First impressions are everything. So think about the statement your home’s front door will make. Before investing in a new door, here are three key factors to consider.

DOORS

1. Material Matters. Take into account a door’s heft, its ability to withstand harsh elements, and protect against potential break-ins. “Since the first thing guests touch is your door, if it feels substantial, that conveys ‘quality’ and this reflects on the entire house,” says Carol Simmons, owner of Jennifer’s Glassworks.

2. The Energy X-factor. The National Fenestration Rating Council helps shoppers compare energy performance ratings, which helps save money. Look for low Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) and U-factor ratings (less than 0.8). SHGC measures how well a product resists heat from the sun and the U-factor measures how well the door prevents heat from escaping.

3. Light It Up. If you desire a well-lit entryway, glass is your best choice. Frosted varieties ensure privacy, while transparent options let in more sunlight. Don’t forget exterior lighting to accentuate your new investment!

 

Craftsman-Style Mahogany door with 15 individual panes of glass | t-Olive Properties

This Craftsman-style Sapele Mahogany Door ($2,500) was part of a custom build by t-Olive Properties. Specifically chosen to complement the adjacent mullions, the 15 individual panes of glass in the door let in plenty of light. tOliveProperties.com

The homeowners chose this energy efficient Fiberglass Provia Signet Door with sidelights ($4,000 and up) by Davis Window and Door for a maintenance-free wood look-a-like that won’t warp or crack. DavisWin.com

Hand Forged Wrought Iron Entry System with Full Lite glass by Jennifer's Glassworks

Jennifer’s Glassworks provided this Hand Forged Wrought Iron Entry System ($4,800 to $6,800) with Full Lite glass to a homeowner who desired security, light, and a well-made door. JennifersGlassworks.com

 

 

WINDOWS

Now that you’re equipped with what to look for in a door, take a peek at your windows. Attention to detail can make all the difference.

1. Choose a Style. Picture, Casement, or Double Hung, select a window that is cohesive with the architectural vision of your home and your needs for ventilation and view.

2. Go Green. Aside from the major energy savings you can reap from updating windows (up to 30 percent), consider the frame’s material. While a popular choice, vinyl is more difficult to produce and recycle than wood or aluminum frames.

3. The Right Call for Install. If not balanced, insulated properly, and secured, leaks and damage can occur, making the best window worthless. Have your installer walk you through the process and check their credentials on the
American Window and Door Institute’s website, AWDI.com.

Marvin Ultimate Double Hung Next Generation Window

AVI Windows and Doors takes pride in these Marvin Ultimate Double Hung Next Generation Windows featuring an automatic locking system. A wooden frame provides additional insulation to prevent drafts and its aluminum covering ensures minimal upkeep. AVIWindowsAndDoors.com

Energy-efficient Picture Windows

Pinnacle Elite Windows are some of the most energy-efficient double pane windows on the market. Pinnacle Home Improvements reports that homeowners tend to save 30 to 40 percent on their utility bill after the install of these Picture windows. PinnacleHomeImprovements.com

Casement Windows - Lowe E 3 glass

Casement windows from North Georgia Replacement Windows are hinged on the side and can swing out to the right or the left, eliminating the meeting bar in the middle.
The option of adding laminated
Low E-3 glass reinforces the strength of the glass and can reduce noise and protect against harmful ultraviolet rays.
NGWindows.com

 

SIDING

Nothing complements new windows like a fresh coat of paint or enhanced siding. Achieve the best overall look for your home with these tips.

1. Protect from Pests. Looking to prevent termite damage? Consider fiber cement siding, which doesn’t rot or allow animals to burrow through. There are also special paint coverings like Rhino Shield Ceramic Coating, that deter the same critters.

2. Built to Last. With constant wear and tear to your home’s exterior, paint and siding choices that resist fading and expand and contract are key. Check for warranties that cover at least five years.

3. Color Coordinate. While your home should be about you, take note of the houses around you. Stay in the same color spectrum to avoid looking like the odd man out.

 

ROOF AND GUTTERS

Your roof and gutters complete the exterior picture showcased by your doors, windows, and siding. Finish off your ideal look with the following in mind.

1. Pitch Perfect. The pitch of your roof will determine what styles are available to you. If you have a flat, nearly flat, or low-slope roof, shingles, shakes, and metal roofing are not an option. Opt for gravel or asphalt instead.

2. Tame the Drain. Consider easy-to-clean low-maintenance gutters with coverings or debris catchers that allow for proper drainage.

3. Low-cost Longevity. Experts suggest selecting aluminum gutters for their lengthy life span and affordable pricing. Vinyl often needs repair and copper prices can skyrocket quickly.