3 Home Improvements To Put Off Until AFTER New Doors

Home improvements to put off until after you install new doors.

The “to-do” list of your home improvements never seems to get smaller. You have the projects that you would love to do, the ones you want to do and the things that really need to be done. How do you prioritize that list so that you are not only improving your home for looks, but for function, efficiency and value as well.

It is easy to get caught up in home improvement projects that are eye-catching and always on the DIY shows that you watch late at night to get ideas. Granite countertops and detailed crown molding are nice, but are really for only looks and appearance. On that list that you have either in your head or written down, move “replace doors” to the top of it. Replacing exterior doors drastically improves the look of the home, but also the function, security, sound quality and energy efficiency as well.

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Below are three projects that you may consider putting off until after you get those doors replaced.

Bathrooms – If your bathroom is in good working order and not causing any issues, it can most likely wait. Bathrooms are  one of the most expensive areas of the home to remodel and in most cases is for aesthetics and can be put off. While the bathroom is certainly important, it is rarely a focal point of the home, is not always visable to company and can also take a while to complete. In contrast most door projects are visable to everyone, can definately be a focal point and can be completed in just a day or two in most cases.

“We were able to retro fit all of our exterior doors for about the same cost as it took to do one bathroom and that wasn’t even the master,” said Jim T. of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fl, who upgraded the entry door, 2 sets of french doors and two single exterior doors. “We are thrilled with the new doors and would say that they are easily the best upgrade that we have made to the house.”

Retro fitting the bathroom can present a challenge similar to changing the doors in that it may be difficult to find a company that is truly “full service” and offers a turn key project. If you can find company that is the supplier and the contractor, you are in better shape in either case.

The return on investment is also one of the most glaring reasons to stay with this sequence. An average bathroom remodel is over 5,000 and you are lucky to retain that value in your home while upgrading just the entry door just increase the value of the home 4-6% or about double what you typically would spend to do so.

Flooring (interior and exterior surface) Any veteran contactor or homeowner that has done extensive remodeling has heard the term “doors before floors” when it comes to deciding which to attack first. If you are planning to upgrade both the doors and floors, you always choose the doors first for a few reasons. First of all you do not want to put down new flooring just to then have someone come and work on them right away and change out transitions and potentially un-do part of the fine work of the flooring guy. Second, you would rather put in the new doors first so that the flooring can be installed right up to the new threshold and door casings and molding.

Flooring is, without question, a great upgrade to any home. Getting rid of that dusty old carpet and putting some nice hardwood flooring can transform a room and taking that nasty bathroom vinyl flooring for new tile is a lot easier to look at. However, if you are down to choosing one or the other, go with the doors first and flooring after. The paver bricks can wait as well. No reason to re-do the back patio with nice pavers if you have to struggle to open the sliding glass doors to get to it. And just like inside, the pavers are better to be put in after the doors so that they can be placed against the new sill and casing.

Going back to cost, in most cases, the expense of upgrading the flooring for the entire home would exceed the cost to replace the doors with energy efficient products that would save you heating and cooling cost while also improving the security, appearence and function.

Windows – A lot of people lump windows and doors together and that is fine. If you have the capability to do so, wonderful. However, when you go to get a real quote to replace all of the doors and windows, you may decide that you must choose one or the other for the time being. At that point the doors are a safer bet to start with if the condition of your doors and windows are about the same. The energy efficiency is greatly affected with both upgrades, but the doors get more use and function, are more important security wise and increase the value of the home more.

Because of the amount of options with doors, you can really customize your new doors and get exactly what you’re looking for to really make the home feel like yours. Windows have come along way as far as options but most of which are not nearly aesthetically pleasing asthe doors can be.

Each case and home is different and your home could have 10 bad windows and one bad door and you need to get the windows first. But if the total cost to replace the exterior doors is about the same as the windows, go with the doors.