Learn the pros and cons of different types of entry doors, the various styles and latest trends.
By John RihaMore in Windows Walls and Doors
Looking to make a great first impression? How about switching out that overgrown cereal box you call a front door for an entry door that's as stylish and welcoming as you are? When it comes to adding some curb appeal to your home - and making a statement about who lives inside - your front door plays a leading role on the grand theater of your property.
Door manufacturers are willing partners, providing more options and configurations than ever, along with custom services that let you dial up your own personalized entry.
"One of the trends we see is toward unusual shapes and sizes," says Brad Loveless, marketing and product development manager for Simpson Door Co. "People don't necessarily want a cookie-cutter front door. After all, it's one of the first things you see on a house and it lends terrific perceived value."
The good news is that a good-looking entry door isn't necessarily a budget buster. Yes, you can get a custom-made front door with gorgeous art glass and hand-forged hardware that costs as much as a late-model Porsche, and your entry will be nothing short of impressive. But today's manufacturing techniques are sophisticated enough that even modestly priced doors are well-made and nicely designed and off-the-shelf models from home improvement centers include jambs and casings that turn door installation into an easy, money-saving weekend DIY project.
Dollars and Sense
Entry door prices start around $150 for ordinary six-panel steel doors and range up to $3,500 for solid wood doors with an art glass window. Add about $300 for professional installation of a basic door. Made-to-order doors featuring rounded tops, custom craftsmanship or unusual sizes can cost up to $10,000. Prices for all doors can escalate depending on options, such as sidelights, transoms and hardware.
A new entry door adds value. According to Remodeling Magazine's annual Cost vs. Value report, an entry door replacement project featuring a new steel door returns almost 130 percent of the installed cost - the only project in the report that has an immediate positive return on your investment.