By G. M. Filisko, contributing writer, HouseLogic
Sellers who replace their front door may get a full return on their investment or even turn a profit from the increase in their home’s value, according to Remodeling Magazine’s most recent annual Cost vs. Value Report. A new door will also boost their home’s curb appeal—and may even be eligible for a tax credit to boot.
Help sellers sift through their front-door options—steel, fiberglass, or wood—with tips now available in the June “Exterior Upgrades” package of articles at the REALTOR® Content Resource. Here are some of the pros and cons of steel doors:
1. If you’re looking to save money, a steel door may be a good choice, particularly if you have the skills to hang it yourself. A simple, unadorned steel door can sell for as little as $150 (not including hardware, lock set, paint, or labor) and typically runs as much as $400 at big-box retailers. Steel offers the strongest barrier against intruders, although its advantage over fiberglass and wood in this area is slight.
2. Replacing your entry door with a steel model actually reaps a profit in added home value. Remodeling Magazine estimates the total project cost of installing a 20-gauge steel door at about $1,200—and the project, on average, returns about 129% of cost or $1,400.
3. The attractive cost of a steel door comes with an important caveat: Its typical life span under duress is shorter than either fiberglass or wood. A steel door exposed to salt air or heavy rains may last only five to seven years, according to Bob Bossard, general manager of 84 Lumber in Clarksville, Del. Despite steel’s reputation for toughness, it actually didn’t perform well in Consumer Reports testing against wood and fiberglass for normal wear and tear.
4. With heavy use, a steel door may dent, and the damage can be difficult and expensive to repair. If your door will be heavily exposed to traffic or the elements, you may be better off choosing a different material.
You’ll also find tips on landscaping for curb appeal, achieving the perfect paint job, low-maintenance lawn alternatives, and outdoor lighting for curb appeal and safety at the REALTOR® Content Resource, in the “Exterior Upgrades” package.
The REALTOR® Content Resource, the new tool brought to you by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, is an exclusive NAR member benefit that entitles you to download free homeownership content to your consumer Web site, blog, or e-newsletter. HouseLogic is the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS’® no-topic-left-uncovered consumer Web site geared to helping homeowners make smart decisions to maintain, protect, and increase the value of their home.