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Renovation Solutions: Tips to selecting a new front door

Published: Friday, April 25 2014 3:25 p.m. MDT

Metal or steel doors have the appeal of being strong and damage-resistant, except for one thing: They dent. One dent in the door and no one is going to be fooled into thinking it is wood. Make sure you do your homework on this issue and ask around. Find out what kind of door your friends and family have, and see how they are holding up before you make a final decision.

There is a wide range of costs for front doors. On the lower end, you may just be replacing the door itself into the existing framed opening. This is a much less expensive option than removing the entire framed opening and replacing it with a new door assembly which might include one or two sidelights in addition to the door. Doors can begin at a few hundred dollars; large or elaborate door assemblies range from the thousands of dollars up to $15,000 and beyond.

Widening the opening altogether (if your particular layout allows) for doors with sidelights is a good way to increase the light that comes into your home and to make your home feel more welcome and friendly to arriving guests. Double doors that were once a mark of status are now feeling somewhat dated. It is easy, however, to fill the opening (usually about 6 feet wide) with a door/sidelight combination that can give your home a newer look.

Selecting the front door is not a home improvement that should be taken lightly. While the wrong style of front door can ruin a perfectly good house and have a detrimental effect on looks and value, the correct new front door will have the opposite effect and add bonus points to your curb appeal — and serious dollars to your property’s value.

Ann Robinson and Annie V. Schwemmer are the principal architects and co-founders of a residential architectural firm focused on life-changing remodeling designs at RenovationDesignGroup.com. Send comments or questions to ask@RenovationDesignGroup.com

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