New entry doors can do a lot for your home. Like a smile for your house, a nice door creates a positive impression for those approaching it. A good door can save you money on heating and cooling, improve security, and add value. The only bad part is that there are so many to choose from!
Regardless of the type of door you’re installing, there are some universal rules that apply. Getting the rough opening right is critical. Obviously it’s impossible to install a door in an opening that’s too small, but overly large openings are a problem as well.
If there is a gap greater than what you can handle with shims, you need to consider using a piece of dimensional lumber to reduce the opening size and create a better fit. Excessive shimming will allow the door frame to twist and get out of square, creating a drafty door or causing the door to stick.
So begin your project by removing the trim and getting a good measurement of the rough opening. Don’t remove the door until you have the new one, for the obvious security reasons but also in case you run into a delay in delivery.
Ensure that you are measuring both the height and the width in several different places; time and construction methods can create openings that aren’t truly rectangular. Once that’s done, you know what size of new door you will need and you can get it purchased and brought to your home.
Here are some useful considerations for installing different types of doors, taken from http://www.irondoors.com/installation
Sliding doors provide a large, sunny opening into your home. The advantages are the brightness and warmth they provide, and as it turns out, those can be some of the disadvantages as well. If you situate a sliding door on a sunny side of your home, there could be too much sun and heat.
In terms of installation, sliding doors require a double-door space and must be installed in a very level, square opening. If the bottom of a sliding door is not level, the door will not slide smoothly.
Standard Hinged Doors
A more forgiving option is a regular hinged door. It can be fully opaque or include any imaginable choice in glass, and it can be a single or double unit. This gives some greater freedom than sliding doors at the expense of the view.
Installation is also simpler. Some imperfections in your rough opening can be tolerated with a few adjustments on the threshold and sweep. Think in terms of getting the sides and top to a perfect fit, then compensating at the bottom.
Colorful Wooden Doors
It’s probably not fair to go ahead and call this a “trend” since classic colors like red and yellow have been used to make doors stick out for years, however adding a bright color that is contract to the rest of your house is becoming more common. The color of the door doesn’t need to be neon or something silly, but a sharp contract to the exterior paint brings focus to your front door. The entry should be the focal point of your home from the street and using start contrast is a cool and stylish way to do so.
Wrought Iron Doors
These designs provide a classic beauty that can evoke Old World Europe or the energy of New Orleans. They install like any other hinged door, but because of the high weight of the components used in quality wrought iron doors, it’s doubly important to ensure strong, deep screw installation in hinges and to properly space sweeps and thresholds to prevent binding. Familiarize yourself with the door’s construction before installing it; this will make it easier to clean the glass areas later on.
Like so many renovation tasks, replacing doors is about finding the intersection between what you like and what you can use. Plan ahead to avoid costly disappointments.