Upgrading and Replacing Entry Doors on Your Home
By: Danny Lipford
Replacing doors is an affordable way to quickly enhance and upgrade the appearance and decor of a home. In addition, replacing a front entryway door can add curb appeal and improve energy efficiency.
But before you run off to the home improvement center, take a few minutes (and some careful measurements) to consider all the options available in both exterior and interior doors for your home.
Wood doors come in an almost endless variety of colors and styles with either a large or small amount of glass or none at all. While wood offers the benefits of natural and traditional beauty, it is best used in an entryway that is covered to protect the door from too much exposure to the elements.
Price prehung with frame, no sidelights: $157.00 and up
Metal (Steel) Doors
Metal (steel) doors offer the benefit of being very affordable and extremely durable. However metal doors cannot be stained, only painted.
Price prehung with frame, no sidelights: $116.00 and up
A more popular choice in exterior entry doors today is fiberglass. Fiberglass offers all the beauty and versatility of a wood door along with the added benefit of tremendous durability. Fiberglass has little expansion or contraction with weather changes and ensures long-term and easy operation of the door. Fiberglass doors come in many styles and can be stained or painted.
Price prehung with frame, no sidelights: $168.00 and up
Smooth Wood Doors
A smooth, or hollow core, wood door is the most basic type of interior door and certainly the most affordable. They are usually composed to two thin sheets of plywood with a solid wood frame around the outside, making them lighter and therefore easier to hang. Once hung, they can be stained or painted to match your interior decor.
Price: $25.00 and up
Paneled Hardboard Doors
The next step up from a smooth wood door is a paneled hardboard door made from two pieces of molded hardboard. This door is somewhat more affordable than solid wood doors. However it can only be painted, not stained, and is therefore slightly less versatile.
Price: $30.00 and up
Paneled Solid Woods
As with any wood door, a paneled solid wood door offers both beauty and versatility, allowing you to either paint or stain it depending on the decor of your home. Solid wood doors can be made from less expensive woods, like pine or fir, or more expensive species such as mahogany or walnut. You will, however, pay slightly more than you would for a hardboard door in a similar style.
Price: $75.00 and up
Many areas of your home can be enhanced by replacing an existing door with a glass door. These doors can be ten lite, fifteen lite or full view glass as well as etched, leaded or beveled.
Steps to Replacing Your Door
Before replacing a door, start by choosing the style and materials for the new door, then decide whether you will use the existing hardware or replace it. Be sure to take accurate measurements of the existing door and/or rough opening for the frame.
To install a new door:
- Remove the hinge pins from the hinges on the old door.
- Remove the existing door from the frame.
- Remove the lockset and half of the hinges on the old door.
- Transfer the location of the hinge mortises and lockset from the existing door to the new one.
- Chisel out the recessed mortises for the hinges.
- Drill holes for the lockset, if the door didn’t come predrilled.
- Attach the hinges to the new door with screws.
- Hang the new door in the frame, and insert the pins in the hinges.
- Paint or stain the new door and allow to dry.
- Install the lockset on the new door.
Read our article on How to Replace an Entry Door to find out more.
If you choose to replace the hinges with new ones, simply remove the entire hinge from the existing frame and then follow the remaining steps.
Whether replacing an interior or exterior door the steps are the same. However, if you wish to completely upgrade your front entryway you may want to hire a contractor, as the process can be somewhat more involved depending on how much you wish to change around the doorway.
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- Advantages of Replacing Your Windows and Doors (video)
- How to Refinish and Restore an Entry Door (video/article)