LESLIE: Ellen in Michigan is dealing with a tricky, wintertime door. Tell us about it.
ELLEN: Yes. I was wondering if there is anything a carpentry-challenged, old lady (Tom and Leslie chuckle) can do with a door that, evidently, one part either the door shrinks or swells or the frame shrinks and swells; and in the winter time, the little latch that goes into the metal part on the door frame is not long enough to hold it and the wind will just blow it open and I’ll have a hall full of snow.
TOM: Well, it’s – if you – the answer is no. It’s not an easy fix because, basically, your door has to be adjusted. And that could involve, you know, moving the hinges, doing a little bit of trimming. Over the years, it’s sagged probably; it’s settled. And that’s why things don’t line up and things don’t seal well.
And the bigger issue is that a wood door – it’s just really hard to make it weatherproof. I mean, the doors that are today – the fiberglass entry doors, for example – that’s a complete system. Those doors close and lock tight, just like your refrigerator door seals when it shuts. But the wood doors, not so much and you’re always kind of fighting Mother Nature there with the expansion and contraction of the lumber and the movement of the house.
So, you can either hire a carpenter to kind of adjust the door or you could replace the door, which probably wouldn’t be that much more money. And in fact, the cost-versus-value survey that’s done by Remodeling Magazine every year came out just recently and showed that the number one investment that you can make in your house is a new entry door.
ELLEN: (overlapping voices) Oh, is that right?
TOM: (overlapping voices) You get a better return on investment on that than anything else. So, I think that, you know, if you’ve got a door that’s giving you that kind of aggravation, you really might want to think about replacing it with a fiberglass entry door.
ELLEN: A fiberglass one.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Mm-hmm. And they look just like wood.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Yeah, go to the website for ThermaTru.com. They are one of our sponsors and they make gorgeous doors that are very energy-efficient.
ELLEN: OK. I will do that.
TOM: Alright. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.