Tips for selecting a new front door

The wet winters of Portland, Ore., mean durability is as important as good looks when selecting a front door for new construction or an existing home in the City of Roses.

A visit to any door company’s website most likely will reveal entry doors in a wide range of designs, from a simple, unembellished plank-style door to mission style. Much of this is determined according to the way the door is paneled.

Finishes also vary widely, from a paintable builder’s white that allows you to tint it any color you choose to a deep mahogany stain. Some doors are solid wood or fiberglass, while others feature oval, grilled or arched window styles. Most doors come in standard sizes, which helps keep the price under control. But as with anything else, you can order them in custom designs and sizes, according to your budget.

Here are some factors you may want to consider as you design or redesign the portal to your home:

Architecture. With the variety of architectural styles that define the 90-plus neighborhoods in Portland, Ore., the first step on your journey to a new door is deciding what kind of look you want. If you live in an older home, it may not be architecturally sensitive to replace an entry door with an in-stock contemporary steel-clad model from your local home improvement center.

Durability. Because wooden doors are susceptible to rot and insects, fiberglass and steel are the materials of choice when longevity is an issue.

Safety. Doors in 24- or 25-gauge galvanized steel are considered to be the safest, especially for security. Steel doors are often fire-rated at 20, 45, 60 and 90 minutes.

Energy efficiency. The door you choose can affect the energy efficiency of your home. If this is important to you, check whether the model you’re considering is a certified Energy Star door. Many of these doors are eligible for tax credits.

If you are thinking about installing a new door on your home, it’s important to work with company that has a proven track record for quality. Sign in to Angie’s List to read trusted consumer reviews on highly rated door installation companies in the Portland, Ore., area.


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