Woodrow Aames | Improvement Center Columnist | December 13, 2011
Replacing exterior and interior doors can be a quick and cost-efficient way of adding appeal, security and value to your home. New doors can provide everything from charm to improved energy efficiency and enhanced protection. With all the options in doors, there is no single contractor or door manufacturer that offers the only solution for securing and beautifying your house: you will have to compare styles, prices and installation costs.
You may want to work directly with a door contractor in choosing the right door materials for your home based on wood, metal or vinyl products, decorative hardware, insulating materials and locks. Or, you might choose to buy products on your own and pay only for installation. A third choice may be to order from a manufacturer that offers a deal on both materials and installation.
Typical door materials and options
Contractor Brett Kulina of Reliable Remodeler tells homeowners that replacing a door and frame at the same time allows you to order pre-hung doors in standard sizes. Interior doors come in a variety of styles including hollow-core, solid-core and solid-wood. Price options for interior doors include the following:
- Up to $100 for a standard, simple interior door, with a cost of $500 for solid wood, all the way up to $1,000 for a top-of-the-line walnut door.
- Folding interior doors start at $200 for a standard door up to $500 for wooden doors with glass inserts.
Most exterior doors come in steel, fiberglass or wood. Wood doors come with the highest price tag. Quality exterior wood doors, per Millwork for Less, run from $1,000 to $8,000 depending on the model. Consumer Reports says you can pay $135 for a sturdy steel door or up to $500 for a fiberglass or wood model built to the same dimensions.
Door contractors and labor charges
According to California contractor Robert Rayfield of Placer County, a high-end estimate to take down an old door and install a replacement with locks and hardware is around $445, with a low-end of around $325. Charges vary by difficulty, especially if you have rot or other damage. You can get estimates from local door contractors by completing the form on this page.
Evaluate your prospective door contractors by asking about their specific experience with the kind of door you're installing. Some manufacturers require installers to hold product certifications in order for you to receive warranty protection. What seems like a simple installation may only take an hour for an expert to complete, while a do-it-yourself homeowner might spend more than five hours on the same project. What's it worth to you?