The Facts About Door Installation: What You Need to Know

Published on: March 07, 2024

Exterior door replacement is a fast way to increase your curb appeal, decrease your energy bills and make your home more comfortable. But you’ll want to ensure you use professional door installation and the surrounding area to protect your Washington home.

New doors are expensive so you want to be sure you’re getting the best materials and installation work to make the investment well worth it. Here’s what you need to know before hiring a contractor in your area.

Selecting a Door

Choosing the best door for your home will vary depending on your unique circumstances. Here’s a look at what to expect throughout the process.

1. Door Only or Door-frame Combos

The first step is working with your contractor to select a door. This starts with assessing the existing frame to see if it is still structurally sound and doing its job to protect your home and keep it comfortable. If the frame is still in good shape and you don’t want or need to change the size of the opening, you can get a replacement door. But if the fame is leaking air and reducing your home’s energy efficiency, you’ll need a frame-door combo. 

In most cases, older homes require the full set to be replaced. While the cost will be higher, it also gives you more options for what you use to replace your door.

2. Door Materials

Once you know what type of door you need, you’re ready to decide on a material. Here’s a look at your options.

  • Wood: these doors look great and you can stain or paint them any color you want. Staining will preserve the look of the wood but also allow you to get a shade that goes with your home and creates outstanding curb appeal. Alternatively, if you want a pop of color or something neutral, you can paint the door. Homes without an overhang are not great for wood doors though unless you have a storm door. That’s because they will likely face damage from the heavy rains we experience in Washington. Additionally, you’ll get more sun fade without a storm door if you don’t have an overhang.
  • Steel: these doors feature a foam-insulated core with a wood or steel frame. They are then wrapped with heavy galvanized steel. You can get them with a fake wood-grain pattern to look like a stained wood door if that’s your style preference. Or, you can go with a smooth-painted appearance. The setback to these doors is that they can rust when exposed to the elements. And you might get dents in your door. 
  • Fiberglass: much like steel doors, these can have wood or steel frames. They are foam-insulated and then clad in fiberglass. These doors do not dent or rust. Fiberglass doors are challenging to make look like wood though, which limits your design options. 
  • Aluminum: if you’re on a tight budget, these will be the most affordable door types. Plus, they are maintenance-free. Depending on the manufacturer, most doors come with a 20-30-year warranty. The setback to these doors is that they dent easily. Homeowners frequently use aluminum doors for side or rear doors for this reason. That way, your main entrance where you welcome guests stays looking great.

Allow the Professionals to Do It

3. Door Style Options

Your home’s style will dictate the type of door you select for your home. But even within one home style, you’ll find there are several options that could work for your front door. 

  • Barn: this style offers modern country charm as it originates from the Netherlands countryside. You might hear these doors also called double-hung, halve, dutch, split, dairy or stable doors.
  • Wood paneled: with a slightly rustic feel, these doors are often modern and the paneling can go in any direction to create the appearance you want. They’ll look good with modern or contemporary homes depending on how you outfit them. Homes that have some wood paneling in other places will look especially good with these doors as they carry the appearance throughout the façade.
  • Modern: while the name of this style makes it sound like it only goes on the most modern architecture homes, that isn’t truly the case. Instead, they’ll look good on contemporary homes as well as midcentury modern. With large panes of glass, they’ll also let in radiant natural light to warm the inside appearance of your home. For an especially modern appearance, use a bright color for this door type.
  • Etched glass: unique and elegant characterize this door type. The class can be etched or frosted based on your preference. You’ll get natural light inside but also still have plenty of privacy in your home.
  • Modern farmhouse: with a double front door style, you’ll get the most natural light possible in your home while making it simpler to bring in large pieces of furniture or that massive Christmas tree you’ve always dreamed of. Most designers prefer neutral colors on these doors. They work well in farmhouse-style homes when you want to use sleek lines.
  • Craftsman: homeowners who want a more decorative door opt for a craftsman door because they feature unique molding. 
  • Traditional doors: these often feature side glass on one or both sides. It works well in a variety of home styles, making it an extremely versatile and appealing door to a variety of people.
  • Ornate: when you want the front door to be the focal point of your home, you go with something more ornate, perhaps with special glass panels. Stained glass can really shine here when put alongside some embellishments and a classic color.
Door installation

4. Energy Efficiency Rating

A final factor you may want to consider is the door’s energy efficiency. Much like windows, doors come with a variety of markings that tell you how well they’ll keep your treated air in and the outside air out. Fiberglass doors are often the best-insulated option, but the manufacturer and door design will play a role in how good the door is. Make sure the door is well-installed with no gaps or poor glass. Watch your weather stripping for signs it is time to replace it to keep your energy-efficient door doing its job.

5. Security

All those glass panels on doors can be beautiful. But they can also reduce the security your door provides. Get the best hardware for your door to ensure good locks. The strongest, most secure door type is heavy-duty steel but without the right hardware, these doors are just as susceptible to break-ins as any other door model. 

Should I Install My Doors Myself?

Most homeowners are not equipped to complete a door-frame combo replacement. However, if all you need is a new door and you have someone who could help you with the lifting and aligning parts of the replacement, you might be able to do it yourself. Just be sure you read up on weatherstripping and ensuring a proper fit for the hardware to protect your home from the elements and intruders.

Generally, it’s best to hire experts for exterior door replacement. That way, you know you have a good fit and adequate home protection. Plus, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you could dent or damage the paint on your door, which will reduce its curb appeal.

2FL Windows, Siding and Roofing offers door installation throughout the greater Seattle area. Contact us now to get started to protect your home and improve its curb appeal.

Further Reading:


  1. […] and every family’s budget! Since 2002, the team at our locally-owned business has been providing expert doors installation and exceptional customer service to Washington residents. We’re proud to have earned the trust of […]

  2. […] of a centimeter, your door will not be able to do its job properly. The reliable and trusted door installation experts at 2FL Windows & Siding have been extensively trained—they can measure, manufacture, […]

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