House & Home

Nothing Says Welcome Like a New Wooden Door

Posted January 14, 2015

A brand new wooden door gives that special feeling to your front entrance. It welcomes you and your family home after a long day at work or school, greets your visitors, and projects an elegant, well cared for look that increases curb appeal. But besides adding a generous measure of inviting style, a new exterior door installation has a number of other distinct advantages.


Wood doors are suitable for every taste, home style, budget, and doorway size and shape. They can be planed to fit into a doorframe of irregular dimensions. Select a door manufactured from a sustainably grown and harvested type of wood which is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Choose from among pre-hung, stock, or custom doors in a wide variety of wood species and finishes. The lowest cost door install is softwood (usually pine), which can be painted to your liking -- or the specifications of your local Homeowners' Association (HOA). Trending now are bright colors that complement the home's exterior. If you'd prefer a more luxurious look, go for a pricier hardwood door -- maple, walnut, cherry, or mahogany -- with a natural finish. Expect a pine exterior door to last about 20 years on average. Life expectancy for cedar is 40 years. The long-lasting hardwoods can endure for 60 years up to a century or more, with proper maintenance.

Ease of Door Installation and Maintenance

While strong, wood is fairly lightweight relative to other common door materials, making it simple to move and to work with. It takes about only 3-5 hours for an experienced carpenter and one helper to install a door made out of wood, in a single width up to 36 inches x 80 inches, including removal and disposal of the old door. This speed is important, since for safety reasons, it is obviously imperative to replace your door and re-secure your home within the course of a single working day.

Highly resistant to chips, cracks, and dents, wooden doors also won't rust like their steel counterparts. They do require a certain amount of care to protect them from moisture damage. However, the good news is that, unlike doors made of some other materials, they take to painting and finishing well. (Note: to effectively minimize dampness penetration, the door's edges should also be treated, preferably prior to hanging.) A clear surface finish which safeguards your door has an advantage in that it may easily be redone if you'd like to repair scratches, refresh, or simply change the look. If your door is subject to an unusually high amount of wear and tear, you can decrease the amount of maintenance it will need by cladding it with aluminum.

Energy Efficiency

Reduced fuel consumption is an important consideration for just about every homeowner these days. Modern "green" front doors are designed to hold in heat in winter and cool air in summer. This increases the efficiency of your home HVAC so that you and your guests are more comfortable, while at the same time cutting your utility bills. The wooden entry doors of today, equipped with weather stripping and designed to fit more tightly into their frames than in the past, dramatically reduce a major source of heat loss -- leakage from around the door. For an R rating of 5, as compared to 2 for the standard type, install a door made of wood surrounding an expanded polystyrene or polyurethane insulating core.

Laura Firszt writes for

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