(ANGIE'S LIST) - Your front door is one of the first things visitors see when they approach your home. If the door is drafty or not opening properly, it's time to make some improvements.
"Replacing your front door can be a great investment in curb appeal and energy efficiency. For example, replacing an old door with a steel door can give you as much as 125 percent return on your investment," says Angie Hicks from Angie's List.
In addition to steel, doors come in a variety of materials including wood, aluminum and fiberglass
Door Sales Manager Chuck Morgan says, "Your standard fiberglass door with a lifetime warranty and installation is going to be somewhere around $1,000, $1,100. If you want to sexy it up a little bit and put some decorative glass in there, that same single door could be as much $3,500 or $4,000."
"Even if you are on a tight budget, you can invest in improvements for your front door. For example, you can add new weather stripping that will help your energy efficiency and it can cost as little as ten dollars. If the actual structure of your door is in good shape, but you're just not happy with the way it looks, a fresh coat of paint and some new hardware can really brighten it up," says Hicks.
Another way to update the look at a fraction of the cost: install decorative glass into your current door.
Door Company Owner Tim Quigley says, "What we do is offer an alternative to the traditional way. Most doors, 99 out of 100 doors, there is nothing wrong with them. Unless there is some kind of a rot or the frame is broke, you can use your existing entry way. In less time and less cost and less mess, update that entry way to a very elegant enhancement for the house."
"To update your entry way if you do it the traditional way you are looking at about three to four hour job. Take a door out and put a whole new door system in. When we are doing it, it's anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half."
Angie's List says installation is key when replacing a door. Everything comes out when you replace a door. That includes the door jambs and threshold...so it's critical the door is hung and framed correctly. If not -- you'll see air leakage -- leading to higher heating and cooling bills.