​When to Replace a Swinging Door?

​When to Replace a Swinging Door?

Posted by Amanda On 22nd Feb 2024

When to Replace a Swinging Door?

Replacing a Door

You've been putting off replacing that old swinging door in your home for ages now, huh? It's looking a bit worse for wear but still does the job of separating spaces, so you figure why bother. Well, it may be time to finally swap that baby out. Swinging doors take a beating over the years and there are a few signs that indicate it's time for an upgrade. If your door is visibly damaged, no longer closes properly, or is just an energy suck, it's worth considering a replacement.

Replacing a basic interior door is actually a pretty straightforward DIY task for the average homeowner and can provide both functional and aesthetic benefits. So take a look at your swinging door with a critical eye-you may find it's time to say goodbye.

Signs It's Time to Replace Your Swinging Door

After years of use, your swinging door may start showing signs of wear and tear. It's a good idea to inspect your doors regularly to ensure safety and security. Here are some indicators that it could be time to replace your swinging door:

Damage or Dents

If your door has visible damage like cracks, holes, or dents, it's probably time for replacement. These defects weaken the door and compromise its ability to function properly. They also make it easier for moisture, drafts, and pests to get through.

Difficulty Opening or Closing

If your door is warped, swollen, or sagging, it will be hard to open and close. You may have to use excessive force to get it open or closed. This is a sign the door needs replacement. Continuing to use a door in this condition could result in injury..

No Longer Level

Over time, doors can become unlevel or twisted. If your door looks uneven or crooked, it probably won't function well much longer. An unlevel door is difficult to open and close and won't seal effectively.

Locking Issues

If the locking mechanism on your door is damaged or not working properly, it's a safety risk. Get it repaired or replaced right away. Issues with locks, knobs, or handles usually indicate it's time for a whole new door.

Rather than continuing to live with an old, damaged door, consider replacement. A new, energy-efficient door will ensure safety, security, and comfort in your home. Replacing just one door can make a big difference.

Safety Concerns With Old, Worn Doors

Old, worn doors can become safety hazards over time and with frequent use. If your swinging door is showing signs of damage or deterioration, it's a good idea to consider replacement for peace of mind and to prevent potential injury.

Structural Damage

Has your door begun to sag, warp, or not close properly? Wood and metal doors can bend or twist over the years, causing the door to not align or seal correctly in the frame. This can allow drafts in and may prevent the door from locking securely. Severe warping or damage can also cause the hinge screws to loosen or pull out from the frame, making the door unstable or unable to open and close.

Weathering and Rot

Wood doors exposed to the elements can suffer water damage, rot, and weathering, all of which compromise the integrity and security of the door. Look for cracks, splits, holes or soft, spongy areas in the wood, especially at the bottom of the door. Paint that is bubbling, peeling or stained can also indicate moisture damage underneath.

Security Issues

Old or damaged doors may not lock properly or be easy to force open. Check that your door still locks securely and shows no signs of damage around the lockset or deadbolt. If the wood or metal around the locks is dented, cracked or shows signs of previous forced entry attempts, it's best to replace the door to prevent future break-ins.

Energy Efficiency

An old, warped or unsealed door can allow heat or cooling to escape, reducing the energy efficiency of your home. If you notice significant drafts, air leaks or temperature variances around a door, replacement with an insulated door may help improve the comfort and efficiency of that area.

Improving Energy Efficiency With New Doors

Energy Efficiency

Old, worn-out doors can negatively impact your home in several ways. They may not seal properly, allowing drafts and wasting energy. Swinging doors that are difficult to open and close can be frustrating and reduce accessibility. Replacing old doors is an easy upgrade that can provide both functional and aesthetic benefits.

When your doors are no longer sealing well, it's probably time for replacement. Gaps or cracks around the edges of the door allow air to flow freely between rooms, reducing the efficiency of your HVAC system. New, insulated doors will create an airtight seal, keeping heated or cooled air in the appropriate rooms. This can significantly lower your energy bills and increase the comfort of your home.

Accessibility is another reason to consider new doors. If your doors stick, squeak, or are difficult to maneuver, they can create hazards and limit access for some. Smooth-operating, lightweight doors open and close effortlessly, allowing easy passage between rooms for people of all abilities.

Options for Replacing Swinging Doors

When your swinging doors start to sag, stick, or show other signs of wear and tear, it may be time to consider replacement options. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Full Replacement

The most comprehensive option is to remove the existing doors and frames completely and install new pre-hung doors. This allows you to choose a different style or size of door if desired. However, it does require repairing or replacing the wall around the door opening and can be more expensive.

Door Slabs Only

If your existing door frames and hardware are still in good shape, you can save time and money by purchasing just the door slabs. Look for slabs that match your current door size and style. You'll remove the old doors from the hinges, install the new slabs, and re- hang the doors. This option is more budget-friendly but may require some minor adjustments to ensure a proper fit and smooth swing.


For doors that are still structurally sound but damaged or dated in appearance, refacing or re-paneling the doors is an easy facelift. You'll remove the existing door panels and replace them with new panels made of wood, metal or fiberglass.

The new panels attach directly to the door frames for an updated look without the hassle of a full replacement. However, this only improves the appearance and does not address any underlying issues with the door's function or hardware.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Door?

When it's time to replace your swinging door, cost is obviously a factor to consider. The good news is, you have options at various price points.

Solid Core Doors ($100-$1,500)

For a step up in durability and noise blocking without a huge jump in price, consider a solid core door. As the name suggests, these doors have a solid wood core, with wood veneers or laminate on the faces. Solid core doors start around $100 and go up to $1,500 or more for custom sizes and wood types. These doors are a good mid-range choice for most homes.

Solid Wood Doors ($1,500-$3,500)

If you want the highest quality and are willing to pay for it, choose a solid wood door. Made entirely of wood like mahogany, oak, or pine, these doors offer the best insulation, durability and appearance. They typically range from $1,500 up to $3,500 or more for exotic wood and custom designs. For many homeowners, solid wood doors are an investment that can last a lifetime.

Final Thoughts

So now you've considered the signs that it's time for a swinging door replacement. If the door is damaged, difficult to open or close, not sealing properly anymore, or just looking worn down, it's probably time for an upgrade. Replacing a swinging door is an easy DIY project for many homeowners and can provide both functional and aesthetic benefits.

A new door will ensure easy access, better insulation, and improve the look of your home. Don't live with a frustrating or broken swinging door any longer. Head to your local home improvement store, find a replacement that fits your needs and budget, and install it yourself or hire a handyman to do it for you. You'll be glad you made the switch to a door that swings smoothly and works like new.