Should we get a new front door?


We got some internal insulation done and had parts of the house replastered and painted recently. Annoyingly, there is still a draft in the hall and seems to be heat escaping through the hall door which is about 25 years old (as old as the house).

We really should have changed the front door while we were doing the bigger job. How disastrous would it be to change the front door now? Would we need to change the door frame and get things replastered? Not sure I have the stomach or budget for it but want to know what’s involved.


Had a few people put to look at our house as we are upgrading the heating system. Boiler ,water cylinder (60 yrs old) and pipe work needs to be done.
One guy was very thorough. Went room by room looking at all insulation ,vents, rads.
Look at eliminating draughts. Do you have an unused fireplace ? If so air will be sucking up the chimney creating draught from hall (anywhere really). Get a chimney balloon and plug when not in use.
Do you put the rad on in the hall ? It’s the most important rad in the house according to him, Warm air from downstairs escaping upstairs will hit the cold air ,pushing it down, hence draughts.

If you need to replace the door , would imagine frame would defo need to be done. Good supplier will leave it just needing to be painted / papered. IMO


Thanks a lot for all of that. Very useful.

Had a BER assessor out today as we need it to get an SEAI grant for insulation work. He reckoned replacing the front door would be a biggie but didn’t think it was top priority as there’s also a porch door. The big thing, as you say, is the fireplace. It’s killing us and we only use it a dozen times a year. I have a chimney balloon but am not totally sure I’ve fitted it right. He suggested stuffing old pillows up there if we are definitely not going to use it for a while. Then, when finances allow, replace with a stove. Alas, this would probably require a new fireplace so it’s messy and not cheap.

Replacing the water tank was also suggested. And there’s an open vent in the sitting room (required under regs due to open fire) which nobody can tell you to switch for one that opens/closes. However…that’s pretty much what we should do as long as we’re mindful of condensation and leave it open any time the fire is on.

So, short answer, front door is probably not the place to start.


I did that this year. We previously had an old metal tank and the plumber mentioned that we wouldn’t have been covered by the insurance if there was leak damage/frozen pipes as a result of having that.
It was €300 to get a new, much smaller plastic tank put in.


Out house is about 30 years old and we replaced windows and the front door a few months back. The old door and frame was made of wood and took about 10 minutes for the fitters to cut it out and the new one (Palladio composite) slotted in pretty cleanly. There was no need for plastering as there’s a small strip of PVC covering over whatever gap there was. We intend to get some internal insulation down the line, so we were not too worried about the finish at this stage.

I think it is standard to replace the frame as the modern door is usually thicker (double rebates) and in our case we were changing side panels. You definitely notice the lack of a draft and there is considerably more light after replacing the 80s brown glass of the side panels and with clear obscured double-glazed panels. Other benefits are the increased security and aesthetics.


if its just a draft around the edges/bottom of the door, we kept our original door but our carpenter fitted a draft kit to it and now its a snug fit and there isn’t a noticeable draft


Interesting. Might look at that option. Reckon we’ll eventually replace the door but not in the next year or two due to other priorities. I gather front doors are particularly expensive (i.e. could be >2k?)


just be careful fitting those spongy draft excluders around the frame - just did ours and the lock was very snug. I was able to pull/push the door in to turn the lock and open it but the missus wasn’t and was locked out briefly

I had to put it behind the lock which is no where near as good and is starting to come off


For a normal door, I think the price a couple years ago used be around 1.2k-1.5k for a composite.

But I think you should try to see where the draught is coming from in case it’s not just the door, check for example the bottom of your skirting, fuse box, alarm box, letterbox.

If you find problem areas you might be able to improve things with some airtight tape eg. … 52419.aspx. (Be careful with this stuff it’s very sticky. Also it’s relatively expensive so people tend to not put it everywhere they should.)

Hallways are a problem area, it’s where most services come into the house so you’ve had people making many holes in the wall both on the inside and outside.


Thanks for the tips - the fuse box is a real possibility…


I replaced mine a few years ago, there hall was noticeably warmer. One tip we took was not to get a letterbox slot - the seals and hinges wear eventually causing another draft again.