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Add Beauty and Security to Your Home with a New Entry Door

By Gates Dearen
Courtesy of

Could your home use a facelift?

One of the easiest ways to update your home, and add curb appeal, is to change your front door. According to the website New exterior doors often fit and insulate better than older types. If you have older doors in your home, replacing them might be a good investment, resulting in lower heating and cooling costs. If you're building a new home, you should consider buying the most energy-efficient doors possible.

Maybe you’ve always wanted to have a beautiful glass-paneled door but were afraid that wasn’t an option in Florida, with our hot and sometimes severe weather. You may be surprised to find that whether you prefer a solid or glass-paneled door, there are many choices available that will make your home more secure as well as more visually appealing.

"Garden District" of New Orleans. Ho...Gone are the days when entry doors were boring and mostly similar in appearance. Today’s options range from wood planks to vibrant solid colors to beautiful stained-glass inlays, allowing you to distinguish your home and make a personal design statement from the outside in. Should you choose a fiberglass option, you needn’t stick with the drab look of the past. New coating technology gives doors the look of real wood at a fraction of the price.

Should you choose a door with glass, there are several important elements to consider: style, light, and privacy. Style is limited only by your imagination, as most reputable installers/manufacturers will work with you to design a door that is uniquely yours. From the choice of metal framing your design – bronze, brass, and wrought iron, to name a few – to the color(s) used in the glass, if any, the end product will truly be one of a kind. How much light do you want to let in through the glass? This is measured on a scale from 1-10, with one being completely transparent and ten being opaque. Think about what time of day sunlight will come through the glass and what is in its path. Among the reasons you might want to go with more opaque glass would be less furniture and carpet fading, if either of those items is affected by sunlight coming in through the front door.

Unless you have recently updated your entry doors you’ll find that security options have improved since your current door was installed. When thinking about security, think beyond the door itself. Look for fire-rated doorframes, high-performance hinges, secure and weather-resistant thresholds and astragals, and of course high-quality locksets. As for the doors themselves, look for impact and fire ratings, as well as long-term warranties. It’s also a good idea here in Florida to choose a door that will stand up against severe weather. Well-made glass doors maintain safety by protecting the design between two panels of tempered safety glass. This type of glass is less likely to break, and if it does, it shatters into granular chunks which will minimize the risk of injury.

Weather Protection
Barbara may 30 2007 1705ZWhen you think about safety, your first thoughts may be of human intruders, but you should also consider the dangers posed by weather, especially wind and rain. If your home’s entry door hasn’t been updated for a while, it may be vulnerable to water and air leaks. During a storm is not the best time to discover this! It’s important that your door is solid and that any glass within it is secure. Weather stripping and thresholds should fit snugly; if you can hear wind whooshing through, your home is susceptible to wind and water damage. For more detailed discussions of this topic, check our previous articles, “How Do You Check for a Leaky House?” and “Can Storm Windows and Doors Protect Your Home from Natural Disasters?”

Energy Efficiency
No matter what kind of entry door you choose, solid or partly glass, it’s important to ask about energy-saving options. Low-e glass is one such option. Low-E glass is made with a thin, invisible metallic coating that blocks heat flow. A proven energy saver, Low-E glass reduces air conditioning costs by reducing solar transmissions in the summer. In the winter, it reduces heat loss to the outside and allows solar energy to pass inside. Mentioned above in the Weather Protection section, weather stripping and thresholds are important aspects of energy-efficiency too. If air is leaking out of, or into your home, you might as well be throwing dollars in cooling and heating costs out the door! Referring again to the  website, weather stripping on your entry door should be checked annually to be sure it is in good repair.

For most of us, the entry door is not only the door we use most often, but it’s also what our guests see first upon arriving at our home. With a little planning, you can have a front door that reflects your personality and at the same time protects your home and saves energy usage and money.

In this article we explained the benefits of updating your entry door, including improved appearance, security, weather protection, and energy efficiency. We also mentioned some tips for choosing new entry doors, as well as for keeping your entry door and weather stripping in good repair.

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Gates Dearen is the co-owner of HomeRite Windows and Doors in Jacksonville, Florida. Owners Dearen and Richard Walden have been serving the building products industry in Florida for over 25 years. They know the products, the industry, the market and what adds great value to a home. Their approach is a somewhat different than others. They strive to match the homeowner with the right windows and doors for their home and budget. They know that home improvements projects can be a hassle. They strive to make the process pleasant with first-rate, energy efficient products; affordable prices; and expert, award-wining installers that employ the best practices and who respect your home as if it were their own. 

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  1. Doors are mutlifaceted, both functional and aesthetic.

  2. This article definitely has me thinking about replacing/upgrading my front door.

  3. Your front door says a lot about the homeowner. Not to mention that it's one of the ways in which to either lose or save energy. If your door has seen better days, there is no better time to make a change.

  4. I've just installed iStripper, and now I enjoy having the hottest virtual strippers on my taskbar.

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