Your front entry door does a lot for your home: The door sets a design tone and character for your home's exterior, it serves as an entry point for inviting in guests, and it offers security by keeping out unwanted visitors. It's more than just a place to hang a decorative wreath and drop a welcome mat - it's a key determining factor in your home's accessibility, energy efficiency, security, curb appeal, and more.

When considering the replacement of your front entry door, you may have asked yourself a few related questions:

How do I replace my entry door?

What does an entry door replacement entail?

How should I plan my entry door design?

Should I be debating between a fiberglass door vs. a steel door?

Should I look at other door materials such as wood or glass?

Those are all useful considerations when deciding on an entry door replacement, but perhaps the most pressing question is, 'Do I need to replace my front entry door right now?'

Is Now the Time for an Entry Door Replacement?

Above all else, you might be looking for signs that it's finally time to go ahead and invest your money into replacing your front entry door. To that end, here are the top seven signs letting homeowners know that it's time for an entry door replacement:

1. The front door is tricky to open and close.

If opening and closing your front door involves superhuman strength and constitutes the bulk of your daily workout, it's probably time you replace the door. If cleaning and tightening the door hinges hasn't remedied the problem, you might check the door jamb to see whether it's flush with the frame. The problem could be that water damage to the wood has caused it to expand, and it might be damaged past the point of just planing down the edges. You may need to find a new door that properly fits the space.

2. The door is damaged or showing its age.

The front door is subject to a lot of foot traffic, which means lots of handling and lots of wear and tear. If your front entry door is rusted, dented, or splitting and peeling, you might need to consider an entry door replacement. If the door is dented, the structural integrity might be compromised. And if your door is weathered, cracked, and splitting, moisture might be getting inside and creating rot, rust, and/or deterioration. If you've battled water or insect damage inside your home in the past, this could indicate that your front entry door may be on its last leg.

3. You want to improve your home's accessibility.

A front door that's easy to access and that easily welcomes all guests is a major lifestyle upgrade. If your door is narrow and your threshold is difficult to traverse, it may be time you opt for a wider door with a zero-clearance threshold. That way, you'll be able to accommodate wheelchairs, walkers, and baby strollers with ease. You can also swap out a doorknob for an ADA-compliant door lever so that visitors can open the entrance with their elbows. Additionally, some homeowners like to swap out entry-area stairs for a ramp instead.

4. The lock isn't working to keep you secure.

Wear and tear to the door or the effects of the house settling over time can throw off the alignment of door jambs and create a misalignment between the lock and the door. That can mean the front door doesn't lock properly, and this can create a security issue for you and your family. Check the strike plates and bolt to see whether they're aligning properly. If not, you may need an entry door repair or replacement.

5. Your door could use some fresh technology.

Even if your front door lock is still functional, you may want to upgrade to a more technologically advanced door lock system. For example, you may want the ability to unlock your front door via a keypad or touchscreen, or you may want to operate your security system remotely from a mobile device. Whether you're considering renting out the home as an Airbnb and want to track who comes and goes or you just want better security than traditional locks can provide, a modern new door with a smart lock might be just the ticket.

6. Your energy bills are too high.

If your door is older and is letting too much air pass through, you may be seeing this reflected in your heating and cooling bills. It might be time to switch out your front entry door for a more energy-efficient option. A door's ENERGY STAR rating and its National Fenestration Rating Council energy performance label will give you guidance into how well it'll help lower your energy bills.

7. Your front door is, well, ugly.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and all your neighbors and guests are beholding your front entry door. Do you like what they see? If the door is giving off unintentional "retro" vibes (as in, you never bothered to update it) or if it's unsightly from past damage, you may want to set a new visual tone for your home with a fresh look. Especially if you intend to sell your home, you may be interested in how a new door can instantly boost your home's curb appeal.

If you think your entryway might be ready for a makeover, contact us today to schedule an in-home proposal or showroom appointment.