How Much Does It Cost To Put In A New Front Door?

Replacing your front door is easier said than done. Wait, you say: How complicated can it be? It's a door, a knob, hinges, and a jamb, right? Well, yes — and no. First off, are you looking for a slab door, which is literally just the door itself, or a door that's pre-hung, which provides not only your door but a supporting frame as well?

Remember, your front door is not only the entrance and barrier to your inner sanctum; it also tells a story about who lives behind it and how. It will impact your house's curb appeal tremendously, should you ever wish to sell it, and will likely improve energy efficiency inside. Beyond that, your door clearly transmits a message about how invested you are in your security and that of your family. Home Alone may have been a funny movie; home invasion is not.

And while it may come as a surprise, you could be breathing a sigh of relief or show face sticker shock when it comes to replacing your front door, based entirely on where you live. Labor costs matter. Because of the wildly fluctuating costs across the country, you could spend as little as $500 or more than triple on labor alone, according to HomeAdvisor. You'll also need to factor in another $500 if your entryway needs to be reframed to fit a new door.

Home front door options

The experts at Home Guide concur, estimating that replacing your front door will cost roughly between $420 and just shy of $1,700. But for every bell and whistle (or door knocker or transom), you can watch your expenses creep upwards. The process will keep you doorless for the better part of a day, depending on the amount of work required to make the new installation fit your existing space. If you're tackling the project yourself, plan for the project to take between three and seven hours. On the other hand, contractors are generally on the job and gone in less than two hours, and a warranty backs their work.

Remember, the more you plan ahead, the less you'll have to decide on the spot. Have you thought about keyless entry with a code pad? How about a mail slot, double doors, or metalwork? Southerners often ask for a screen door in order to keep their air conditioning bills down in the summer. And each selection adds to the overall cost. Believe it or not, many homeowners also consider what's in vogue before making a decision, RemodelingCosts notes. Yes, you can even get fashion advice for your front door because everyone loves a dramatic remodel. In addition, places like Home Depot offer on-site advice that can take you from measuring your space to selecting a new door and installation.

Selecting the right door and accessories

In a world revolving around high tech, the unrivaled favorite material for front doors remains good old-fashioned wood. Fiberglass and metal have their advocates, but nothing says "this is a home, not just a house" like wood. You can find wooden doors that start as low as $775 and go as high as $4,000 and up. Fiberglass runs anywhere between $150 and $5,000, depending on quality, and if keeping costs to a bare minimum is your biggest concern, aluminum could be the best choice of all since those start at $150 and only run into the $2,000 range.

So those are the high and low ends, but what's a reasonable ballpark number for having a new door installed out front? Homes & Gardens says you can get the job done reasonably well for about $1,000. Even so, you can tinker, adjust and select until you have the right door for your budget and lifestyle. That includes selecting from a custom-made door to one that might be hollow rather than solid and what materials will secure your new door in place.

And finally, you may not have to pull the trigger on buying a new door at all — unless you want one expressly for aesthetic purposes. Instead, The Washington Post suggests that you thoroughly investigate the door that's hanging on its frame and see if there's a way to update or upgrade it, which could save you considerable time and money.