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First impressions begin at the front door. After all, this is where you welcome visitors to your home.

Consider these steps when choosing replacement doors:

Study the materials – Doors can be made with a number of different building materials, and each option delivers unique features and benefits. Wooden doors offer a natural appearance, while steel doors can offer a low-maintenance design. Fiberglass doors can resist impacts and offer a texture that even looks like wood grain.

See the light – The small windows inserted in a door – officially known as light inserts – can make an entrance appear more inviting, and enhance the architectural look of your home. Some light inserts can even open and close, include window blinds, or be made with different styles of glass.

Feel secure – Light inserts made with laminated glass, wired glass, acrylic or polycarbonate plastic are tough to break. But their location can offer added security. Door lights mounted high in the door will make it tougher for a burglar to smash the glass and reach the lock. High door lights can also make the entranceway look taller!

Look under the skin – Steel doors with polystyrene panels are not as energy efficient as the models that are filled with polyurethane. A polystyrene panel will offer an insulating value of R7. The polyurethane will deliver an R12.

Reach for the Energy Stars - Doors can earn Energy Star ratings to recognize their energy efficiency if they include insulated frames, sashes and cores.

Follow this rule to the letter – Any mail slot should typically be no larger than 12 x 150 mm and be installed at least 450 mm away from the door’s lock. Larger mail slots should include a metal box or baffle to keep would-be burglars from reaching the locks inside.

Seal the materials around the door – Trained installers will use an acoustical sealant to protect your surrounding subfloor and walls from any unwanted moisture.

Focus on the finish – Wooden doors should be finished on all six sides, including the front, back and all four edges. This will help to protect the doors from moisture and rot.

They are the kinds of steps that will lead to better doors. Naturally.