Door Repair or Door Replacement: Which Service is Right for Your Home?

With more than 120 million households in America, there are at least that many doors across the country.

Doors play a crucial role in all buildings but especially in homes. In the simplest form, doors add safety, access, and protection to a space. However, they also provide much-needed privacy and separation, and add to the aesthetic of a home. In many cases, a door can be a central design feature.

When there is an issue with a door, it's hard to know if you should try to fix the problem or just replace it altogether. We've put together an easy guide to help you decide if door repair or replacement is the right choice for you!

Level of Damage

One of the biggest deciding factors in the repair or replacement debate is how much damage the door in question has.

Clearly, if there is too much damage the door can't be repaired and will have to be replaced altogether. Before taking the time to make repairs, it is best to complete a thorough investigation of the whole door for any hidden damage.

One area that often gets overlooked for damage is the door frame. Damage can happen to a frame if it gets hit, which often happens when moving furniture or other larger objects through the door. It's common for these issues with the frame to eventually cause issues with the door itself.

If the frame gets warped too badly it can make it difficult to close properly and you may experience some sticking or jamming. While this can cause a lot of frustration for a homeowner, it can also be unsafe.

The threshold, hardware, and hinges are also areas that are commonly damaged in the daily use of a door. But, like the frame, it can be forgotten until the problem is large. Small repairs such as replacing weatherstripping, caulking, and door sweeps may be a simple fix for a door that leaks air or water.

While it's much more effective to stay on top of damage and make minor repairs as the damage occurs, this isn’t always possible. Fixing minor repairs can reduce the risk of much larger issues in the future.

Budget Available

A second consideration to make in this decision is the budget you have available for these improvements.

There are different costs involved in both courses of action, but one isn't necessarily more expensive than the other in every situation. It all depends on exactly what needs to be done and what materials are used.

It's helpful to write out exactly what will be required for each option to get an accurate estimate of costs. From here, you’ll be able to make an educated decision based on what will fit your budget best.

If repair is the route being taken, you will need to factor in all of the materials that will be used in the repair. This includes any specialty tools that you may need to purchase.

The replacement may seem more straightforward in terms of budget, but you'll have to make sure that you factor in all of the new hardware, thresholds, and tools needed for that job as well.

Both options would also benefit from professional help to make sure that the job gets done correctly to prevent further damage. A handyman service will likely have an hourly rate that should be factored into the total.

Budget is a very personal aspect of a project and varies with every situation. Taking an individualized look at what you want to spend on this door problem can help you decide what to do.

Materials Used

A big factor in the breakdown of the budget will be the material that the door is made of. This will affect both the repair and replacement costs.

Doors are made of all kinds of materials; wood, glass, steel, fiberglass, and vinyl to name a few. Each of these ranges in price when looking for a new door. Typically, the most expensive will be solid wood and the least expensive is a hollow-core door.

The material used in a door will also have a major effect on whether or not you can repair the damage done to a door.

Repairing a wooden door will likely be a relatively easy project, like filling a scratch or crack. It will likely have very positive results and can look good as new. But a dent in a steel door will be much harder to fix if it is even possible at all.

The material that is used in making the door is also a very important thing to pay attention to if you do decide to replace it. Finding a door material that will hold up and fit your home’s functional needs is crucial to the longevity of the purchase.

Scope of Skills Necessary

In the age of DIY that we live in, it can be tempting to think that you can handle any kind of repair. However, if you are lacking the necessary skills and tools, you can end up causing even more damage by going DIY.

Repairing or replacing a door requires quite a bit of technical skill to get it done right.

When you choose to repair a door, the ultimate goal is to not be able to tell that you did the work to repair it. The imperfection should completely disappear. This also means that you have to go about the project in just the right way, have patience, and do it right the first time.

In addition to proper skills, it is recommended to have the proper team in place. In most cases, it will take 2 people to properly hang the door. The way one's door is hung is critical to preventing further damage and making sure it works properly. When the door is hung incorrectly it can be frustrating and difficult to fix.

Before you start your project you should take a critical look at what you'll really be able to handle and what you won't. You don't want to pick an option only to realize that you can't handle it in the middle.

Hiring a door repair service professional to handle these kinds of projects is an excellent option. They will have the experience and skills to get the jobs done right, whichever you choose.

Looking into what it will take to get the job done can be helpful in deciding which option is best for your situation.

Placement of Door

There are doors in all kinds of places in our homes; exterior, shower, bedroom, bathroom, and others. Each of these has different functions and needs. It's important to consider this when deciding if you should replace the door or not.

An exterior door is extremely important for the safety of the home. The front door is where 34% of burglars enter a home.

When a front door becomes damaged it can pose a great threat to the overall security of the home. Depending on the type of damage, it may be better to replace the door altogether to ensure protection.

This is especially true when the damage has affected the way that the door can close or latch. That aspect of the door needs to be fully intact, and repair jobs often won't return them to full use.

For interior doors, there isn't as much of a safety aspect to look out for. Repairs on interior doors can often fix the problem enough to be fully functioning and meet needs.

Desired Aesthetic

Sometimes a door just doesn't fit your style, and you simply want to change it to make it fit the overall look of the house better.

This can sometimes be achieved through repairs. Maybe a change in color could do the trick and painting can give you the desired outcome. In some cases, adding molding to add some decorative elements could make a difference.

Sometimes there's just nothing that can be done to make your door fit your look. At that point, you just need to replace your door.

There are all kinds of doors available that fit a wide variety of styles. With a little bit of research, you'll be able to find just the right door to fit your aesthetic.

Door Repair Process

The actual repair process for a door depends completely on the damage that has been done.

First, you'll need to assess the damage. As we've talked about, this is the most critical step in deciding whether you should attempt to repair or not. This step should also be used to investigate the cause of the damage as well.

Once you've figured out the damage and the cause, then you can create a plan to deal with it. It's important to try to be as thorough as possible when making your plan.

This is the time for research to make sure that you'll make the repairs correctly. The research can be done either by talking to a professional, getting advice from someone who has done this kind of project already, or finding a tutorial to follow.

After you've made your comprehensive plan, you can move forward to collect the supplies.

Making sure you have all the supplies you might need before you start the project will ensure it goes smoothly. This includes tools, materials, and any clean-up supplies as well. It's also important to make sure that you gather quality supplies in order to get a quality result.

Finally comes the actual repair work. If you follow the plan that you've carefully put together, you should get the desired result.

Sometimes things don't go according to plan in DIY projects, so having some options and flexibility can be helpful. A key to successful repairs is to be thorough and patient. The repair may take time but you don't want to rush and be sloppy.

Repairing a door can be so satisfying when it comes together how you want it to.

Door Replacement Process

Sometimes a door repair just isn't an option and it needs to be replaced altogether. This requires a whole different process than repairing.

Replacing a door by yourself is moderately difficult and you may want to consider hiring a professional to do the job. The precise nature of the job and the weight of the door make it difficult.

In order for a door to function properly, it needs to be hung straight and square. This will allow the hinges to fully open and close as they were designed. Even a little skew can make it so the door hits the frame and won't latch.

If you decide to replace a door, whether by yourself or with professional help, you'll need to follow this basic process.

First will be finding the new, replacement door. The main thing to keep in mind with this step is to make sure the new door is the right size to fit the space.

Once you have the new door, it's time to hang it! This is done by screwing the hinges into both the frame in the wall and the door. It's not a complicated process but does require you to hold the door at the same time, so two people are best.

Replacing a door can change the whole look, feel, and functionality of a space. It's a big difference for a small project.

Moving Forward

Doors can be overlooked in a home but we use them multiple times throughout any typical day.

When they're working properly, we hardly notice them. As soon as there's a problem with them, it can be a source of great frustration. Luckily, it's usually an easy fix to get a door back in working order through either door repair or replacement.

If you're looking for more information or need help with your doors, contact Mr. Handyman of Frisco today!