Angie's List: Finding the right front door

Angie's List: Finding the right front door

(ANGIE'S LIST) - A good front door can last you decades, but if yours is warped, cracked, or you just want a new look, don't just look for the cheapest possible replacement. 
A front door is one of the best investments you can make in your home. It adds to the curb appeal and that adds value. If the first thing your guests see is a faded front door or one that doesn't fit, it's likely time for a new one.

Angie's List founder Angie Hicks says a new front door is a small project with a big payoff.

"It can help you in your monthly utility bills, saving you as much as 10 percent, and if you're getting ready to sell your home, you can typically get between 70 to 100 percent of that investment back," Hicks said.

The three most common types of doors are made of fiberglass, steel or wood. Fiberglass doors can be painted or stained and are essentially maintenance-free. Steel doors are very durable and low-maintenance but can rust over time. Wooden doors are still popular despite certain drawbacks.

"Wood doors can be incredibly eye-catching, but remember that if they're exposed to the elements, you can have warping as well as fading, and in fact, if you don't have a significant overhang, you could void the manufacturer's warranty," Hicks said.

Angie's List says you should expect to pay around $1,300 to $1,500 to install a single fiberglass or steel door. Adding sidelights and custom glass panels could easily double your cost.

As far as installation, Hicks recommends leaving the job to the pros to make sure you get the perfect fit and seal. She also says to make sure you understand the warranty. These can vary by manufacturer but are typically 10 years for a standard single door.

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