Sure we’ve all had that moment where we have looked at our front door and thought, “It’s time for a new door”. You may have come to this conclusion because peeling and warp has finally begun, or for the simple fact that you just want to make a change. Either way, you are ready for a new front door. Now you may have done some research online or at a box store and gained an idea of what you would like and that is great! But what are the most important factors for you when searching for the perfect door? Do you want fiberglass or steel? They both have their advantages. Have you thought about the glass package? Have you searched the frame package available or finish of the door? Many doors appear to be very similar, but they are not. For me, when researching any product to purchase, a key factor is the warranty that is offered by the manufacturer.
Now to some homeowners, a warranty is just a piece of paper. To others it is their protection against any flaws or manufacturer defects that may occur. Generally a good quality exterior replacement door warranty will range from lifetime coverage on the doors itself which warrants against rot, warpingand delaminating to a five or seven year finish warranty. Most replacement doors will not warranty the finish if a storm door is placed in front of the new entry door due to the heat factor. There are other elements and features of any entry door that are warranted, but this is where you need to read the fine print to see exactly what they are and what they are not. So let’s take a look at some of the fine print and see what some manufacturers are actually offering.
One of the door manufacturers who supplies replacement doors to these large box stores only offers a five year warranty! That’s it! Five years on the entire door and this is for as long as you have ownership of the property. Now get this, the finish is only warranted for two years! So when you purchase this door, you are basically purchasing a product that you know will need replaced in five to ten years. Now does that sound like a home improvement or waste of your hard earned money?
Another well known door manufacturer does offer a lifetime warranty, which is great, but there is a catch. The warranty is not transferable. So basically you purchase this somewhat pricey door, which only includes a one year glass breakage warranty plus a five year finish warranty, and it is not transferrable. So, per say, if you decide to sell your home down the road, you lose a key selling point by not being able to transfer the warranty to the new homeowner. And to top it off, if you live within five miles of salt water, the warranty is completely voided for all non-glass components.
And this is just two examples! So, in turn, what this boils down to is that the price that you may see at some of these big box stores is an entry level price for an entry level product. If you are looking for a premium product, you will have to pay premium price. My advice it to look and think long term when investing in your home. Even if you are thinking about moving in five years, you will recoup your investment while adding curb appeal and charm to your home. Did you know that according to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost Vs. Value Report, a steel replacement entry door has a return-on-investment of 110%? Just a little food for thought. Until next time my friends, keep improving!