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Street view of a TruStile Cape Cod Front Door in Hazelnut color with a four-column entry way.

Unlocking the Perfect Entry: Crafting Your Ideal Front Door Replacement

Thinking about a front door replacement project for your home? There are many types, styles, and design options to consider. Your front door plays a big part in your home’s curb appeal. Here are some things to think about when looking for a new entry door.  

Why You Should Replace Your Front Door

Knowing when to replace a front door can start you on your way to finding a new door for your home. Signs you need to replace your front door include:

  • Broken Door Lock: You can replace a broken door lock but if it doesn’t lock for another reason you could need a new front door. Some doors can warp over time to prevent them from locking tight. A warped front door can also lead to drafts and mean it’s time for a new front door.

  • Damaged Front Door: A damaged front door isn’t only an eyesore, it’s potential safety issue. Doors with broken glass, holes, and significant dents need immediate repair or replacement.

  • Front Door Scratches + Dents: A dented front door can open up paths for air to leak, which can decrease your home’s energy efficiency. Scratches on metal doors can expose the surface to rust. Rust can affect the integrity of a front door. Extensive front door rust can mean entry door replacement.

  • Loose Door Hinges: Door hinges need regular lubrication for proper operation. But if you have trouble opening a front door after lubricating the hinges, it could mean you need a new front door. Doors with loose hinges can mean the door has become out of alignment with the door jamb. If that’s the case, you might have to replace the door.

  • Front Door Hard to Open and Close: Doors can warp or swell over time to make them difficult to open and close. Houses settle over time and it can make opening entry doors tougher.

  • Water Leaking Through Front Door: Water issues with wood doors can lead to rot and mold issues. If you notice water spots on your wood door, you could need to replace it. Moisture between glass panes on a front door can mean condensation. If you noticed condensation between glass panes, it could mean the seal has failed. When a seal fails, the inert, non-toxic, insulating gas has started to escape. The gas fill helps block heat from entering a home.

  • Drafty Front Door: If you notice a whistling sound near your front door on windy days, chances are you have a drafty front door. A drafty front door means air leaking into your home. Any air leakage impacts your home’s energy efficiency. A new entry door can reduce air leaks to help make your home comfortable.

  • Front Door Wood Rot: Wood entry doors that suffer water damage need replacement. Water can soften wood and compromise the integrity of the door over time.

  • Insect Damage: In some parts of the country, pests can damage front doors. If the infestation gets bad enough, it can mean a new door. Insects can eat away at wood doors to a point where the frame can’t support it anymore.

Aside from the obvious signs to replace a front door, you might want to refresh your home's style with a new front door. Your front door style can fall out of fashion and make your home look dated. A front door replacement project ranks toward the top of remodeling projects that hold their value at resale, according to Remodeling Magazine.

Types of Front Doors

When it comes to replacing a front door there are two types of replacement entry doors: pre-hung and slab. The types of exterior doors differ in what’s included with them. A Marvin Replacement design consultant can determine which type of door you need.

Pre-Hung vs. Slab Doors

A pre-hung entry door includes the door frame. The door is already hung on the hinges within a new frame. A pre-hung front door works well if you’re replacing an older door with an old frame. Pre-hung doors include thresholds and weatherstripping.

Slab doors include only the door. Slab entry doors do not have the frame included. They do not come with hinges. Some slab doors have holes drilled for door knobs, but some do not. Slab entry doors can cost less than pre-hung front doors.

Choosing the Right Front Door Material

Entry door replacement materials include: wood, fiberglass, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), aluminum, and steel. Marvin Replacement offers wood entry doors from TruStile®, a Marvin® brand.

Wood Front Doors

Wood doors have traditional appeal and design flexibility. TruStile has two wood front door systems: the Resilient™ Wood Entry System and the Reserve™ Wood Entry System. Resilient Wood Entry System doors come painted. Reserve Wood Entry System doors feature stained natural wood. You can choose from 10 natural wood species with Reserve.

Fiberglass Front Doors

Fiberglass entry doors appeal to homeowners because of their strength and energy efficiency. Some fiberglass doors can even mimic the look of wood doors with finish options. The strength of fiberglass doors makes them resistant to most dents and scratches. They also need next-to-zero maintenance.

Aluminum Front Doors

Aluminum entry doors have durability that homeowners like, plus they’re light weight. You can customize aluminum door colors. They aren’t as energy efficient as other door materials. Aluminum conducts energy well. That means heat can transfer through it easier than other materials.

Steel Front Doors

Steel entry doors have outstanding strength. They can look like wood doors if they have an embossed wood grain. They can also have an inner wood frame to improve energy efficiency. But steel can suffer from dents and scratches. Scratches can lead to future rust should water enter the scratched area.

Design Trends in Entry Doors

Front door trends can change from year to year but some ideas have remained on trend for the past several years.

  • Natural Materials: Sustainable materials remain on the minds of homeowners. As does energy efficiency. Wood front doors still hold wide appeal.

  • Smart Technology: Smart locks continue to grow in popularity. Meanwhile smart glass options have gained the attention of homeowners.

Exterior view of a TruStile Resilient Entry System in Modern Farmhouse style.

Bold Colors

Bold colors fit particularly well with contemporary homes. But the right splash of color can liven up older homes, too.

Exterior view of a brown front door with transom window on white house.

Bigger Doors

Many homes have adopted wide doors and double doors to create bigger entry ways. A bigger front door can help make a home look larger from the curb, too.

Craftsman Front Door in White

Clean Lines

A busy front door can distract. Home designs have adopted a more straightforward design. Doors that include grids add architectural appeal and maintain continuity.

Decorative Glass/Sidelites/Transoms

Natural light remains on trend for entry doors because it provides warmth. You can add natural light with transom and sidelite windows with your front door.  Marvin Replacement also has decorative glass options to maintain privacy and add light. The window glass you select can impact how sunshine enters your home.

Door Hardware

The type of front door handle you choose can add style to the design of the door. A front door handle should complement your door and home style.

Customization Options for Front Doors

You can customize replacement front doors to suit your home’s architecture. Transoms and sidelites are one way to customize a front door. You can also consider your home’s trim to complement your front door color. TruStile features more than 80 entry systems across eight architectural styles.

Front Door Colors

You can paint or replace a front door if you want a new entry door color. You can paint some front door materials, but you can’t paint other materials. Knowing how to pick a front door color can help you decide the best option for your front door. The color you choose affects your curb appeal. It should complement your home’s exterior color scheme.

Importance of Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency matters with your home, especially with your front door. Some entry door materials have better insulating value than others. The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) estimates the average American household spends between $1,500 and $2,500 a year on energy bills. About 45% of that goes toward heating and cooling costs. Your doors and windows can make an impact with that. It makes considering energy efficiency important when picking a front door. Numbers like Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) can let you know how well a door can resist unwanted solar radiation. The radiation can cause your home to heat regardless of outside temperatures, according to the NFRC.

How to Buy a Front Door

A front door buying guide can help you learn how to buy a front door. Buying guides can also inform you on the best places to buy doors and get an idea of front door replacement costs. You can begin your search by finding doors you like, setting a budget, and then working with an expert.

  • Inspiration: You can search online for different front door styles and designs for ideas.

  • Explore Options: Once you have an idea of the look you want, start browsing different entry door manufacturers. You can also find out the different types of entry door materials you want.

  • Set a Budget: Establishing a door budget will help narrow your search. It'll ensure you get the door you want for a price you’re comfortable paying.

  • Work with an Expert: As you near a decision, visiting with an expert can answer any questions you have left. A Marvin Replacement design consultant can provide expert advice so you’re confident with your decision.


Can a front door be replaced without replacing the frame?

Yes, you can replace a front door without replacing the frame. A slab front door does not include a frame. If you’re interested in a new front door but don’t want the hassle of installation, let Marvin Replacement help. We handle every detail of a front door replacement—from consultation to installation.

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