In any home, one of the first things people would critique is its exterior appearance – it’s the first thing both guests and passers-by would see. People would look at the overall theme, the color schemes, the style of the windows, the appearance of the roof and what kind of roofing materials were used, the external sidings, and so much more. Most people have the tendency to focus on what’s the most eye-catching part of any home. And more often than not, it’s the front door. In fact, did you know that 30% of people said that the front door or porch is the first thing they would notice immediately when they arrive in any home? This was according to a recent study conducted by Hitachi Personal Finance.
On this page:
- Factors that Influence Door Installation Costs
- Common Exterior Door Materials
- Labor Cost to Install an Exterior Door
- Cost to Install Pre-Hung Door
- Should You Install It Yourself?
- Getting Quotes from Competing Contractors
Factors that Influence Door Installation CostsSometimes, the idea of home improvement scares homeowners. Even without having any clue about the estimated costs for any project, they would automatically assume that it’s going to be expensive. It’s not always the case; and even if a home improvement project is expected to be costly, there are still some ways you can cut costs and save some money. The cost to hang a door is not an exception to that; you can get a new door and door frame installed in your home on a tight budget, but you can also spend thousands for it. It would all depend on several factors. We’ll clue you in on the major ones.
MaterialsThe material you want to use for your new door will greatly affect the entire cost of the project. This would have a domino effect, as the door material would affect the hardware and accessories you can install, which would then affect the labor costs. Not only that, how your chosen material will be sourced will also affect the costs. If you choose to find it on your own, you’ll also have to deal with the logistics of it – transportation, gasoline, manpower, etc. But if you choose a professional, it will be convenient for you, but maybe not so much for your bank account.
Hardware and AccessoriesDo you want just a basic doorknob and locks, or do you want a keyless entry with security features? Are you planning to install a peephole to it? Is the look you’re going for the vintage type with the fancy door knockers and handles, or are you planning to go for a modern minimalist style with just a simple handle and keyhole? We could go on and on with these kinds of questions, but the fact of the matter is, the accessories and hardware you choose will also add up to the total cost. Aside from buying those items, you will also have to include the cost of getting them installed. Of course, the more accessories you have, the more you’ll have to pay for labor.
Labor and InstallationAside from the material of the door itself, labor costs will take up a large portion of the overall cost of replacing your current door with a new one. This is not only limited to those we mentioned above. Some homeowners assume that the cost of installing a door for the first time in any home costs the same as replacing an existing door with a new one, since the process is just the same. However, they forget to factor in the cost of removing the existing one as well, as well as the difficulty of replacing a door compared to installing it for the first time in an opening. There’s also the fact that it might affect your home’s electrical lines, and even your plumbing system. If this is the case, you’ll also have to look for electricians and/or plumbers to reroute those lines. You’ll hit the jackpot if you can find a contractor who can replace your door, but is also a licensed electrician and plumber – it will decrease the professional fees, but it can also be like looking for a unicorn.
Door SizeUnless you’re going to replace your current exterior door with a new one that has the exact same measurements, the size of the new door will affect how much you will be charged by the contractor for its installation. If your contractor has to increase the size of the opening to fit your new door frame and door, or make it narrower, that’s an additional charge as well. Any adjustments needed to be done in the opening will increase the total cost of labor.
Decorative Pieces and AccentsSome homeowners look at doors as something that’s just functional, so they just stick to the basics. On the other hand, there are also some homeowners who know the great potential of doors being like pieces of art that will get anyone talking about it and as a result, they jazz them up. This means adding decorative glass panes or stained glass, art deco grills, intricate wood carvings, transoms, and sidelights, among others. And because they are intricate details, you may have to work with artisans to get the look you want.
Your LocationNot all homeowners know that when it comes to construction or home improvement projects, there are differences when it comes to city or urban and rural rates. If you live in a city or an urban neighborhood where the cost of living is quite high, you can expect higher prices for your materials and hardware, as well as labor. On the other hand, it is more than likely that everything will be quite cheaper when it comes to door installation and replacement projects in rural areas, like small towns, where the cost of living is less expensive. Some homeowners also prefer getting the services of certain contractors or businesses that are located in another town or city. This will also affect how much they will be charged, as those contractors will require additional fees for their transportation, or they will slightly increase labor rates to make up for their expenses.
WarrantyMany manufacturers include warranties on doors and doorframes, and this can give you a hint of what you can expect with the doors and door frames they are offering. If the warranty period is only for a few years, or the clauses will hardly give you anything in case there are issues with it, you might want to think about why it is so. But if they offer a lengthy warranty period with clauses that are clearly explained, that’s a good sign. This can hardly affect the overall cost of your door replacement since it is often included in the price of the actual door, unless the manufacturer offers extended warranty for a fee. It can help you save in the future if you suddenly have issues with your new door.
Optional Upgrades and Other ServicesTo make your door truly stand out, as well as last for a long time unscathed, you’ll also have to invest in customizing it. And by this, we mean focusing on both aesthetics and longevity. Doors are known to last for a very long time, but they are still not immune to damage. That’s why some offer preventive measures to help make these doors survive all kinds of hits. Weatherproofing and waterproofing are the most common upgrades homeowners make involving their doors. We all want doors that are striking, yet blend in with the overall look and feel of our homes. Prefabricated doors usually have very plain appearances to make them fit in nearly every home, and this is not the look we should go for if we want your exterior doors to stand out. In order to achieve that, we’ll have to customize it. It can be as simple as just getting a paint job or stain it to add character, get a door threshold installed, or adding any decorative pieces to it. Of course, you’ll also have to pay for additional labor costs, aside from the cost of materials, to get these done.
Kind of DoorGone are the days when doors are limited to single, plainly designed ones. Nowadays, we can get our doors customized not just in terms of the design but also with the kind. Doors now come in a variety of options. Instead of a single door, you can have two doors used on your front door, as well as a half door or Dutch door where you can open just the top half of the door first. Modern homes also go for non-traditional doors, such as the sliding and pivot types. It’s a given that the more complicated the doors you want installed, the more it will cost you. Basic doors will always be the cheapest. Before you make final plans, always consider these factors so that you’ll have a general idea of how much you should allot for it. It’s always better to have extra funds after completing any construction work, than go beyond your budget.
Common Exterior Door MaterialsIn the past, almost all exterior doors were made out of wood. But in recent times, many homeowners go beyond choosing wooden doors for their homes. A front door, in particular, can be made out of other materials now. To help you in choosing what material to use for your exterior door, and even interior doors, we’ve rounded up the most common materials out on the market nowadays, including any pros and cons they have.
WoodThe most popular choice then and now, wood offers a classic appearance and versatility that no other door material can offer. You can paint it in whatever color you want, add decorative elements, and comes in different finishes for you to choose from. And if you want a uniquely-shaped front door, which is the rage nowadays, that can be easily done with a wooden door. Wood, as a door material, also has several options, namely:
- Solid wood – from the name itself, the entire door is made out of natural wood. Both softwood, like pine, or hardwood, such as maple and oak, can be used to make a solid wood door. It is also the most expensive type of wooden door but is best for exterior doors
- Solid-core – the surface or outer veneer of the door is crafted out of a fine-grade wood, while its core is comprised of engineered wood, usually Masonite or MDF. Ideal for interior doors.
- Hollow-core – the cheapest among the three, hollow-core doors are made out of a wooden veneer of good quality, but its core is plastic or cardboard with a honeycomb pattern. Because of its composition, it should be used indoors.