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When it comes to improvement projects and new builds, one of the first questions homeowners ask is, “How much is this going to cost me?” Price is always a significant factor, and this certainly applies to exterior doors. It seems like a simple question, but the answer can be quite complex! Let’s dig in.
How much does an exterior door cost? It depends. We recognize that this is a frustrating answer for homeowners trying to establish a budget. However, what would you say if someone asked you “How much does a house cost?” You would say, “It depends.” With that being said, there is a tremendously wide range when it comes to the price of a new door, as you can see in this chart.
One of the most significant factors in pricing is the level of door you choose. A basic, “off the shelf” fiberglass door from a home improvement store like Lowes or Home Depot costs around $200. You can go shopping, pick out your door, and bring it home to install the same day. If you add glass inserts, your range will be between $200 - $800.
“Builder grade” fiberglass doors are custom-ordered (but if you have a standard sized door, you can cut costs). A mid-level option, they typically have narrower rails and stiles (wood structures that provide strength and stability) than premium doors. This decreases structural support. The price range here is about $250 - $10,000.
If you opt for a full “premium” fiberglass entry system with transom, sidelights, and custom decorative glass, you will see the price increase to about $16,000. Premium doors have thicker, stronger stiles and rails for superior stability and strength. They are also lower maintenance than other options.
Wood has the highest top end at about $30,000 and a low end of $1000. The tremendous difference is in the species of wood, the door size, and whether or not you choose to have glass inserts. Another cost that it is important to factor in is energy efficiency: wood is the least efficient option and you may experience heating/cooling loss that puts upward pressure on your utility bills.
Wood clad doors also have a wide price range - from $2000 on the lower end to $20,000 on the upper end. These are all custom built, and your cost will again depend on the species of wood on the interior, the grade of aluminum on the exterior, the size of your door, and the addition of glass inserts.
Steel is the least expensive; an off-the-shelf model from a store like Home Depot or Lowe’s can run you less than $200. A high-end steel door with top quality steel and additions such as glass inserts, transoms, and sidelights extends to $7000. When you pay the lower price, you also get a lower quality (and higher gauge) steel. A door from a top manufacturer like Provia, for example, has 49% more steel than your typical box store door, which is made of 24-gauge steel.
It is important to look at long-term door costs as well. Will an off the shelf steel door look and perform satisfactorily for years to come? Or will you be making another trip to the home improvement store sooner than you’d like?
Choosing higher quality doors does cost more initially, but they pay you back, so to speak, with greater durability, better efficiency, and lower levels of maintenance. You will also typically enjoy a longer, more comprehensive warranty.
The best way to get an answer that is more concrete than “It depends,” is to visit the Franklin Window & Door showroom. We’ll walk you through your options, provide clear education, and customize a quote so you can begin planning your budget and get started on a hassle-free project.
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