Your front door is the face of your home. It’s among the first things visitors and passers-by see, and it has the ability to make more of an impression than any other element of your home’s frontage. An outdated front door can make a property look cheap, while one that is worn and lacking proper care can leave people with the same impression of the house as a whole. Keeping your front door in good condition is important to your own everyday enjoyment of and pride in your home, but it becomes even more vital if you’re thinking of selling. The sway that the front door holds over the wider appearance of the property means it can have a drastic impact on the price you end up getting for your home.
The replacement of a property’s front door consistently tops the National Association of Realtors’ annual survey assessing the return on investment of various home improvement projects. In fact, the association’s 2015 survey suggests that replacing your entry door generates an average 101.8% return on investment – in other words, you add more value to your property than it costs you to carry out the replacement in the first place. That’s not to say that replacing your front door isn’t expensive, though – or that there aren’t alternatives. The most appealing alternative is to simply repaint your door to give it a new lease of life. If you find yourself up against the dilemma of whether to repaint your door or just buy a new one altogether, here’s what you need to consider.
The benefits of replacing your front door
If your current door is in a particularly bad state, you might be tempted to go the whole hog and simply replace it. The cost is likely to be higher than a simple repainting job – the average cost of replacing a steel door across the United States is, again according to the National Association of Realtors, $1,230 – but you can expect to regain much of that, if not more than your original outlay, in increased home value. There’s also some truth to the idea that if you’re going to go to the effort of taking a door off its hinges to repaint it, you may as well replace it altogether.
If you opt to replace your front door entirely, you’ll be able to not only choose the color you like the most, but also to switch to a completely new material. Different materials can complement the wider design of your property in different ways, so you’ll want to take some time to think through your options and choose wisely. The main options include steel, wood and fiberglass. Of these, steel is the cheapest, wood can add charm and character – particularly to older homes – but is high-maintenance, and fiberglass is perhaps the most popular option, since it can offer the appearance of wood but with greater durability. On the durability front you should also keep in mind that, though steel doors may be the least expensive option, they are also particularly vulnerable to inclement weather conditions and so tend to have a shorter lifespan than other materials.
In the process of picking a new material for your front door, you have the chance to go for one that’s more energy efficient, allowing you to keep more heat inside and cut fuel bills. The energy efficiency of a door depends on more than the material alone – the construction of the frame and the presence of windows play a part, too – so you’ll want to consider an individual door’s Energy Star rating in your comparison. That said, when comparing like with like, fiberglass tends to be the most energy efficient of the three popular materials.
The benefits of repainting your front door
It goes without saying that the biggest advantage to repainting your front door, rather than completely replacing it, is that it helps keep the cost down. Even when you take into account the need to take the door off its hinges, and then wash and prime it before getting to the actual painting, it can still work out more economical to repaint rather than replace from scratch. That’s not to mention the fact that entry doors need regular refinishing anyway so, even if you opt to replace yours outright this time, it won’t be long until it once again needs repainting or otherwise touching up. Unless you’ve got cash to burn by replacing your doors every time they show a blemish, repainting what you already have would seem sensible.
While opting to simply repaint will of course deprive you of the chance to change the material of your door, this might in itself be desirable. For instance, if you have an old solid wood door that has plenty of charm and adds to the character of your period home, there are probably few things you would like to do less than trade it in for something more modern and infinitely less endearing. Even so, repainting an old door like this – whether in the same timeless shade, or in something bolder and more extravagant – will undoubtedly give it a brand new lease of life. If you are considering painting it in a shocking shade of pink, though, don’t forget to check for local regulations that might prevent you from doing so.
Finally, repainting a door that’s already in place and hanging on its hinges can simply make life a whole lot easier. If you go down the route of buying a brand new door, you’ll need to take care to make sure it’s the right size and shape, and then ensure you hang it properly so it’s both secure and attractive. if you’re doing the whole job yourself then, between trips hunting down and purchasing the new door, and actually putting it in place, this can extend the time involved far beyond that needed to merely repaint something you’ve already got sitting right under your nose. Even a well-planned and properly executed repainting makeover (remember that, just as with all painting, effective preparation is key to success!) can often be completed in a day, or perhaps just slightly longer if it’s a more complex job. Compare that to the time involved in procuring a new door and it’s easy to see why repainting might be the route for you.
Take a look at some of our previous blog posts for tips on refinishing your wooden front door, and some reminders as to why it’s so important to regularly repaint it. But if you want to repaint your door, yet can’t be bothered with all the legwork involved in a DIY job, give the Sharper Impressions Painting team a call and we’ll take care of everything for you.