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Door Repair or Door Replacement: Which is Right for Me?

Front door repair is one of the most important aspects of door maintenance. As the primary entryway to most houses, front doors can often become worse for wear over time. Not only can an old door affect your home’s aesthetic, but it can also become a security risk.

The measures needed to repair or replace it will depend on the type of door you own. Timber doors are sturdy and can have an impressive lifespan. but they do need maintenance to keep them looking their best.

If you notice any changes in the operation of your external door, it is worth considering taking action. Whether you fix your door or opt for a complete replacement will depend on several factors.

Signs your front door needs repairing

There are many different things that can go wrong with a door, and only so many of these can be repaired. Thankfully there are several ways to identify what is wrong with your front door, and just as many ways to fix or repair it.

Door Swelling

Wooden doors can swell due to extreme changes in temperature. In humid or rainy weather, they are also liable to absorb moisture. This can lead to a misshapen front door that no longer fits in its frame or gets stuck very easily.

When this happens, it can be easy to assume that your door needs replacing. Thankfully, there are several home remedies to fix your warped door without breaking the bank. A swollen door may only need sanding down to fit back into its frame. Locks, hinges, and other door hardware may also need realigning so that the door can operate with ease again.

For future maintenance, it may be worth treating your old door with a wood preserver. This can strengthen the wood and prevent it from swelling so severely in future.

Rusty or Broken Hinges

The door itself is not the only thing that can show the ravages of time. Door furniture and hardware can corrode or rust, causing a serious impact on the function of the door.

The metal used to make hinges and screws can rust when exposed to water, and also suffer when dirt builds up. If you have also been a victim of a forced-entry burglary, then your hinges can also get significantly damaged. Again these might seem like serious defects but won’t call for an entire door replacement.

Removing and replacing old and broken hinges is an easy task. Taking a screwdriver, remove each hinge one at a time. Replace your new hinges in the same indentations if the door and door frame are still intact.

Should I fix or replace my door?

If you are experiencing any issues with your front door, then it is important to identify what the problem is. When you understand the problem, you will be better placed to know whether it can be fixed or needs replacing.

Door repairs are usually a much cheaper job than an entire door replacement. In most cases, door repairs are easy to undertake and do not require the aid of a professional. There are instances, however, where a door repair may not work, and a whole new front door may be required.

1. Level of Damage

Typically, the biggest factor when it comes to door repairs or front door replacements is how much damage the door in question has sustained.

There are many factors that can contribute to a front door’s condition. Timber doors are susceptible to warping in changing weather and can affect the door frame too. Heavy usage over time will also affect how efficiently a door operates. Hinges, locks, and other hardware become stiff and worn, and overuse can weaken the materials of the door’s components.

Frames are one of the most likely areas of your front door to require repairing or replacing. As with doors, these are made of timber so they can warp and cause your front door to stick or jam. Not only is this a nuisance, but it can also impose on the external security of your property. Any issues with your door frame should be addressed immediately.

Wooden frames can be sanded down to shape with ease. This should be done in moderation before you seek the help of a professional, so you don’t compromise the security and durability of your frame.

Minor damages can, and should, be taken care of immediately. This will reduce the risk of much larger issues from occurring.

2. Budget

One of the major advantages of door repairs over a full replacement is the cost. In most cases, it can be much more cost-effective to repair your door, but sometimes a new door is essential. Repairing windows and doors can involve many different costs depending on what exactly needs doing, and what materials are required.

By identifying every aspect of the repair job, you can estimate how much the job is going to cost. Compare this to the cost of a new door and you are able to decide what option may fit your budget best.

Replacing your door can seem a very straightforward investment for your property. It is important to remember the additional costs of additional hinges, locks, and other materials, however.

If you do not feel competent enough to replace or repair the door yourself, you can also opt to hire a professional. These costs should be factored into your total spending. Though a professional will charge a considerable amount compared to a DIY job, you can rest easy knowing your door has been installed correctly, and with security in mind.

Cost is different for every person and every project. Your own budget can wildly influence the decisions you make when it comes to repairing or replacing your front doors.

3. Materials Used

There are so many styles of doors available on the market. Some doors will cost more to repair than others due to their manufacturing process.

There are many doors on the market that are made from different materials; wood, glass, fiberglass, vinyl, uPVC – the list goes on. Some of these are more expensive than others, as you may have noticed when looking at new doors and windows for your property.

Certain doors are easier to repair than others. A timber door may need sanding down, or a crack/chip might require filling. These are easy enough tasks to undertake at the weekend, with little knowledge. Other doors, such as manufactured fire doors or composite doors will be much harder to fix, if at all possible. Their construction is so particular that a simple door repair will cost a fortune.

Thankfully, this style of door is less likely to need repairs over its lifespan. This style is designed with durability in mind, and with the right maintenance can last for decades.

4. Skills Required

Your door itself may not need excessive repairs. It may not need replacing either, but this doesn’t mean to say that you have the necessary skills required to undertake the task.

As established, costs can often be avoided with DIY repairs on your door. However, if you do not have the competency or confidence to repair your door, then you may be doing more harm than good to your door.

Botched jobs can leave your door being less secure, as you may do more damage than good. What may seem a simple weekend project can in fact leave you with additional costs after an expensive call to a local handyman.

Door Repairs – The Process

Your plan of action will depend on the damage to the door.

First, assess the damage done to the door. As noted previously, this will determine whether a repair is necessary, or an entire replacement.

Once you have investigated the damage and determined that a repair is substantial, create a plan. This will include tools required, excess material, and the overall cost of the project.

Then, research how to undertake the specific task. By following the advice from a local carpenter, or using a comprehensive tutorial, go to town on your door repair.

Not all repair jobs go to plan. If things go wrong, doors can end up not being repaired properly and become detrimental to your home’s security. It is important to remember that it may be worth it to call your local carpenter or handyman. They can advise you on the best course of action for quality results and can ensure that your door repair is done properly.

Door Replacement – The Process

Replacing a door isn’t the most difficult task, but can be tricky if done by yourself. Front doors are deceptively heavy, and the precise measurements required make this task particularly intricate.

Doors need to be hung properly in order for them to function correctly. If not installed square and level, the door will not operate on its hinges as intended. This may lead to the door not setting in its frame, the door not latching, and a plethora of other issues.

First, make sure the new door is the correct size for your current frame. Door planes can be purchased that allow you to cut down the size of your door to fit more accurately.

Then, ideally with the help of a friend, hang the door. Screw the hinges into the door, and then the frame. It can be quite tricky, given the weight of the door.

A new door can give your whole exterior an entirely different feel, and can even improve the value and appeal of your home.

To keep your door well maintained, remember to follow the care advice given for the style of door you own. Wooden doors can benefit from a varnish every once in a while, and any door could do with a good clean once or twice a year.

These little tricks can help your door operate for an extra few years, and can help negate the costs of a repair or replacement.


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