Picture this – you’re walking down the aisle at your local big box store shopping for a new front door and BAM – you see what very well could be the ‘Steal of a Lifetime’.  There sits a beautiful, brand new front door.  And it’s an ‘open box!’ The door is marked down almost half the retail price. You’d be crazy not to buy it – right?  So you buy the door, haul it outside and while lifting the door onto the rack of your SUV you lose your balance, drop the door and it hits your vehicle.  Now the only thing that’s new is that nasty dent and scratch on your SUV.  The excitement of that deal you just scored is now gone.  Still, you manage to get the door home only to discover that it’s too big to store anywhere inside your home.  So you make room in the garage where it sits gathering dust for the next three weeks.

Then you realize that the door isn’t going to install itself.  How hard is it to install a new front door anyways?  We thought it would be as easy as removing the hinges from the existing door and installing those hinges on the new door?  Seems logical – right?  After spending hours doing just that we had the door installed.  The only is we couldn’t get it too close!  What we learned was that the existing door frame was no longer square and that installing a square door into not square opening was not going to work.  Then we did what any distressed homeowner would do – we broke down and called a contractor for help.  The contractor quickly pointed out the frame was out of square and needed to be rebuilt.  The cost for reframing the opening was $300.  Once finished, the door closed but the entire door and frame were now crooked.  Another contractor and another $300 were then required to fix the new set us issues.    Our once great deal on a new front door turned into weekends of hard work and more money than we intended to spend.  Ugh…..

It’s a common mistake – invest in a top notch front door and then try and save money by installing that door yourself, or hiring a friend or family member that thinks they can knock out the installation of that new front door on a Saturday afternoon.  Most homeowners don’t have the knowledge, skill, tools or time to tackle home improvements such as front door replacement.   In the end, after the investment in time, hundreds of dollars in tools and all the headaches caused by the unknowns, the smarter decision usually would have been to hire a professional to assure proper installation.

Well thought out, professional front door installations mean greater security, increased confidence and home higher home values.  After all, an investment in a quality front door and professional installation transcend the demands of utility and practical purpose.  The doorway into your home is more than an exist or entryway.  The main doorway services as a threshold between worlds.  It’s the passage between the private and the public- between the safe, domestic world of familial memory and the uncertainties of the world outside.  We might say that the door into one’s home provides passage into the most important dimensions of one’s self.

Heavy stuff?  Sure is.  But your home is important.  Don’t take chances.  Look for and hire a contractor that will spend the time educating you on your options in regards to fiberglass versus wood, pre-hung installations versus slab only replacement and prefinished products versus products that need to be finished in the field.  You contractor should also take time in helping you design your new front door.  Visit their showroom, browse through catalogs and have then show you before and after pictures of projects they’ve completed.