Last week, we got started thinking about some avenues for upgrading your front door and entryway without actually replacing your entry door.  We reviewed ways to beautify and bring some character to this space. This week, let’s dive into some ideas for improving your entry door’s security and energy efficiency.

Front Door Upgrades: Secure Your Door

The most basic security upgrade any homeowner can pursue for an existing entry door is changing the locks. It’s quite possible that your front door hardware has never been changed over the life of the door. It’s also possible that the last owners of your property skimped on this important detail, leaving you with a less than secure front door lock.

If you’re working with a flimsy lock, investing in a more reputable brand is a must. There are plenty of lock buying guides out there, but finding a trusted source is not always easy. We like this guide by Consumer Reports, and this one from the folks at BobVila.com. Pay special attention to the ANSI grade your preferred replacement lock earns– a Grade 1 product will offer you the best protection.

Beyond the quality of your entry door’s lock, the presence of glass in your entry door is probably the next most important security concern. Glass provides a route of forced entry to your home, especially if it is within reach of the inside of your door’s hardware. But there is a solution to bring some protection and peace of mind: adding security film to the glass insets in your door. Glass security film comes in sheets which bond to your glass with a strong adhesive.  When correctly installed, it holds even shattered glass together and makes much tougher work of breaking through glass, which means a much lower chance that a potential intruder would keep at it.

One final security upgrade that you can consider: adding a screen door. Why? Simple. More doors, stronger deterrence. A screen door that locks presents yet another obstacle for anyone who might try to get into your home. There are special security screens on the market, too. To be sure, this option is definitely more of an investment than changing the locks. But the benefits extend beyond greater security–read more here.

Front Door Upgrades: Increase Energy Efficiency

So you’ve brought beauty and brawn to your existing front door. Now, let’s talk budget. It’s quite possible that your entry door could be driving up your energy costs. If your door is exceedingly ancient, there may not be many solutions beyond replacing it (and if you feel like this is your best option, we have some advice for that process). But there are some hacks for increasing your door’s energy efficiency that won’t break the bank. Here are three of our favorite ideas:

  1. Add weatherstripping to seal out moisture and keep indoor temperatures steady. Weatherstipping should be installed to all four side of your entry door’s opening. The two main options are rolls of adhesive foam or felt. Foam is better for irregularly shaped or older openings. Here is a helpful overview of the different options consumers have.
  2. Add a door sweep. This small, inexpensive addition to your door helps to seal the space between the door and the threshold, and works much like weatherstripping to keep cool (or warm) air in, and keep moisture out. Check out this video for a step-by-step guide to successfully installing a door sweep!
  3. Caulk the small stuff. This process is easier than it sounds, but it does require you to take stock of your door’s condition before you begin. As Old House Online notes, “most energy loss likely occurs in the spaces around the door, rather than through the door itself. First, make sure the door is hanging securely on its hinges—any looseness can cause gaps between the door and the doorframe. Next, you can use silicone caulk to fill in any gaps around the doorframe.” Once the caulk is set, be sure to inspect carefully and touch up as needed.

With these tips for upgrading your door’s beauty, strength, and energy efficiency, you can have your existing entry door in tip-top shape without much ado.