Guardians of the Home: Front Doors

The entrance to your home is more than a door. It brings aesthetic appeal, creates first impressions, guards against weather, and for some homes is a first line of defense against intruders. But with the weather changing and the season for working outdoors coming to an end, is your door ready to face the challenges of the cold seasons? Here’s some things to look for and tips for improvement.

Weather

Wooden Front DoorEspecially important if you’ve noticed a cool draft in the entry way or hear wind leaking through the door, there’s a few things you can do to weather your door and increase your energy efficiency. The first thing to check, more common with older doors, is the hinges. This can take you as little as five minutes. Open the door halfway, and lift up at the door handle while watching the hinges. Your door should stay firmly in place. If it moves up and down you may have a loose hinge. Tightening these alone will solve some draft problems.

If you still feel a cool draft, it’s time to check your weather stripping. Over time it will become distorted and cracked. You may just need to replace it. To check, run your fingers along each edge of the door and feel for a cold draft. If you feel one, it’s a sign that your weather stripping has passed it’s prime. Replacing weather stripping on newer doors is fairly simple, as most were built to hold one. An older door without weatherstripping will need it to be added. To replace weather stripping on a newer door, you’ll need to find a replacement that fits. You can do this by calling your door’s manufacturer if you know it, or taking your old weather stripping into a well-stocked hardware store and looking for its match. If you cannot find a match, call a trusted door or window repair service. We’d be happy to recommend some! Replacing weather stripping on an older door will require more installation. Most hardware stores will sell weather stripping kits. These kits include two side strips, a top strip, and fasteners. Installation will require basic tools. You’ll need measuring tape, a fine-tooth saw, a coping saw, a hammer, a drill, nails and screws. Your kit should come with basic installation instructions. If at any point you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, do not hesitate to call a professional to complete the job for you!

Security

If you’re concerned about your door’s security, here is an easy installation that will help you reinforce it. While you do have the option of purchasing a pick-proof dead bolt, that may not be the most efficient option. We recommend reinforcing hardware, which will make the door difficult to kick or push open. You can purchase these at local hardware stores, and installation takes only about an hour. For this project, you’ll need a tape measure, drill, and drill bit set. These should come with their own installation instructions.

When it comes to security though, do not panic. If you feel you are at a high risk, or have a tendency to worry, consider installing a reputable alarm system. Some additional simple steps any homeowner can take to decrease risk are: Make sure your doors have deadbolts, keep your newspaper and mail picked up, leave light and noise on inside the house, have a car in the driveway, have an open porch so it’s difficult for a person to conceal himself, and have a generic (not brand-specific) sticker near the door indicating your house is protected by an alarm system.

Reinforcing your home’s front line of defense will make the cold seasons a little warmer, and more comfortable. If you find you’re having problems with your door, contact one of our trusted professionals to help you evaluate and fix it. At Responsible Contractors, our goal is to bring you the best in construction, so that your home will always be its best.

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