Laura Isaacs | Improvement Center Columnist | December 14, 2011
Choosing a new entry door for your home isn't as simple as it might sound. Not only are you selecting something secure to keep your family safe, you're picking out your home's entryway.
Your front door is often the first thing you'll see when you come home after a long day, and it can be what makes or breaks visitors' first impressions of your residence.
Though door costs range from budget-friendly to extravagant, you're likely to find many options at many price points. For the most part, Consumer Reports suggests that homeowners can expect to spend anywhere from $135 to $2,500 for a new door. Costs depends on many factors, so it's important to be aware of what matters most to you.
Here are three of things to keep in mind when considering door costs:
1. Material matters more than you might think
According to information from Consumer Reports, a steel door that might cost under $150 can provide the same security features and protection from the elements as a more expensive fiberglass or wood door. In general, Consumer Reports suggests:
- Steel doors can be the most budget-friendly option, costing $135 to $1,550.
- Fiberglass doors performed best in all of Consumer Reports tests, but come with a heftier price tag than steel doors. You can expect to spend $300 to $1,750.
- Wood doors can give your home a warm, rich look but expect to spend more: Consumer Reports estimates you'll spend $500 to $2,500.
However, when it comes to appearance, you might end up paying more in the long run if you choose the cheaper option. Consumer Reports' simulated testing showed that after 10 years of wear and tear, the cheaper steel door showed more signs of deterioration than the other options. This is worth considering if you're buying a new door to enhance your home's curb appeal or value.
2. What kind of installation project are you prepared to undertake?
There are two kinds of doors readily available to consumers: Pre-hung and slab. According to information from The Home Depot, pre-hung doors are often easier to install as these doors are already attached to the jamb with hinge hardware included.
Slab doors may be what comes to mind when most people think of a door: the slab of steel, wood or fiberglass without a frame or hardware. Slab doors are generally less expensive than pre-hung doors, simply because there are fewer materials involved. They are often a good choice if door costs are a major factor or if you're installing the door in an existing space.
3. Energy-efficiency and maintenance costs
Not only does a wood door cost more upfront that most steel or fiberglass options, it also can cost more in the long run with maintenance costs. Wood doors require frequent painting or varnishing to look their best and can warp from exposure to the elements. Steel and fiberglass doors are the most energy efficient, according to Consumer Reports.