It’s one of the first things you see when you get home and one of the first impressions you’ll get to make on guests and potential buyers. That’s right, it’s your entry door.
If you are renovating your home, don’t forget the front door. When it comes time to put your home on the market, curb appeal is an important factor; it’s the first chance you’ll have to make a good impression on the potential buyer. In fact, bumping up your home’s curb appeal can greatly influence your home’s resale value. Installing a new entry door can give homeowners a 73% return on investment, according to Remodeling’s 2011-2012
Cost vs. Value Report.

If you have no plans to renovate but your home is feeling a little drafty, or if your door is cracked, warped or otherwise in need of repair, consider replacing the old door with a new model. Fiberglass, steel, wood and aluminum are all popular choices and each comes with a list of advantages and disadvantages.
But how do you know if your door actually needs replacing? After all, people aren’t made of money. Here are three signs that it’s time to lay down the dough for a new entry door:

Open and Close
Take a look at how your entry door (or doors, if there are two) functions. Does it open and close seamlessly, or do you notice any sticking or large gaps? While a simple adjustment might be enough to remedy the problem, in some cases sticking is due to an even larger issue – warping.
Warping can become a major problem, especially for doors made of wood and especially if your home is located in an intense climate, like humid Seattle or scorching Phoenix. When exposed to extreme weather conditions, doors can shrink and expand, causing eventual warping and gaps between the door and the threshold. And gaps can cause your home to leak cool air (or heat) and run up your energy bill. If you suspect that this is the issue, contact your local door and trim company and ask if they can inspect your door.

Fair-Weather Friend
What is the aesthetic condition of your entry door? Is it cracked, dented, rusted or otherwise damaged? Some doors simply require a new paint job and they are good as new, but for others the damage is more serious.
Your door has to battle the elements on a daily basis and is exposed to heat, cold, sun, humidity, wind, etc. All doors will need to be replaced eventually; if yours looks like it’s seen better days, go ahead and get an estimate for a replacement.

It All Fits Together
There are other components besides the door itself that can become damaged over time. The threshold, frame and door jamb all contribute to the functionality of your entry door and these too can become loose or warped.
These pieces are also susceptible to rot, yet another problem inflicted by the outside elements. While it is sometimes possible to replace only one of these parts (especially if the entry door is still in great shape), more often than not you will end up having to replace the entire system (often the door and frame are sold together as a set). Your local handyman or door and trim company should be able to assess these components and tell you what needs to be replaced.

In rare (and unfortunate) cases, problems like sticking and binding are signs of a more serious issue, like a shaky foundation. If you notice your windows are also sticking as well as interior doors (wall and ceiling cracks are another indicator), call a local contractor to take a closer look at your home.

About the Author
Natalie McCatty is a professional blogger for Younger Brothers Companies, a trusted commercial contractor serving Building Materials in Phoenix with quality service and superior value since 1975. Read more of her work on the Younger Brothers blog.