Costs of repairs and renovations have always been the largest concern for any home owner. As everyone knows, houses need work from time to time. It doesn't matter if you're poor or not. At some point you will be laying out cash for one reason or another on something that caught you by surprise.
Urgent or emergency repairs tend to dictate the timing, but rarely the total price tag. What that means is simple. If confronted with a home repair issue, deal with it the best you can within the budget and talent you have, fake it until you make it if you need to.
This type of home repair is where real home renovations are born. For example, if you have a front door that leaks or doesn't close the way you would like or is just too ugly. Start shopping for a whole new unit. Now is the time when all the building supply outlets are having clearance sales every week.
Now would be the time to upgrade. Buy a new door or door complete with a new door jam. They are not as expensive as you think, and not that tough to install, like anything to do with home renovations and repair. You can spend a lot if you want to. A new metal insulated exterior door complete with jam costs a little less than last year at this time. If you add a window, the cost goes up with the style of window.
If you want a sidelight, it keeps going up. I have installed doors this year that cost $179 complete with jam, and others that cost $1,200 complete with opening side light and jam. The building supply store has more door options than you ever thought existed. Interior doors are real cheap too. They come as kits with jam for under $80. Again, you can go fat here if you want to.
New lock sets are always a good idea on any new door. They wear out and if you're changing the door you will be happier with a new lock set. A new lock set will give you some piece of mind on top of the upgrade to your small reno.
A good way to save some money on a new door is to install it yourself. This is a good place to be cheap. However, have a plan. Do not start this project at 3 p.m. if it's your first time. Trust me. It can take two hours just to get the old door and jam out. When you do have it removed you may find a few issues that need attending to, things like poor insulation around the door or some minor structure problems like loose boards and so on.
Perhaps the most important thing is getting the right size door that swings the way you want it to. The best way to measure for a new door it to remove the old trim around the door on the inside and measure the outside dimension of the frame that your present door is in. You are concerned with the space available for a new door.
You may even find that you don't need a new door at all. Just some new insulation covered over with new trim. In the real world this is most likely all a door needs to keep the cold air out. If a new door is the answer, than take special care with the measurements. The supplier will need this information.
If you think you would like a wider door or add a sidelight. You will be able to evaluate this with the inside trim removed. Adding a sidelight is not a tough job. Providing the structure will allow it.
Installing a new door is pretty easy once you have done it a time or two. The important thing is to take it slow, take the free advice that everyone gives you and expect to adjust it a few times before its right. It can be a one-man job but if this is your first door then get some help. That way you can share the blame if it doesn't work out so well the first time.