The front door is the focal point of your home, and it shapes the first impression of those who visit your residence. If you’re looking to replace your front door, don’t just choose something on a whim and knock on wood that you made the right choice.
Most popular materials for front doors
According to Mayer, the three main entry door materials include steel, wood and fiberglass. He says the fiberglass doors are the most popular because they can achieve the look of wood, but they’re much more durable. He says fiberglass doors also typically come with a lifetime warranty. Steel doors are the cheapest of the three options, he says, but people still tend to choose fiberglass.
Mayer says wood achieves a nostalgic look people like, but they have to keep a watchful eye on it. “It [wood doors] virtually has no warranty because it is a natural component,” he says. “It will rot or it will start deteriorating after a period of time if people don’t maintain it.”
Fancy door hardware and special features like sidelights increase the cost of a new front door. (Photo courtesy of Simpson Door Co.)
Price to install a new front door
Ann Gregory, owner of Door Store and Windows in Louisville, Kentucky, says the cost to install a door depends on several factors, such as the hardware, warranties or windows. She says a typical install runs from $1,500 for the most basic installation up to $20,000.
She adds that most door systems, which include the cost of installation, fall in a general range. “You’re going to spend anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000,” she says. “You can even get into that $5,000 range on a steel door if you have a lot of decorative glass.”
Mayer says the price to install a door varies based on hardware, lighting and the amount of glass used. He says the average door install costs $5,000, but if you want a plain, no-frills door it won’t cost as much.
He says a basic steel door will cost $1,500 and a fiberglass door will range from $2,000 to $2,500. He says wood doors typically cost about the same as fiberglass, unless they’re specialized. “Wood will be about equal, but probably more expensive depending on the exotic woods they want to use,” he says.
Hiring a door installer and what to expect on the job
Both Gregory and Mayer say you should expect a door installation to take less than one day. Mayer says a basic door install without any lights takes about four hours from set-up to tear-down.
Gregory adds that a door installation is never going to take just an hour, regardless of the situation. She also says in some circumstances, it may take more than a day. “Typically it’s a day, unless there’s some damage that needs to be repaired,” she says. “When I say typically, I mean 99 percent of the time it’s a day’s job.”
When looking for a company to install a door , both Mayer and Gregory say you should look for someone who has an established business and a good customer service track record. Gregory says once you find the right person, learn from the expert and trust their judgment so you can get the best possible results.
“Listen to the experts because if you listen you’ll ultimately be happier with your purchase,” she says. “It’s a purchase you don’t want to make over and over again. It’s not like a pair of jeans.”