How to replace your front door

Buy quality hardware

If you’re going to spend the money on a new door, don’t skimp on the finishing touches.

Buy good hardware or your expensive new door may look cheap.

Bargain hardware also has a shorter life and breaks more easily, while solid brass lasts a long time, Ailion says. It can be polished and, if lacquered, can be refinished.

Try out models in the store.

"If it seems flimsy there, it won’t last during normal usage or inclement conditions," real estate broker Jerry Grodesky says. "Mid-priced items and up seem to be better values."

In addition to appearance, quality hardware provides your home with security. A solid door isn’t enough to stop a break-in.

You’ll want a deadbolt lock that has at least a 1-inch bolt. Deadbolts that carry the American National Standards Institute’s Grade 1 rating are the strongest. If you can’t find one, Grade 2 is also acceptable.

In addition, a four-screw strike box and a faceplate with 3-inch wood screws provides more door jamb strength than a basic deadbolt strike plate.