By Gene and Katie Hamilton
As the cost of energy keeps rising, we hear about elaborate and expensive home upgrades to lower energy bills. One of the simplest solutions, however, is to button up your exterior doors. Plugging the air leaks around the doors in a house will reduce your energy waste significantly. The first step is to replace or upgrade the weatherstripping around exterior doors. Also add door thresholds on the floor and stop drafts and seal gaps that leak air.
We like bronze weatherstripping, but you'll also find weatherstripping that is wrapped foam with a metal or wood flange; it's easier to install then the bronze material. Ideally, you'll find weatherstripping that matches what's already there, so you can easily remove the old material and replace it with the new. The Department of Energy's Web site www.energysavers.gov has good information for consumers.
A threshold installed on the floor at the bottom of the door seals the opening, but when it wears down it loses its effectiveness. Replacing it with a new one is a good solution. You'll find threshold materials at hardware stores and home centers, usually sold side by side with weatherstripping. Or find them online by typing "door threshold" into any search engine.
A handyman will charge $127 to upgrade a door with new weatherstripping and a threshold, which includes the labor and cost of the material. Or you can buy the materials for $70 and do it yourself and save 44 percent. You need a few basic tools, including a tape measure, hacksaw, hammer, drill and screwdriver. No matter who does the job, you'll enjoy lower energy bills for years to come.By adding weatherstripping around an exterior door jamb, you're sure to recoup the cost of the material in just one season in saved energy costs. It's a no-brainer everyone should do.
The average price to weatherproof a door noted above is cost data to compare a contractor’s estimate with doing it yourself. Tweak the data by adding your ZIP Code to find a local cost.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2019
The cost and time data is generated by averaging labor and material data from annually updated cost books used by contractors and refined by the authors'
experience remodeling 13 houses. They are authors of 20 home improvement books and Do It Yourself or Not, a weekly column syndicated by Tribune Content
Agency. The national cost can be adjusted by ZIP Code.