A Buyer’s Guide for Exterior Doors in Rockford

Who wouldn’t want high quality exterior doors? They should be beautiful, durable and energy efficient.

But with so many options available, how can you find the right door for your Rockford home? That’s where we come in!

We’ll teach you everything you need to know in order to find the perfect replacement doors for your home whether that’s a patio, storm or entry door.

exterior doors

Your Old Door Needs to be Replaced

Before looking at replacement doors, the first question you must ask yourself is, “Do I need a new exterior door?”

There are a few signs that tell you it’s time to replace your doors:

  • You feel a draft coming through
  • Your doors are rotting or warping
  • They’re infested with bugs
  • They no longer open or close properly
  • You’re unhappy with how they look

If any of these problems occur with your exterior doors, then it’s time for a replacement immediately.

Make Sure Your Door is Energy Efficient

While reading this you’re going to see the term “energy efficient” used a lot. This is very important, especially for Rockford homeowners. What does “energy efficiency: really mean?

For an exterior door to be energy efficient, it must be able to trap heat and air in your home. It must also protect your home from the weather outside.

This is important for two reasons:

  1. By keeping the outside weather out, your home will be more comfortable year round
  2. Since it will be easier for your air conditioner and furnace to reach your desired temperature, you’ll save money on your heating and cooling bills.

a house during the winter

Know Your Door’s R-Value

The door industry has a metric they use to determine the energy efficient of a door: r-value.

Without getting too technical, r-value measures the insulating material of a door and its resistance to heat.

There is a formula used to measure r-value:

R-value = Temperature Difference x Area x Time / Heat Loss

Typically you want your door’s r-value to end up between R-5 and R-6. You can read more about r-value here.

If you’re looking for replacement exterior doors, the door company you choose should have a sticker on their doors showing the r-value.

Your Exterior Door Can be Energy Star Certified

Speaking of stickers, have you ever seen the Energy Star Certified sticker? It’s given to anything that’s considered the best of the best in energy efficiency.

Exterior doors can be given an Energy Star Certification Sticker as well. You’ll know you’re getting an energy efficient door if it has one of these on it.

What Size is Your Entryway?

Next it’s time to measure your entryway. Not all doors can fit in every opening.

For example:

If you’re looking for a french entry door, you’ll need an extra wide opening. Otherwise, the door won’t fit and you’ll need to go with a different option.

If you’re going with a professional company, such as Feldco, the measuring will be done for you to guarantee you’re getting the proper size door.

What Type of Door do You Need?

When people think of exterior doors, they usually think of a entry door. Yes, entry doors are exterior doors, but there are other options.

There are a few different types of doors to consider:

  • Entry doors
  • Patio doors
  • Storm doors

Your Entry Door Can Make a Great First Impression

Your entry door is the first thing guests see when they come to your house so it needs to be beautiful. You only get one shot at a first impression, so make it count.

Beauty isn’t the only thing that you should be concerned about when it comes to your entry door. Energy efficiency is extremely important as well. Make sure you aren’t losing any of your heat through your entry door.

Since it’s the most obvious entryway to your home, your replacement entry door also needs to be durable. It’s crucial to have an entry door that’s hard to kick in and has a reliable lock.

Burglars look for easy targets. Having a strong entry door makes it more difficult for your home to be victimized.

Protect Your Exterior Doors with Storm Doors

storm door with a dogRockford is known for having harsh winters and heavy precipitation. It’s important to protect your replacement entry door.

That’s the great thing about a storm door:

They create a barrier between your entry door and the outside world. Your entry doors will be protected from rain, snow, hail, heavy winds and extreme temperatures.

Storm doors also make your home more energy efficient. By adding another layer of insulation, it makes it more difficult for outside air to get into your home.

Feldco offers several different types of storm doors to choose from:

  • Spectrum: features top and bottom retractable sashes
  • Deluxe: stylish and cost effective
  • Duraguard: has a heavy-duty stainless steel screen perfect for children and pets
  • Decorator: high quality and durable. Decorator storm doors have many different style choices

There are also features such as kick panels, bottom sweeps and closers that you can look into when buying a storm door.

Kick panels are found on the bottom of your door and add strength to your door. They also resist rust.

Bottom sweeps are found beneath the door. They eliminate drafts and make your storm door more energy efficient.

Closers are used to prevent your storm door from slamming. You can change the tension to determine how slowly or quickly your storm door will close.

Patio Doors are Gorgeous Both Inside and Out

A patio door can improve the look of your home both inside and out. You can make it the centerpiece of any room and it will allow more light to enter your home.

Patio Doors give you a beautiful entryway to your deck or patio that’s sure to impress your friends and family.

sliding patio doorThere are two types of patio doors:

  • Sliding patio doors: they easily slide open and closed on a track. Sliding patio doors maximize the amount of light entering  your home.
  • Swinging patio doors: also known as french patio doors, they swing open and closed. There’s no entryway more elegant than a swinging patio door.

Here’s something to keep in mind:

When getting a swinging patio door, you may need extra room to open them. You can choose the swing direction (they can open into your home or out of your home) but you’ll still need to make room in your home or outside on your patio or deck.

Exterior Doors Can be Made From Different Materials

The material your door is made from can make a huge difference. Some are more sturdy while others are more elegant.

There are three popular materials used to make exterior doors:

  • Wood
  • Steel
  • Fiberglass

Getting an Exterior Door Made From Wood Will Cost You

wood doorWhen you think of an elegant exterior door, you probably think of wood doors. They’re absolutely stunning. Guests will take one look at your replacement wood door and be jealous of its beauty.

Not only do wood doors look good, but they’re also energy efficient. They’ll protect your home from Rockford’s extreme temperatures.

That being said:

Not Everything is Positive with Wood Doors

While they’re beautiful and energy efficient, wood doors are very expensive. And it doesn’t end at installation either.

To keep the gorgeous appearance of a wood door, you’ll need to paint and re-stain them every 3-4 years! Maybe even more frequently due to Rockford’s weather. Whoa, that’s going to add up!

Not only that, but wood doors are prone to warping and rotting. They can also swell and expand to a point where they don’t fit in the door opening correctly anymore.

Do you like bugs? Termites? Carpenter ants? Well they might call your wood door home. They’re attracted to dark, moist areas and love to eat wood.

So despite their beautiful looks and energy efficiency, there are a lot of problems associated with wood doors that can be avoided by using other materials.

Steel Doors are Extremely Sturdy and Will Protect Your Home

steel entry doorIf you’re looking for the most sturdy door on the market, there’s only one answer:

Steel exterior doors.

They’re resistant to fire, weather, warping and cracking. Since they’re also made from 24-gauge steel, they don’t bend or dent either.

Just because they can take a beating doesn’t mean steel doors can’t look great. There are many color and styles options available.

Steel doors are also optimal foam filled. What in the world does that mean?

It means they’re energy efficient thanks to being filled with foam insulation. They’ll protect your home from Rockford’s harsh weather. All of this at a fraction of the price of wood.

You Can Do Anything With Fiberglass Doors

fiberglass exterior doorDo you want the elegant look of wood without the rotting, warping and pesky bugs? Well fiberglass is  your best bet.

There are so many customization options that it’s ridiculous. There are even wood grain look finishes.

Fiberglass doors are also extremely low maintenance. You won’t have to paint and re-stain them like with wood. They don’t warp or rot and their colors won’t fade.

Not only that but they’re foam filled similarly to the steel exterior doors. This makes them energy efficient and perfect for Rockford’s crazy weather.

Don’t Forget Your Add-Ons

Once you’ve picked your replacement exterior door’s style and material, it’s time to start thinking about the add-on hardware.

From more secure locks to beautiful decorations, add-on hardware can take your exterior doors to the next level!

Better Locks Will Make Your Home More Secure

Everyone wants their home to be safer. Adding a lock or improving your current entry door lockset is a sure fire way to make your door more secure.

Your best bet is a deadbolt lock. It locks into the door jam so it’s more sturdy. From the outside, it can only be opened with a key.

You can also look into getting multiple locks for one door. You should consider pairing a deadbolt lock with a knob or handle lock. It gives your home additional protection.

There are also door chains. You screw one piece into the door frame and the other into the door itself. When these two pieces are connected with the chain, the door is forced closed.

There are smart door lock options as well, but we’ll get to that a little later.

Let the Light Shine in with Beautiful Transoms and Sidelites

a door with sidelites and transomsEveryone loves natural light. It beats wasting energy turning on a light.

That’s the great thing about transoms and sidelites – they allow a lot more natural light into your home. What are sidelites and transoms?

A sidelite can be found on either side (or both sides) of your exterior door and are just as tall. It’s a narrow frame with a window (could be a half window or a whole window).

Transoms, on the other hand, are windows that are found above your door. They can be many different shapes such as rectangles, squares or semi-circles.

Decorative Glass is Extremely Eye Catching

Why stop with windows around your door? Get one IN your door!

Decorative glass is a great way to not only allow more light into your home, but it’ll also add a unique touch to your door. There are many different designs, shapes and sizes of glass from which to choose.

Small Hardware Can Give Your Exterior Door a Distinct Look

What falls under small hardware:

  • Knobs/handles: there are different styles and materials available. Most come with locks installed in them
  • Knockers: the function might be obsolete with doorbells, but knockers add a little flair to your exterior door that you can’t get anywhere else
  • Mail slots: much like knockers, the functionality of mail slots is minimal, but they still look pretty nice on your exterior doors

Each of these pieces of hardware might be small, but they can change the entire dynamic of your door.

Get Creative With a New Doorbell

Believe it or not, doorbells can be fun!

You can have a simple chime or you make it more unique. Most new doorbells play jingles and holiday tunes. You even have the option to switch between several different tunes whenever you want.

There are smart doorbell options available as well!

Smart Products Will Bring Your Exterior Doors into the 21st Century

In today’s world, everything can be done from your cell phone. From playing games to writing emails, you phone can do anything.

Did you know that your phone can also control these:

  • Doorbells
  • Locks
  • Security cameras

All of these devices can be paired with apps found on any smart phone or tablet. This allows you to be constantly connected with your house.

The smart door locks allow the door to unlock whenever your phone approaches and locks whenever it’s moving away. You’ll never forget to lock your doors again!

With smart doorbells, you’ll know when your doorbell rings and who’s at your door. No more missing packages!

Many smart security camera systems come with multiple cameras. That means you can put them near all of your entryways. They’re also motion detected so you’ll know if any suspicious movement is going on near them.

Making your home a smart house isn’t only convenient, but it’s also safe. You can constantly monitor your home so no suspicious activity is happening. The app alerts you if anything happens.

Some smart doorbells and locks even have video and audio components. That means you can see and talk to whoever is at your door while you’re away from your door.

Your Best Bet is to Go With a Professional for Installation

two guys installing a doorYou’re probably thinking:

“I’ve got everything, now I can install the replacement door myself.” This can prove to be a costly mistake.

Installing your own entry door isn’t as easy as it looks (and it doesn’t look to easy to begin with). One mistake can cost you a lot of money in damages to the door, the frame and your walls.

Rather than risking it, hire a professional. Most high quality, professional companies see tens of thousands of door installations each year. They’ll be able to install your replacement doors quickly and efficiently, usually in one day.

There’s a Lot to Keep in Mind When Picking an Exterior Door in Rockford

There’s so much to keep in mind when getting a replacement exterior door in Rockford:

  • Are you ready for a replacement door?
  • Is the door you’re looking at energy efficient?
  • The size of your door opening
  • The type of door you need
  • Know what materials make up your door
  • All of the different color and style options that are available
  • Any add-on features that might not be included with your replacement door

If you’re ready for a new replacement exterior door, don’t hesitate to get a free quote from Feldco. We’ll make sure we help you with anything you need.

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