by Gates Dearen
Add distinctive style and increase the value of your home.
“Almost no other part of your home gets as much exposure as the front door. It’s where you greet friends and family, serve (or scare) trick-or-treaters, and enjoy the songs of holiday carolers. A front door says a lot about who lives inside.” Bob Villa
Entry doors are the most significant element for the curb appeal of most homes. A new front door can instantly enhance the appearance of a home. It can also significantly increase resale value. In fact, it’s one of the few home projects that can add more value to the home than the cost of the project.
Entry doors can be made from a variety of materials including fiberglass, steel, and wood. The prices vary widely and there are pros and cons for each type. Consumers can improve their knowledge of doors by doing some research online and visiting a showroom to see what the options are. This article outlines some of the key considerations when shopping for a new door/entryway.
Fiberglass doors are both affordable and durable, making them a very practical choice for many homeowners. They are available with a smooth surface or with a wood-grain texture which looks very much like real wood. Fiberglass doors generally have a foam core for energy efficiency. They provide excellent resistance to wear and tear. They can be painted or stained and require little maintenance.
Steel doors can be relatively inexpensive and offer the same security and weather resistance as fiberglass and wood doors. Steel doors require little maintenance. However, if they get dented, they can be difficult to repair.
Wood doors are generally more expensive than steel or fiberglass doors. They have a nice appearance that some homeowners desire. Periodic painting is required to keep wood doors looking their best.
More heat is lost through air leaks around doors than through the doors themselves. New exterior doors normally fit and insulate better than older types. If you have older doors in your home, replacing them could be an excellent investment which will result in lower heating and cooling costs.
Steel and fiberglass doors typically have more insulating value than wood doors. Models that are Energy Star qualified are independently tested and certified as particularly energy efficient, often with tighter-fitting frames and energy-efficient cores. Doors with glass frequently have double-pane insulating glass to reduce heat transfer.
Handsets and hinges
For something that gets used as often as a front door, it doesn’t make sense to skimp on quality. In regard to the handsets and hinges on a door, it pays to get the better quality hardware.
Locks and Security
Many crooks simply kick in doors to get in. According to Consumer Reports, the biggest reason doors fail is because the doorjamb split near the strike plate. A quality door lock can deter burglaries and home invasions. Beefed-up locks and strike plates can greatly increase a door's resistance to being kicked in. Using a lock with a 1-inch-long deadbolt and a reinforced metal box strike can add to the strength of the unit. Also, long mounting screws which lodge in the framing beyond the door jamb can make a big difference.
Glass can make a huge difference in the appearance of an entry door and in the perceived value of a home. Etched and carved glass designs can be especially beautiful in an entry door.
Low-E glass is an available option with many door manufacturers. Low-E glass reduces air conditioning costs by reducing heat transfer in the summer. In the winter, it reduces heat loss to the outside and allows solar energy to pass inside.
Caming is the metal banding that joins panels of glass. It’s a small detail that can have a big impact on the overall look of an entry door. The caming appearance can be selected to coordinate with door hardware, outdoor fixtures, or interior furnishings.
Safety glass is also available and it can be up to four times as strong as other glass. If broken, it shatters into many small fragments, which prevent injuries.
Doors can be finished in a variety colors to match up with a home’s interior and exterior.
Builders Hardware, Inc. (BHI)
HomeRite of Jacksonville’s main supplier for doors is Builders Hardware, Inc., a family-owned and operated company in Tampa. Since 1954, BHI has been supplying Florida’s building industry with quality hardware and door products. BHI offers a very extensive variety of door styles for the home. BHI manufactures high quality door components that are specifically suited to the codes and demands of Florida homes. The company is dedicated to supplying quality products that stand up to local codes and hurricane force winds.
HomeRite of Jacksonville offers BHI’s Plastpro line of fiberglass doors. Superior structural integrity makes Plastpro stand above other manufacturers of fiberglass doors. For durability and performance, check out the Plastpro line.
In this article, I’ve discussed the importance of the front door for a home’s curb appeal. I’ve also outlined the key considerations for selecting a front door.
For information about HomeRite’s energy efficient line of windows and doors, call 296-2515 or visit their showroom at 4801 Executive Park Court, Building 200, Suite 207, Jacksonville; FL 32216.
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HomeRite is a window and door dealer that specializes in energy efficient, quality windows and doors with warranties and service to match. The company has been in business since 2005. HomeRite has partnered with a manufacturer that has been producing high quality products and providing excellent customer service for over 60 years. Windows and doors from HomeRite are some of the highest quality, most thermally efficient windows and doors on the market.
HomeRite products add substantial value to their clients’ properties. HomeRite is a member of the United States Green Building Council, a non-profit organization comprised of leaders across the industry working to advance environmentally responsible buildings.
Gates Dearen is the co-owner of HomeRite Windows and Doors in Jacksonville, Florida. He and Richard Walden have been serving the building products industry in Florida for over 30 years. They strive to match homeowners with the right windows and doors for their homes and budgets. They make the home improvement process pleasant with first-rate, energy-efficient products, affordable pricing, and award-wining installers who employ the best practices and who always treat customers and their property with the utmost respect.