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Home Improvement: Is it time to replace your entry door? What to know

Some considerations

Mother Nature and Uncle Sam both are having their say in the remodeling business these days, starting — but not finishing — with the 2018 Cost vs. Value report.

This year’s version finds a slight decline, to 56.8 percent in 2017 from 57.9 percent in 2016, in the average payback for 20 common professional remodeling projects in 100 major markets. That’s mainly because the cost of doing those projects went up for all 20, while values rose for only about two-thirds of them.

Expect those trends to continue into 2018. The 3 percent to 5 percent gains in cost that we report here were calculated before fall hurricanes and fires began fueling what one building products distributor calls “a freight train of extraordinary demand”— demand certain to keep elevating the prices for many building materials.

Expect, as well, an even greater shortage of skilled workers in disaster-struck markets as those workers struggle to fix up their own homes and employers feel pressure to respond with pay hikes.

StatePoint Media and Staff Report

Remodeling Magazine’s 2018 Cost vs. Value Report found that curb appeal projects generated overall higher returns on investment than interior remodels.
Furthermore, the real estate professionals surveyed for the report gave the highest scores to projects that replaced existing features, like the front door.

Is it time to replace your home’s entry door? If your foyer is drafty, the answer is yes. Particularly with winter around the corner. Not only will a new door boost exterior appeal, it will prepare interiors for a temperature dip, making your home more comfortable, while saving you money on utility bills.

The No. 2 best value project for mid-range home improvements and No. 3 overall is installation of a new steel entry door, for which you will recoup 91.3 percent of the cost, according to the report.Adding a grand entrance fiberglass door also scored well with a 67.6 percent return on investment.

So, what should you be looking for in a door?

A tailored fit. Nothing feels quite as good as well-tailored clothing created specifically to your size, shape and style preference. Off-the-rack clothing just doesn’t fit everyone’s measurements. Similarly, off-the-rack doors fall short of expectations in the same way.
The materials and workmanship that go into custom-made doors are of exceptional quality and durability, and far exceed what is available as ready-made. Unlike consumer-grade doors, which are cut down to fit your need, professional-class doors are built to your exact measurements for a more secure and energy efficient door.

Energy efficiency. Look for ENERGY STAR certified doors, which have been independently tested and certified to meet strict energy-efficiency standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency.
While a new door does come with a price tag, it’s important to keep in mind that the right choice can help you lower your utility bills and ultimately present a return on your investment.
You know you have purchased an energy-efficient door if it has the ENERGY STAR label.

ENERGY STAR qualified doors and windows meet strict energy-efficiency standards. Replacing old doors & windows with ENERGY STAR products can lower household energy bills by 7-15 percent.

Quality materials. While wood doors offer a beautiful classic look, they require regular maintenance and lack the endurance, security and energy efficiency of fiberglass or steel. Consider opting for quality materials that will last a long time but not force you to sacrifice the look you want.
For example, the low-maintenance fiberglass options offered by door system manufacturer such as ProVia include collections that provide the classic look of real woodgrain, but are engineered to be highly energy efficient. The steel collection provides durability and energy efficiency, whether you opt for a woodgrain texture or a smooth steel look, and is a good choice if security is your top priority.

The right style. When selecting a style and color, take into consideration the current architectural elements of your home. Use online tools that allow you to upload an image of your home’s exterior and play with various combinations to determine the right fit. Keep in mind that an entry door can either be a place to maintain the overall mood of your home’s exterior or a way to add a pop of color.

This fall, set yourself up for a comfortable winter. Upgrade your entry door for substantial energy savings and a more secure home.

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