How To Choose Between Door Replacement and Door Repair in West Knoxville

A handyman using a power drill to repair the strike plate for the latching mechanism of a residential door.
Doors are no doubt a pretty important part of your house — without them, you would have to crawl through a window to get in and out, and that sounds inconvenient. All jokes aside, your exterior doors do a lot for your home, and it's not just about strolling through with ease. They are the first point of contact for guests, and the first line of defense against unwelcome intruders, whether they are humans or insects.

They also contribute to your home's energy efficiency and enhance curb appeal — as long as they are in good condition. When your entryways are in serious need of door repair, they have the opposite effect of driving up costs on your utility bill, making your home look run down and unattractive. It also offers inadequate protection against everything from intruders to excess moisture.

If your entryways fall into the latter category, you need an expert door repair service or possibly a complete replacement. The skilled technicians at Mr. Handyman of West Knoxville have dealt with numerous door repairs and installations for exterior and interior in West Knoxville and nearby areas. So you can rely on our team of West Knoxville handyman professionals for experienced, high-quality workmanship and outstanding customer service.

Do I Need More Than Door Repair in West Knoxville?

Our service technicians hear the old "repair or replace" question pretty frequently, and in our experience, it comes down to the extent of the damage. If there are smaller issues like cosmetic or mostly surface-related damage, it makes perfect sense to have your handyman do a few minor repairs to get your door back in excellent shape, so it will continue protecting your home for years to come. But if the damage is severe or widespread, a total replacement might be more cost-effective than exterior door repair (or interior, for that matter).

Repairing major damage or many instances of minor damage is time-consuming, and the result will probably still not look or function like a new door. That might be fine for some parts of your property, but your exterior entries provide some crucial services, and it pays to have them in ideal condition.

Signs You Need Door Repair in West Knoxville

Not sure which solution is best for your entryway? Here are some clear symptoms that indicate door repair services are needed.

  • Rust or Other Signs of Corrosion: If there are small spots of rust dotting a metal door here and there, you can likely remove them fairly easily, and your entry will look great again after a coat of rust-resistant paint, but if corrosion is extensive, it will need replacement.
  • Torn Screen: Is your screen ripped or riddled with holes? Luckily, this is a relatively simple screen or storm door repair — your handyman can remove a screened slab from its hinges and then remove the old, damaged screen and replace it without having to get rid of your entire unit.
  • Loose Hinges: If your entry shifts or rattles on its hinges, you might only need to re-secure the screws that hold the hinges in place. However, it may be a bigger problem if the hinges are loose because they are attached to rotted wood.
  • Squeaky Hinges: Screeeeeeeech! If you hear an unpleasant squeaking noise when you open or close your entryway, your handyman can fix it with some lubrication or replace the hinges if they are rusty.
  • Peeling Paint or Wood Stain: Our team will take care of this unsightly problem by sanding, applying a new coat of paint or wood stain, and sealing to make the unit more resistant to water damage. Peeling paint is an early symptom of moisture damage, so it should be taken care of as soon as possible because it leaves the entry vulnerable to further damage such as wood rot.
  • Damaged or Missing Weatherstrip: If the weatherstrip that seals the gap between the edge of your door and the frame is deteriorated or missing altogether, there is nothing to stop air drafts from coming into your home. Your West Knoxville handyman will remove the remnants of the old weather strip and get a new one installed.
  • Imperfections Such as Scuffs: Small cosmetic imperfections can usually be dealt with quickly. Cleaning and a new coat of paint may be all that is required to get the door looking new again.

Looking for more ways to improve curb appeal and property value for your West Knoxville home? Check out 12 benefits of pressure washing for your home or business.

Can You Replace a Front Door, But Not the Frame?

Yes, it is possible to replace just your actual door and not the frame — as long as the existing frame, which is also called a jamb, is in solid shape and not "out of square." That means the jamb is warped and no longer in alignment with the house, which can be caused by the house shifting and settling over time, or forceful damage to the unit from being kicked in.

The problem with replacing just the part that swings open and shut and not the frame is that it can be a lot more difficult than you think to get a new entry perfectly aligned with an old jamb. You would need to purchase an entry that does not already have hinge cutouts, and then your handyman would have to cut the door in the correct spot to make room for the hinges. That is possible, but it is definitely a job for a professional who has installed entries before and knows what they are doing.

How to Tell If You Need Replacement Instead of Door Repair in West Knoxville

Is the damage to your entryway more extensive or severe than the issues we described before? In that case, door repair is probably not the most cost-effective option. Here are some signs that indicate your home in West Knoxville needs to skip right past door repair and get your handyman to install a new unit.

Rotten Wood

Wood rot is a form of decay caused by fungi that thrive in damp timber. Since the rain constantly batters your entryway, wooden doors are particularly vulnerable to rotting. Wood rot may look like soft, crumbly, spongy, or discolored patches on wood. Once the wood has rotted, there is no way to restore it to its former condition, and needs to be replaced. The only exception is if there are some tiny patches of rot, your handyman may be able to scrape out the rotten parts and fill the holes in with epoxy wood filler. However, that area will still be vulnerable to rot and should be monitored carefully.

Cold Drafts

If you feel air drafts coming in through a closed entry, or worse, see visible light around the edges of a closed door, it is likely due to a deteriorated frame or a jamb that is "out of square" and has been warped by house settling. That is a bad sign because it means your house is not energy efficient, and you are paying a lot more than necessary to keep it heated or cooled to your preferred temperature.

Difficult to Open and Close

Do you have to push, shove, pull, and heave to get your entry open and closed? It shouldn't be like that. This particular problem usually indicates an alignment issue, where the door jamb is quite old and has been warped over time, or it isn't that old but was not installed correctly. Either way, it is an inconvenience that can damage other parts of your house, such as the floor, if it is being scraped.

Condensation Trapped Between Glass Panes

If you have any entryway that includes a window, you may encounter a problem where the window becomes foggy because condensation is trapped between the panes of glass. This is a particular problem with patio door glass, but it can also apply to French doors or any entry that has a window. Insulated windows have a gap between two panes filled with argon gas. If the gas leaks out, the window is unprotected from condensation. There is a service to put the argon gas back in between the panes, but it is a temporary measure, and you will need to keep getting it done until you give up and replace the unit, so it makes more sense to go straight to replacement.

Want to Change Style

If you want to change the style of your entryway, you will certainly need a replacement. A new exterior entry can really transform the look of your West Knoxville home’s exterior and interior, and there are various options.

What Type of Door is Most Energy Efficient?

Wood may have all the classic beauty and natural charm, but when it comes down to energy efficiency, fiberglass comes out on top. Fiberglass offers almost quadruple the insulating value of wood because it is such a poor conductor of heat energy. That’s an advantage because you don't want thermal energy passing through the door; you want it to stay inside your house in the winter and outside in the summer.

Vinyl and steel are also good, energy-efficient that provide a high level of thermal insulation. If you love the look of wood and really want a wooden entryway, don't despair — you can get wooden insulated doors with a core of polyurethane foam that increases their energy efficiency.

Why Does Energy Efficiency Matter For Door Repairs?

Any gap or hole in your home's exterior — including doors and windows — poses a risk of energy loss, which is why so much time and effort goes towards increasing the energy efficiency of entryways and windows, along with other exterior parts such as siding. There are three main reasons why energy efficiency is so important:

  1. When your entryway has deteriorated or was never energy efficient to begin with, it lets in air drafts that change the temperature in your home. That change prompts your HVAC system to turn on and work harder to restore your home to the temperature you have set on your thermostat. Since heating and cooling are already the biggest expense on your monthly utility bills in West Knoxville, the additional energy use can add up to an unnecessarily high charge on your energy bill.

  2. Have you ever walked by an entryway in the winter and shivered, or is your home suffering the effects of moisture coming in through a deteriorated jamb? Or, does it feel like the house never gets warm enough in the winter or cool enough in the summer? Air drafts and excessive dampness can make your home a lot less comfortable, so door repair is a key step in increasing the livability and property value of your West Knoxville house.

  3. An entry that is not energy efficient causes your HVAC system to use a lot of energy needlessly, which creates a drain on resources that is not environmentally friendly.

What Do You Call Someone Who Repairs Doors in West Knoxville?

It may sound like the set-up to a bad joke, but we'll play along — you call them your handyman! Our skilled team of service professionals has years of experience in home service trades, including door repair in West Knoxville.

Do You Need West Knoxville Door Repair Services? We’ll Get the Job Done!

Whether you are in West Knoxville or a neighboring community such as Powell, Oak Ridge, or Karns, you can count on a qualified, reliable service provider from Mr. Handyman of West Knoxville to deliver the highest standards of workmanship and customer care that go above and beyond.

Pick up the phone and contact us today to chat with our friendly customer service representatives and book a service appointment, or find out more about how our dependable handyman services can enhance your home and make your life easier with other home improvements.