the existing, pre-hung door is removed from the opening.
A homeowner who has experience replacing an exterior door can expect to spend 4 to 6 hours on the project.
If you discover sub-floor damage, an uneven sub-floor, a sagging header, or the existing opening is smaller than the new pre-hung replacement door, it's time to call a professional installer.
Failure to address these issues can result in all of the problems described above like sticking, water or air infiltration, or even security issues.
It's also best to call in a pro if you are:
- Upgrading a double door entryway.
- The door is in direct contact with the weather because there is no overhang.
In our next article, we’ll discuss choosing the right contractor and entry door for your home.