Front doors are generally more expensive than the other doors in your home. They are external doors that are designed to be more durable because they need to withstand the elements, extreme temperature shifts, and act as security barriers. If you need to replace your front door, how much can you expect to pay for it?
The cost of a front door can vary from $500 to $5,000 without additional extras like labor, finishes, decor, special features, and hardware. The cost will vary depending on the material the door is made from, its size, structure, and quality.
Besides the practical aspects of security and insulation, front doors are an essential element for curb appeal. They are the first feature people notice about your home, and there are many decor and style options to choose from. I will discuss the cost of different materials, hardware, installation, special features, and ways to save money.
6 Factors That Affect the Cost of a Front Door
The factors that affect the cost of a front door depend on the door’s structure, the size of the door, and the material used to build it. Then, you also need to factor in security and style.
Hardware like knockers, hinges, handles, and locks can be security features or installed purely for aesthetics. Stylistic factors include decoration and extras, such as glasswork, wrought iron, finishes, and sidelights.
Let’s take a closer look at these factors.
1. Consider Additional Construction Work
It’s important to consider the placement of the front door as this will affect the cost.
If an entirely new jamb needs to be installed for a completely new door, labor costs may include electrical wiring and structural support if the new door is underneath a load-bearing wall.
If you are replacing an old door, existing electrics may need to be rewired or moved, and the condition of the existing jamb or frame needs to be assessed to determine if it needs a complete replacement.
If you decide to replace the old door with a larger one, additional construction may be required.
2. Size Might Matter
The bigger the front door, the more it will cost. For instance, a double entranceway door will cost more than a single front door because more material was used to build it.
When you decide on a size for your front door, there are a few things to consider.
Larger doors provide more natural light, make it easier for furniture to be moved in and out of your home, and will accommodate more people coming in and going out. The size of your door should fulfill your needs.
3. The Materials You Use Make a Cost Difference
The materials used to make your front door can dramatically alter the price.
Wood and wrought iron are the most expensive materials, but another factor to consider is that wooden doors will also require sanding and refinishing every five years at an additional cost. On the other hand, steel, aluminum, and fiberglass doors carry a much lower initial cost and are easier to maintain.
Let’s look at the price, pros, and cons of each.
Wood is widely regarded as the most luxurious and visually appealing material for a front door and can serve as a striking entrance piece. The price of wooden front doors depends on what type of wood is used, and whether the door is solid or hollow.
- Easily customized
- Increases the value of your home
- Increases curb appeal
- Good insulation
- Seals well
- Can accommodate a storm door
- Requires maintenance
- Not scratch proof
A fiberglass door is a popular option for front doors because it can be made to look like wood with a smooth or wood grain finish. Fiberglass is a composite material, which means it is constructed from a variety of different materials – that’s why it costs less.
Fiberglass also provides good insulation due to the polyurethane foam that’s injected inside.
- Requires little maintenance
- Attractive and can look like wood
- Energy efficient
- Sensitive to temperature change
- Difficult to repair if it gets scratched or dented
Steel is the most cost-effective choice for a front door.
Steel front doors are incredibly durable and can be inlaid with double-paneled glass and reinforced for added security. Steel doors can also bear more weight, so they are perfect if you want a large front door.
- Able to be reinforced
- Able to carry a heavier load
- Requires maintenance to prevent rust
- Not energy effective when it’s inlaid with glass
- Heavy and difficult to install or remove
Aluminum – From $625-$4,500 Including Installation
Aluminum is another popular choice for front doors because it is economical and highly durable. It can withstand the elements and is resistant to corrosion, and come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, so you’re sure to find a design that appeals to you.
- Ideal for customization
- Low maintenance
- Poor insulation
- Not as strong as steel
- Difficult to repair damage
4. The Costs of Labor
Buying a new front door carries additional costs that you need to consider. Here’s what you can expect to pay, on average, for labor:
- Professional installation: $150-$700
- Painted or stained finish: $80-$150
- Old door removal: $100
- Waterproofing and sealing: $80-$200
- Repairing the old frame/jamb or replacing it: $200-$800
- Modifying or enlarging the doorway: $7-$16 per square foot
- Rewiring and other electrical work: $500
5. Decor and Other Extras
Features like glass panels and custom designs can also drive up the cost of a new front door. Generally, the more intricate the door and design, the more expensive it will be.
Additional security features will also affect the cost.
Sidelights are glass inlays or windows on each side of your front door. They can contribute to increased visibility and security, allow more natural light in, or simply serve as decorative pieces.
Sidelights can instantly add $700 to $3,000 onto your bill, and adding wrought iron can add anything from $1,000 to $12,000. Storm doors save energy by improving insulation but can typically set you back as much as $1,000.
The glass on your front door can be single, double, or triple glazed. The price of glazing will depend on the size of the glass – but if the pane of glass is large and close to the ground, double glazing is recommended for safety.
Security features and hardware that will also cost extra are:
- Door handles, locks, and knobs: $10 to $300
- Hinges: as low as $10 to $20, or as much as $500
- Dog Doors: depending on the size you need, these can cost between $100 and $2,000
6. Different Styles of Front Doors
Another factor that determines the price of a front door is the type of door you choose. Aside from a door’s practical purposes, a front door is a statement piece and should reflect your personal style and tastes.
The most popular styles are arched, traditional, rustic, modern, and craftsman. These styles also come in double-entry or single-entry options.
Arched doors are versatile and lend themselves to many different styles that can incorporate traditional, rustic, or craftsman elements. Their distinctive curved lines are eye-catching, but they are costly because they are usually made to order.
Craftsman doors are very popular because they, like arched doors, can incorporate other stylistic elements and are usually made from fiberglass or wood. The most popular option for craftsman doors is an oversized glass insert, which is fully customizable.
These are usually available in steel, fiberglass, or wood and can be pre-hung or made to your specifications. They can have up to twelve raised panels and are versatile because they are highly customizable. You can add decorative finishes such as colored glass or woodwork.
As the name suggests, rustic front doors are usually a feature of homes with rustic exteriors, such as natural brick, stone, or wood. You can choose a traditional rectangle-shaped door or opt for an arch. They are usually made from solid wood.
Modern doors are all about clean lines and are minimalistic in their appearance but can be large. They may feature frosted glass or square raised panels.
Replacing your old door with a new one or installing a front door from scratch can be an expensive exercise and the costs quickly add up. However, there are a few ways you can try that will reduce the total cost of a front door.
You can do some of the work yourself, save money by doing research, or upcycle an old door. Let’s take a look at some of the methods to reduce the cost of a front door:
- Downgrade to a cheaper material. Even if you had your heart set on a solid wooden door, consider buying a fiberglass door instead. Fiberglass is cheaper, requires less maintenance, and can look just as good as a solid wood door with the right finishes.
- Shop around for the best price. The simplest way to save money on a front door is to do your research before purchasing one. Shop around and compare prices between suppliers and resist impulse-buying. You may find what you are looking for at a fraction of the cost.
- Look for discounts and specials. Browse online to see if suppliers in your area are offering specials and discounts on front doors. Look for clearance sales in home depots. You can also look for discounted front doors at auction houses or even in local classifieds.
- Upgrade your existing door. You can refurbish your existing front door by giving it a fresh coat of paint, installing new glass panes (you can sometimes find stained glass panes in thrift stores), and adding decorative finishes like knockers, hinges, handles, and letterboxes.
- Use local suppliers. Use local suppliers who use local materials and artisans. Some suppliers import their wood, which increases the cost. You can also save on delivery costs if you have a car that’s big enough to fetch the door yourself.
- Stick to your budget. When you’re shopping around for a new front door, create a reasonable budget that you can afford and stick to it. Remember that all the extras like hardware and customizations can add up to more than the cost of the door.
- Finish your front door yourself. You can paint, varnish, and seal a door yourself, which will reduce the cost of finishes. You can watch the video below to learn how to do it.
- Hang your front door yourself. If you have some DIY know-how, you can consider hanging the door by yourself to save on labor costs. And if you are replacing an existing door and leaving the frame, it will be even easier.
Replacing an Existing Door by Yourself
What you’ll need:
- Tape measure and spirit level
- Wood plane
- 25mm (1″ chisel)
- Hammer/wooden mallet
How to do it:
- Remove the existing door carefully and do not damage the frame.
- Ensure that the new door fits into the old frame by holding it in place. Make sure that the new door’s base is level with the old frame and trim it accordingly.
- Caulk the door frame.
- Fasten the nails to the hinge and make sure everything is level before you tighten the screws.
- Test the door by opening it and closing it. Make sure it’s not catching on the frame or base.
- Tighten the screws to secure it if you’re happy with its placement.
- You can add insulation to further protect from drafts and noise if needed.
Exterior doors, like front doors, are more expensive than interior doors because they are more durable and act as a prominent architectural feature in your home.
Whether you are replacing a door or buying a new one, factors like the material the door is made of, the size of the door, the costs of labor, and extra features, hardware, and customizations will all influence the price.
However, you can save money if you have some DIY know-how and minimize customizations.