Your front door is an important part of your warm. It keeps out the elements, unwelcome guests, and offers security and peace of mind to the rest of your home. When it comes down to replacing that door, you’ll want to consider a few things when you buy:
How energy efficient is the door? What materials is it made of, and are they sturdy? What kind of lock system does it have?
The Door Itself
Most residential doors have a wood core with a thin layer of steel over them. A basic front door package can run you anywhere from $100 to upwards of $2,000, depending on the style, frame, and features of the door. The $100 door is not something you’d want for security purposes; it’s made of cheap materials and is lightweight and not very sturdy. Not to mention the thin materials make it much less energy efficient, which is a huge factor to consider when you are shopping for front doors.
Of course, better materials can cost more, but you don’t have to spend $2,000 to get a good, sturdy, energy efficient door. When you start looking at steel-plated front doors, the cost goes up to about $2-400, a far stretch from $2,000. Certain variants of wood are more resistant to damage and weathering. For instance, oak and hickory are both resilient hardwoods, making them great, however pricey, materials to consider.
Fiberglass doors are another option, and have a few advantages over wood. Fiberglass doesn’t weaken when exposed to water for long periods of time, it’s a flexible yet sturdy material, and it can’t be eaten by termites or other pest insects.
Another thing to consider is whether or not the door has a solid core or no core. Some doors are just a few panels fitted together, while others are solid all the way through. The latter is more expensive and utilizes more material. But remember to take into consideration the extra costs associated with buying a flimsy door. Higher energy bills and less security make paying a little extra for a solid door the better choice.
Pre-hung doors come already mounted in the frame to make installation easier. Instead of having to install the frame itself, and then the door, you simply install the frame and you’re good to go.
Most pre-hung doors start in the $200 range, (more materials used) and can run into the thousands for certain styles and materials. Overall, if you need to replace your frame as well as your door, this is probably your best bet.
While you can certainly install a front door on your own with the right research, this is one of those projects best left to professionals. You don’t want to install the frame improperly or you’ll end up with gaps, leaks, and premature wear and tear.
The cost of your door replacement depends heavily on the materials the door is made from, with basic wooden setups being the cheapest, and fiberglass or other high-end materials being the most expensive to install.
Basic wooden doors can run anywhere from $100-300 for a basic installation. Depending on whether or not the door is solid wood or hollow, the type of wood, and frame size, the installation can run up to almost $500.
If you’re planning on replacing a steel door, you’ll be looking at about $400-1,000 if you want glass included in your door. For standard steel doors, the cost is about $250 for installation. Prices will vary between contractors or construction services, and materials vary in cost by manufacturer or retailer.
Contractor Vs. DIY
Attempting to replace a front door on your own can be a daunting task, especially if the frame needs replaced. Measurements need to be precise to prevent any gaps or crevices where your frame meets the walls.
Hiring a contractor to replace your door can cost up to $1,000 depending on the type of door and method of installation. A basic door shouldn’t cost more than a few hundred dollars to replace, and it’s well worth the extra cost to have it done correctly.
The last thing you want is to shell out more money down the road because something wasn’t done right. You could end up footing the bill for repair and maintenance costs, higher energy costs, or even an entirely new door down the line.
Unless you have a strong background in construction or contracting work, a professional installation is probably going to be your best bet.
If you’d like a little extra security, you’ll want to buy better lock systems for your new door. Some modern doors don’t require a key, but instead open with a pin pad or even a smartphone app totally remotely.
The pin pad systems cost around $1-300, depending on the features of the lock system. These are usually a good choice, but don’t use an obvious number like your house address, phone number, or birthday.
If you’re looking to upgrade even further, smart locks can be acquired for your home. These utilize either a remote or a smartphone app to lock and unlock. The lower tier of these locks cost between $1-250, with the higher tier cost being as much as $500.
Buying a solid core door with steel panels can add some security to your home. Buying the cheaper, hollow core doors makes them easy to kick in or pry open, which is the last thing you want for your front door. Adding these features only costs a few hundred dollars more, and can offer peace of mind as well.
Think about what you want for your home, the aesthetics, security, energy efficiency, and of course accessibility. Always price check and research your options before making a buying decision. In retail, you get what you pay for.
If you’re looking to add a greater sense of security to your home, pay the extra for a high-quality door.