Exterior Door Repair or Replacement: Which One Does Your Home Need?

If your home is your castle, your front door is the drawbridge—your first line of defense against intruders, and the first point of contact for welcome guests. That's why it's so important for exterior doors to look their best, but also be capable of protecting your home.

When your entryways suffer damage and begin to look worse-for-wear, it's time to consider exterior door repair or replacement—but which one is necessary for your home? Would a few small repairs be sufficient, or does a brand-new door need to be installed?

This guide will go over some situations where all you need is exterior door repair services from My Handyman of Ann Arbor, Saline, and Chelsea, and five signs that you need us to replace it entirely. Either way, you can rely on our service professionals for quality workmanship and outstanding customer care.

When You Should Choose Exterior Door Repair

When it comes to entryways—and many other handyman tasks, for that matter—the question of whether to repair or replace is a very common one. It basically comes down to the extent of the damage. For minor issues, it makes sense to get cost-effective repairs. But if the damage is more severe or there are multiple problems, repairs could be more expensive and time-consuming than replacement, and in that case it clearly makes more sense to install a new entry. Issues our repair professionals can take care of without needing to replace everything include:

  • Peeling paint or wood stain: We'll take care of unsightly peeling or flaking finish by sanding, applying a new coat of paint, and sealing to protect against water damage. This is a problem that should be taken care of sooner rather than later because damaged finish leaves the material underneath vulnerable to decay.

  • Rust or corrosion: If there are small spots of rust on a metal door, it can likely be taken care of with repair, but if it's covered in large patches of rust, it will need replacement.

  • Hinges are loose: When hinges have loosened up but the frame and door are still in good shape, the hinges can be tightened or replaced while keeping the rest of the structure.

  • Hinges are squeaky: Your handyman can solve this simple problem with lubrication, or the hinge itself may need to be replaced if it's rusty.

  • Holes or rips in screen: While a damaged screen will need to be taken out and a new one installed, screen repair doesn't require the entire screen door to be replaced.

  • Degraded weather stripping: If the weather stripping around your entry is coming loose or falling apart, your handyman can replace just the stripping to keep moisture and drafts out.

  • Imperfections on door: Minor cosmetic issues can usually be repaired without the need for a new installation—a fresh coat of paint may be all that's required.

5 Signs Your Exterior Door Needs Replacement

From curb appeal to protection against wildlife damage and home intruders, your exterior doors have a lot to offer—as long as they're in good condition. Here are the telltale signs that repair isn't going to cut it and your entry needs to be replaced.

1. Air Drafts

Do you feel a chilly draft coming from your entry, even when it's closed? Any signs of energy-wasting air leaks should be dealt with right away—they're making your home uncomfortable, but they're also lowering the energy efficiency of your home by forcing your HVAC system to work harder, which increases your utility bill. The problem could be that the slab has shrunk, the frame has warped, or it wasn't properly fitted to begin with, and in any of those scenarios, a new installation is the effective option to restore your comfort and lower your energy costs.

2. Rotting Wood

Exterior entries, or at least the frames, are often made of timber, and that means they are particularly vulnerable to wood rot. That's because it's a form of decay that attacks timber with a high moisture content, and exterior home elements are constantly battered by rough weather. Soft wood on a rotten door frame or on the actual door leads to air drafts and other water damage issues that can spread to the interior of your house.

3. Difficulty Opening and Closing

Your entry should swing open-and-shut with almost no effort, so if you have to push and shove to move it, that's a problem. It could be related to poor door installation, or shifting and settling of the house over time that has caused the frame to warp out of alignment—and in that case, replacement makes the most sense because the whole frame needs to be taken out so the alignment issues can be corrected.

4. Foggy Window

When a window is foggy because of condensation trapped between the panes, you need window replacement—and if that window happens to be in a door, you need to replace the entire entry. There is a glass window repair service that can remove the condensation, but it's temporary and not cost-effective, so replacement is a better choice to save yourself some money and a lot of frustration.

5. Vandalism Damage

If you've had the unpleasant experience of arriving home to find someone has damaged your door in an attempted break-in, you likely have some big concerns about getting your house secure and safe again. If it's only a broken lock, repair may be possible. But if there's crowbar or blunt force damage to the frame or entry itself, a full replacement will give you back your peace of mind. Your handyman can also install extra security features if needed.

Trust My Handyman for Exterior Door Repair and Expert Door Installation

Whether you're in Ann Arbor or a nearby community such as Ypsilanti, Milan, or Whitmore Lake, you can rely on My Handyman of Ann Arbor, Saline, and Chelsea for quality workmanship and superior customer service.

Give us a call today at 734-666-3021 to chat with our friendly office staff. We'd love the opportunity to offer some expert advice so you can make an informed decision about the care of your property.