4 Questions You Should Consider When Buying a Front Door

by Susan Paige
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What do most houses have in common?

A front door.

However, even though the front door is the first thing many of us interact with when coming home, it’s still the kind of fixture that you don’t really think much about. 

But when you’re looking to buy a new door and you’re suddenly faced with catalogs and endless replacement options, it’s not as simple as just picking one and hoping it works out. 

What type of door should you choose? How do you narrow it down to just one?

If any of those questions sound familiar, we’ve got you covered. Here are four questions that every homeowner may want to ask themselves before buying a front door.

1. Is It Durable?

If you’re shopping for a front door, odds are good that you’re looking for a door that’s built to last.

From a practical standpoint, there’s nothing fun about going to the hardware store yet again because your door cracked like an egg when it was exposed to the elements. And from a cost management perspective, replacing doors prematurely is an expense that has the potential to really add up after a while.

As a homeowner, you’ll probably want a door that has some built-in resistance to rotting, bending, or warping. Because once you see those signs of wear and tear, that’s usually when you know that it’s time to call it quits and begin looking for a replacement. 

With so many front doors made out of materials like wood, steel, and fibreglass, it’s definitely possible to find a sturdy front door that has the toughness that you require.

2. Is It Energy Efficient?

Have you ever sat beside a drafty window while trying to stay warm? Chances are you eventually found yourself adding extra blankets, putting more logs on the fire, or turning up the thermostat until you were able to get comfortable. When you have a front door that lets in a draft, you may find yourself taking steps like this a little bit more often over the course of a year. 

According to the Department of Energy, American families spent around $2,000 a year on energy bills in 2012 and had the potential to save as much as 30% on their energy bills by becoming more energy efficient. Although an energy-efficient door may not save you that much money on its own, it is a step in the right direction. 

Because as it turns out, it can literally pay to be more energy efficient.

3. How Easy Would This Door Be To Install?

When you’ve fallen in love with a particular front door, it’s easy to say things like, “I’ll do whatever it takes to make it work.” But the truth is, front door installments can be tricky. If a door is sized too big or too small, you may need to hire a professional to make changes to your door frame. And while there are names like Sam’s Club making front door installation affordable for homeowners, that is still a major decision that you may want to factor into your purchase.

And it doesn’t stop there.

There are also prehung front doors, where the door comes mounted in the frame beforehand, as well as non-prehung doors that give you the option of replacing the door by its hinges. This is one of those situations where an easy installation for one person isn’t necessarily going to be easy for another. But when you’re buying a front door, it’s a good idea to consider the installation process.

4. Would This Door Fit The Style?

A lot of aspects of purchasing a front door ultimately come down to personal taste. 

Most people are probably not going to choose a science fiction-style door for a rustic cabin, to take an extreme example. But if you’re not clear on the way in which you want to complement your home stylistically, it’s easy to end up picking a front door that clashes with the rest of your house. And the last thing anyone wants is to go to the trouble of picking a door only to find that the colors are off or there’s a stylistic mismatch that doesn’t sit well with anyone.

That’s why it never hurts to consider the overall style of your home when you’re picking out your next front door.


If you’re like most people, your front door probably isn’t something you think too much about.

You open it, you close it, and that’s it. End of story.

But ironically, this is what can make choosing a good front door difficult. There are so many options and trims to choose from that the whole selection process can be really overwhelming.

Fortunately, choosing a door that makes sense for your home doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s just a matter of assessing your needs and wants and choosing a door that works for you stylistically. Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be front door shopping like a pro in no time.

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