PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — You probably haven’t replaced your front door recently – some can last for decades – but if yours is warped, cracked or just not very appealing, it’s a mistake to look for the cheapest possible replacement.

A front door is one of the best investments you can make in your home for the value it adds and the curb appeal that results.

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If an ill-fitting, faded front door is the first thing your visitors see, it’s likely time for a new one.

“What’s wonderful about a door is it’s both a need product, but it also creates a better presentation and, when done right, over time can pay for itself by reducing energy consumption,” said door and window professional Mark Spencer.

“Installing a new front door can be a small project with a big payoff. It can help you in your monthly utility bills, saving you as much as 10 percent, and if you’re getting ready to sell your home, you can typically get between 70 to 100 percent of that investment back,” said Angie’s List founder Angie Hicks.

The three most common types of doors are made of fiberglass, steel or wood. Fiberglass doors can be painted or stained and are essentially maintenance-free. Steel doors are very durable and low-maintenance, but can rust over time. Wood doors remain very popular despite certain drawbacks.

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“The pros are the natural beauty of wood. You really can’t – except on higher-end fiberglass doors – replicate that beauty. The cons can be limited choice compared to fiberglass, cost and then there is maintenance,” Spencer said.

“Wood doors can be incredibly eye-catching, but remember that if they’re exposed to the elements, you can have warping as well as fading, and in fact, if you don’t have a significant overhang, you could void the manufacturer’s warranty,” Hicks said.

Expect to pay around $1,300 to $1,500 for a single fiberglass or steel door installed. Sidelights and custom glass panels could easily double the cost.

“It’s an excellent investment in terms of every dollar you spend on a good door – if you take your time and do your due diligence – you’ll get it returned to you,” Spencer said.

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As far as installation, Angie recommends leaving this job to the pros to get the perfect fit and seal. She also says to make sure you understand the warranty, which varies by manufacturer, but are typically 10 years for a standard single door.