Replacing a front door to a home is a popular home remodeling project in recent years. Why? Because it offers great curb appeal and even better return on your investment.
There are some important material considerations for maximizing the cost-value and ROI. And of course, an entry door may include more than just the front of your home.
Cost Information – Part 1
When it comes to replacing your windows, wood is the more expensive material, but not so with doors. There are primarily three material types for main entry doors: wood, steel, and fiberglass.
Aluminum, vinyl and glass doors are less popular for main entrances, yet for storm doors and sliding doors, they tend to be the most cost-effective options.
Steel, fiberglass, and wood doors are the more popular options.
Steel entry door: for a new single, steel-frame front entrance door, the average cost ranges from $1,500 to $2,250 installed/replaced.
Wood entry door, on the low-end, starts at $1,200, but on average, wood doors can range from $1,500 to $2,500 for a complete installation.
Fiberglass door costs about $1,900 to $2,900 on average for full installation.
Door installation can be a DIY project, though that depends a bit on the project and the door type. What generally takes the average homeowner five to seven hours to install, will take a crew of two experienced contractors less than 2 hours to install properly, and with warranty.
You’ll certainly see prices much higher than this, for doors alone. While also seeing prices for doors that are under $500, but the above information assumes middle of the road on door quality and about 2 hours of time for a quality contractor to do the work.
Cost Info – Part 2
Breaking down the costs for a door is relatively simple. Though that depends on what the project entails. For door replacement, it means installing a new door, along with its supplied hinges, weather strip, and threshold into an existing frame. — All that is the cost of the door.
Lock sets vary in cost and design. Going the DIY approach means selecting from hundreds of options. The purpose is two-fold, to maximize security and to complement the door design. On the low end, plan to spend $75 to $175 for a basic lock set for each door.
Somewhere in the mid-range are electronic locks with keypad entry. These range from $95 to about $250 on average. The high end is $200 to $400, which usually includes handles, bolts, and possibly more technological features.
When hiring a professional contractor, choices may be limited to what they offer, but prices for the door usually include the lock set or options to upgrade that at an additional cost. Their labor rates often include the time it takes to install the locks and handles, thus adding nothing really to the overall quoted price.
Sliding doors can be quite a bit more expensive. Usually, a professional crew needs at least 4 hours, and up to 8 hours for such a project. The doors themselves range from $900 to $2,900 and can go much higher depending on the desired material, width, and brand. The overall project costs here can range from $2,900 to $5,500.
Double entry doors are somewhat like the sliding doors in terms of appearance. While double entry doors are hinged like a traditional exterior door, they tend to cost far more given their ornamental designs and majestic appeal.
Double entry doors can range in price from $2,500 to $4,500 or more, and the labor time is likely in the 4-to-8-hour range, meaning the overall project cost can range from $2,500 to $5,000.
Storm doors, on the other end, are the least expensive to purchase and install. A wood storm door could cost as much as $750, but typically homeowners go with aluminum or vinyl storm doors to save on the upfront costs and ongoing maintenance. Spending between $450 and $750 for a fully installed vinyl storm door is what you can expect.
Factors Impacting Costs
As you can see from above, the biggest factor is the type of door and lock set that you want to spend your money on. Obviously, in the case of replacing a door, it must match the frame. It’s also important to have a door match your home. Fortunately, the standard entry doors, even while offering much variation, tend to fit most homes in terms of style.
How ambitious you want to get with a door is what will influence the cost the most. Adding sidelights to a main entrance is highly appealing, magnifying curb appeal. But the costs go up at least $2,500 or on average $3,500 to $4,000 for this type of addition.
Similarly, adding a transom makes for a more majestic main entrance, but adds to the cost.
With all the material types, there is the basic grade, or economic version that allows you do have decent quality of that material at the most affordable price currently on the market.
All wood, steel, and fiberglass doors have economical, mid-range, and high-end options. And all of them have options that enhance security or emphasize ornamental features in the material, plus add designer glass. These can greatly enhance the curb appeal, but also bump prices up well over the average costs.
Then there is the labor costs and potential repairs or added charges. Essentially, for a simple replacement, the costs for labor ought to be minimal.
Yet, if the door frame has rotted wood or otherwise in need of some repair, this wouldn’t be known until the existing door is removed. Once the wood lining the frame is removed, it can open potential issues that are best repaired at time of a door replacement.
Having said that, it is very important to get multiple quotes from contractors. You’ll learn about the many options that professionals assess as best door and lock options for your home. Plus you’ll be able to find out information, from at least some of them, what their rates might be for potential repairs. — It’s important to learn that information before the work starts. Plus, you’ll want to have the warranty information on the products and services the contractors provide.
The Good, The Bad and The Oh So Pretty
Here we explain the pros, cons and chief reason for going with a Entry Door replacement.
The Good: The market for today’s doors offers greater security, extensive options, and affordability. Plus, an upgraded entry door is sure to improve on energy efficiency for your home.
The Bad: Lack of planning and/or improper installation can lead to problems that a non-professional can’t handle or, worse, that a homeowner can’t afford.
A door frame can only fit so much, and so if wanting to be ambitious, with add-ons, this takes careful planning well before the existing door is removed. Plus, if there are repairs needed to the frame, the inexperienced will struggle with these repairs that professionals can address with efficiency.
With proper installation by a qualified contractor, there really isn’t any cons, at least none that outweigh the next item.
The Oh So Pretty: Curb appeal usually means high joy factor for the homeowner which an upgraded door usually delivers on. But that’s not the chief reason.
The ROI (cost to value return at resale) for an entry door continues to be among the highest for all home remodeling projects. The 2021 Cost vs. Value Report shows that replacing an entry door has an average cost to value return range of 70%-80%, depending on the initial purchase price and local real estate market conditions at the time of sale.