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9 Success Tips For Your Statement Door Make-over

Written by Posted On Monday, 29 September 2014 10:48

Which change to the street face of your home can dramatically up its value while expressing your delight as a homeowner?

Make a statement with a new front entry door.

Take advantage of developments in materials and technology to redesign or restate your main entry and you can benefit on many levels: add value, decrease energy costs, increase security, make a unique creative statement, and more…

Increase buyer traffic to increase the potential for a sale. When you're preparing your home for sale, your real estate professional may offer cost-effective advice on which specific front entry style attracts the buyers you're targeting.

Buyers who realize that listings with a no-statement front entry may be overlooked by other purchasers can gain an edge in even competitive markets.

If selling is not an immediate concern, set a practical budget compatible with expected value appreciation. A few quotations may help pin down what makes financial sense.

Once you've decided on new door specifics, attend a home or design show where door sellers offer special show prices and you may save hundreds or even thousands.

Take time to explore all your options before you dive in. For practical statement ideas, check out new homes and slightly more up-scale areas than yours if "door make-overs" have not hit your neighborhood yet. Decide which features of your home to accentuate and which entry style—traditional, classic, modern—best compliments your home's style.

You'll be dealing with buyer-beware salespeople who want your business, but are often not connected to those who will actually install your door, so ask a lot of questions and get details in writing. To be sure that creating your statement entry door is a dream project and not a nightmare reno, keep the following 9 Success Tips for a Statement Entry Door in mind:

#1. Location matters here, too.

South- and west-facing doors suffer sun and weather challenges which must be considered when selecting materials and finishes. For instance, storm doors can amplify heat and damage steel and fiberglass doors.

#2. Size matters

Single or double doors? Will you need one or two sidelites? Details matter when enlarging the door opening for a taller door or to add sidelites. Check carefully before demolishing anything, so you're not stuck with an opening too large or too small for existing standard options like single doors at 36 or 38 inches wide and 80 inches or 8 feet tall. If you start with a particular idea in mind, verify which sizes and finishes are available from local suppliers to avoid expensive customization. Replacement options for older homes, with 30-inch widths or heights under 80 inches, may be more limited as door industry product lines shift to accommodate new high ceilinged homes with tall doors.

#3. Door system, not just door.

The door (known as the slab) is an vital component, but there is more to consider. The door requires a frame to support it and a threshold for you to step across, plus hinges, hardware, and trim on the outside (called brickmould) and on the inside (called casing). Every element may involve color, style, and/or material choices. Prepare to keep track of many significant details like these and more when comparing suppliers and products and arranging for a price quotation.

#4. What's it made of?

Wood, steel, or fiberglass? Cost, appearance, size availability, and your maintenance tolerance are a few key factors in this choice. Ask for details about quality of construction, i.e. gauge of steel, density of interior insulation foam, worse-case problems. Low-maintenance steel doors are the least costly and come in a huge range of colors. Wood doors can be expensive and require regular refinishing maintenance. Fiberglass doors are less expensive than wood, require lower maintenance, and are available in smooth and woodgrain finishes. Technology advances have made increasingly-realistic woodgrain fiberglass a popular durable alternative for high-maintenance wood doors in many upscale installations.

#5. Let there be lite

Glass in doors, referred to as lites or lights, can represent the no or low insulation area, so keep lites smaller when energy saving is a prime objective. Door catalogues concentrate on the styles and shapes of lites which range from full glass to ovals and rectangles. Stained and bevelled glass is the classic look while sandblasted glass is in fashion for a modern look; the former may increase interior brightness while the latter can diffuse light.

#6. Measurements matter

Many door companies cut or shim the opening in your home to fit their door system, then patch gouges and cuts with brick molding and caulking. Ideally, the reverse should happen: the opening should be carefully measured and a door system created to fit with little or no damage to the door or your home on installation. Discuss details on how your "custom" door will be created. For instance, energy-saving sweeps are factory-installed in the bottom of a door for maximum efficiency. When openings are not standard sizes and/or budget is an issue, the result is cut-down slabs with surface-mounted sweeps (bucket sweeps) attached at the bottom, leaving a plastic ridge instead of the smooth door edge. This may lead to problems. Some door companies exclusively provide cut-down doors with the latter style of sweep.

#7. What matches what?

Do you want both sides of the door the same color? Should the frame an brickmould match the door or contrast? Do you want lite frames white, or painted or stained to match door color? Factory-applied paint finishes for steel and smooth or textured fiberglass are more durable than paint you apply. Do you want hinges and sill to match door hardware? Make no assumptions; confirm the color of every element; check colors outdoors in all light levels. Ask questions about how durable paint or stain finishes are, and how easy and effective surface repairs are to make.

#8. Who are you dealing with?

My door disaster began when I signed on with an internationally-regarded door company, chosen because I was attracted by their reliability brand and service promise. When problems arose at installation, this company formed an impenetrable wall of silence and left me to deal with the small local "branch" with its own set of rules. After a disastrous installation of one custom side entry door and failure to deliver the front entry door (they put the hinges on the wrong side), it was a battle to get my money back after four months even though they had not delivered on either of the doors as promised. Many companies don't manufacture door slabs or components, but instead assemble their door systems from parts manufactured by others from around the world. Online postings tell only part of the service story, so ask for references and testimonials relevant to your project.

#9. Document for protection

Read contracts carefully before you sign. Don't be shy about asking questions. Don't pay the entire amount in advance or you'll have no leveraging power if things go wrong. Take pictures as insurance: "before" interior and exterior photos of your door and walls, key shots during installation, and, if problems arise a season or year or so later, document the issue. If everything goes smoothly and stays that way til the warranty runs out, great. If not, you can post photos to back up your concerns regarding the door and the door company.

Understand what statement you want to make and what you are paying for.

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