Angie's List: Replacing your front door

Your front door is what sets a first impression for most visitors, but according to the consumer review website, Angie's List, your front door could be making a bad impression on your wallet. Over time, doors and frames can warp, which means you could be letting heat out.

Weatherizing your door doesn't have to be an expensive task. Angie's List creator Angie Hicks says, "If you find your door is really drafty but you don't have the funds to replace it right now, consider replacing the weather stripping. This is a pretty basic, do-it-yourself kind of project that can save you money every month on your heating and cooling bill."

If your door is more than 15 years old, however, Hicks recommends replacing it entirely.

"Professional installation is going to be important," says Hicks. "It may seem relatively simple to install a door but if done incorrectly, it can cost you more money in your energy bills than the older one did."

Here are some tips to consider when replacing an exterior door:

  • Architecture: If you live in an older home, it may not be architecturally sensitive to replace an entry door with a contemporary model.
  • Durability: If longevity is an issue, you should consider fiberglass and steel which typically last longer than wood, which can be susceptible to rot and insects.
  • Weather elements: Is your door properly shielded from the elements via a porch roof or overhang? Some exterior door materials do not stand up well to direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.
  • Energy efficiency: The door you choose can affect the energy efficiency of your home. If this is important to you, check whether the model you're considering is a certified Energy Star door.
  • Budget: If you can't budget a complete door installation, consider replacing the door's weather-stripping to improve the energy efficiency. The addition of a storm door is also an inexpensive investment if your existing door is still in good condition.