What To Look For When Buying A New Door

Whether you are renovating the exterior or the interior of your home, you are likely going to need to purchase a new door. But what should you look for in a new door? What risks are you trying to mitigate? What should you be concerned about? You can be sure that you are buying the right door for your home when you consider the following.

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Composition

The most important composition consideration for a new door is whether it should have a hollow or solid core. Hollow core doors are lighter, cheaper, and less secure. These aspects of a hollow core door make it ideal for interior use for rooms that need a door primarily for privacy. For example, if you are doing a bathroom renovation, the door that is most likely to suit your needs is a hollow core door.

Solid core doors are recommended for exterior purposes, they are sturdier than hollow core doors.  They have insulative values that meet building code standards, causing the door to be stronger and heavier, as a result they are usually more expensive than a standard interior door.  On any entrance to your home, it is preferable for security and longevity to have a solid core door. Doors that are exposed to the elements and the public will sustain considerable wear and tear.  

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Coating

In Toronto, the drastic weather changes we endure must be endured by your door as well.  The spring rains, the winter snows, the summer heat waves will all take a toll on your door, so you must protect your investment with a coat of protective sealant.  Most new doors will have a coat of paint and sealant, but it is important to take note of the longevity of both these coats.

At the time of buying a door, you have to plan out a maintenance schedule, so you can extend the life of the door as much as possible. It’s advisable to add this task to your  home projects to do in the fall before winter arrives.

When the coating wears off, the expansion of the wood is likely to cause the door to jam or stick. This can also lead the locks on the door to stick, causing the door to become more difficult to open or lock.

A door that sticks shut is considered an emergency hazard, as you will not be able to reliably evacuate the home. When a door is jamming so it does not properly close, it can lead to higher electricity bills during winter months, and generally weaken your home’s security.

Installation

Most new doors are installed using 3-centimeter wood screws for the hinges. It is much better to use something closer to 8-centimeters so that the wood screws bite into the stud. When the door hinges are not secured sturdily to the door frame, it increases the risk of sagging and generally does not provide decent security.

With the simple replacement of the wood screws that come standard with the door installation supplies, you can dramatically improve your door. This is an extremely low-cost method to maximize the potential of your new door. This consideration is not going to affect your renovation budget and will make a difference.

Locks

As mentioned earlier, Toronto does not have a tremendous issue with crime, but there are still some important things to be aware of in terms of the lock considerations for your new door. Besides security, there are safety concerns for your door.

For example, bathroom door locks can be a hazard if they are too secure. As the bathroom is a likely place for residents to experience injuries, it is good to have locks that can be opened from the outside during an emergency.

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Regarding exterior door locks, such as deadbolts, make sure that you are not using a double cylinder (keyed on both sides) on any door you consider as an emergency exit. Any door that is part of a home evacuation plan needs to have a thumb turn on the interior side of the door.

Because security is still an issue, even with low rates of reported crime, make sure that your deadbolts have picking resistance, drill protection, and are not near a window or pet door if there is a thumb turn on one side of the lock.

Final Thoughts

Toronto is one of the safest cities in the world, so there does not seem to be an overwhelming need for considering the security of your door. However, it is still a good idea to take every opportunity you can to not neglect a door’s security.

Crime statistics can be a bit misleading as they do not take into account risks based on specific personal circumstances. Though the average person may not be at risk, your situation may place you in a different category than most people.

Your main consideration will be dealing with the weather in Toronto. Security should still be more of an afterthought, though never overlooked. Be sure to keep your doors in working order so that they do not harm your safety. Stop putting off your home renovations, and buy the right door when you renovate.

Ralph Goodman is a security expert and lead writer for the Lock Blog, the #1 locksmith blog on the Internet. The Lock Blog is a great resource to learn about locks, safety, and security. They offer tips, advice and how-to’s for consumers, homeowners, locksmiths, and security professionals. Ralph has been featured widely throughout the web on sites such as Business Insider, Zillow, Bluetooth, Apartments.com, CIO, and Safewise.