A door does not seem like it should be all that expensive.
However, when you look at the costs of adding a new front door or even some new interior doors, the prices start to add up quickly.
There are several good reasons that a door could be expensive.
Although some of the money gets wrapped up in marketing and brand awareness, most homeowners will get a very good value when they purchase a door.
Let’s look at why doors are so expensive and then some options for getting a door at a better price.
Why Are Doors So Expensive?
1. Door Material
At the top of the list is the material that the door is made of.
Let’s think about some of the things that a door needs to be capable of.
For starters, people will be entering and exiting a door many times throughout the course of the day or a week.
This means that doors have to remain durable against high-frequency usage.
When you compare how much a door is used to how often a window is used, chances are the door is used quite a bit more often.
In addition, the front or back door of a home is going to be exposed to the elements.
Wind, rain, humidity, and snow are all things that the door is going to need to be able to handle from an exposure standpoint.
Although the front door will be protected by the eaves on your home and potentially an awning, it still gets exposed to the elements.
Doors need to be made with materials that can handle changes in temperature as well.
The door will have to handle the extreme cold and extreme heat without it affecting its ability to work to protect the home.
Lastly, the door material needs to work to keep a home secure.
As you can imagine, there are many materials that a door should not be made of.
Essentially, the front door is a primary access point to the home, and it should do quite a bit of work to ensure that this point is not breached.
Doors that are heavy and made with premium materials will ensure that the home is safer and more secure for the people inside the home.
As you can see, the materials that are needed to make doors simply functional are quite complex.
Most doors are made of a combination of fiberglass, steel, and wood.
The combination of materials is part of what adds to the expense.
The door has to be built in layers, and it is going to end up being quite an involved process.
There won’t be much of a way around this as you will need your door to be made with the proper materials.
Part of the high cost of doors is the installation.
It costs a lot of money to put a door in because there is a lot involved in this process.
First, you must consider what it takes to get the door to the home.
Doors are not lightweight items, and they are usually quite fragile when it comes to the glass and hardware features that can be included.
The installation of a door needs to be done by several people, and that will increase the labor costs involved in the process.
One or two people will have to hold the door in place while another sets it and tries to get it to swing freely and level.
There is quite a bit of work to do around the door when it comes to insulation and protecting the home from the elements.
The area around the outside of the door must not let air in or out of the home.
One issue that many door installers deal with is getting the front door to be level.
In older homes, quite a bit of settling has occurred, and trying to match up a door exactly can be a bit of an art form.
Between the delivery costs and the high level of work involved in installing a door, you can understand how the overall price of the door will increase.
This is a factor that homeowners need to consider when purchasing a door.
If, for instance, you find a door that you love, and it is at the top of your budget, remember that you will need to leave room for a new install.
The new install will usually require a bit of woodwork and even some weather stripping as well.
These costs can add up rather quickly and end up making the project a more expensive one than you had originally expected.
Save yourself a surprise later on and consider the costs of installation as you are purchasing the door.
A front door will be used to keep your home secure.
Front doors should always be built with security in mind.
The front door is your first line of defense against the outside world.
As crucial as aesthetics are, the security factors are the most important features of the front door.
There are a few things that can be built into the functionality of a front door to make sure that it has the proper security benefits.
For starters, multi-point locks can help to make sure that the door stays closed when you want it closed.
It is best for a custom front door to come with these capabilities as you then won’t have to drill into the door and impact the door in any way.
Multi-point locks can include deadbolts, hinge locks, and even compression bolts.
Regardless of how you look at it, having more than one lock can’t be a bad thing.
Another great feature is hinge bolts.
We always consider locking one side of the door, but it is essential that the other side of the doorframe remains stable and sturdy.
Hinge bolts are built so that, when you close the door, a pin passes into a slot on the door frame.
This is a great choice for doors that open outwards as they tend to need a bit of help against weather conditions and security.
The hinge bolts make it very difficult for a door to be kicked in.
Certainly, you will want protection like this when looking for a new front door.
Some front doors are starting to come with a tamper-proof cylinder.
This is obviously a new and premium feature, but it is something that many are considering for keeping the door from being accessed unwantedly.
Many front doors have a letter plate where mail can be inserted.
This letter plate has been known as a source of easy access for criminals.
They have found ways to get hands or other devices through the letter plates to be able to then unlock the front door for easy access.
If you are purchasing a front door with a letter plate, you must make sure that there is a flap or other security feature to keep the door from being breached.
Finally, it makes sense to have some kind of a door viewer or peephole.
If you have a full wood door that does not allow you to see outside, having a 160-degree viewer can be a smart addition to your door.
There is no shortage of security options for you to add to a front door; however, you must consider that these choices are going to increase the overall cost that you pay.
Customization can mean a few different things when it comes to front doors.
Customization is not always the homeowner being particular and wanting a certain kind of door.
This can simply mean that your current doorway does not fit a standard-sized door.
As you can imagine, as soon as the word “custom” is added to a front door, the pricing is going to increase incredibly.
Whether you need custom height or width, this means that your door will need to be made specifically to fit your home.
The pricing of these doors has to be higher as it is going to include more manual labor and custom work from a machine or several machines.
The customization process can also include features that are unique to a home.
For instance, if you are doing a new custom build on your house, the door choice you want may not be offered in typical catalogs.
To get the style to match with your home, the door may need to be built by a local factory.
Of course, this is, again, going to add to the cost.
Customization can sometimes be out of your hands, but for the most part, it is a process that will add to the already high cost of a new front door.
A door is not going to be all that functional without hardware.
When it comes to front doors, the hardware gets very involved.
This will add to the overall cost of the front door as well.
For instance, when you look at interior doors inside a home, you may simply put a doorknob on the door.
These are usually lower in price and can be done for less than $40 per door or perhaps even less.
However, when it comes to the front door, aesthetics is going to play a major factor.
You can’t simply put a doorknob on a double side framed door.
It won’t look right, and it will take away from the complete and finished look that you are going for in your home.
To install proper front door hardware, you are going to have to pay well over $100 and sometimes up to the $500 or $1,000 mark just for the hardware.
This is usually included in the price of your door, but sometimes it is not.
Make sure you fully understand what is included and what is not included when you make your door purchase.
If you have to add hardware after the fact, it will end up being quite costly.
At the same time, this is a part of the door that you are probably not going to want to skimp out on.
The nicer hardware is going to make an impact on the overall curb appeal of the home.
Front doors are a significant purchase, and the manufacturers understand that this door cannot warp or start to break down within the first few years.
Homeowners are usually delighted to find out that their front door comes with a warranty.
Although warranties are great products, they do add to the overall cost that you pay.
The company makes the price of the product a bit higher so that it can cover any warranty issues that you might have with the door.
Truthfully, you probably won’t have any issues as these doors are tested thoroughly before they reach the homes of the general public.
However, if there is an issue with the door, you are going to want to make sure you have a warranty to cover it.
If a $3,000 door starts to warp after a week of use, you’d better be prepared to replace it, and that is going to be very disappointing.
Choosing a door with a great warranty will add a bit to the cost, but it will be money well spent.
7. Color and Finish
The color and the finish on your door are going to add to the cost.
Many of the front doors that you purchase are going to come unfinished.
You will then decide if you want your door to be stained or you want to paint it to match your house.
Regardless of the process you choose to paint your door, you must be prepared to pay for it.
If the door has quite a bit of glasswork, the painting job will be a bit more involved.
Doors also need to be treated with the proper paint types to prevent fading or deterioration over time.
This is actually an area where you can save a bit of money on your new door.
Since the painting is something that most homeowners are capable of doing themselves, then you may be able to do it yourself.
Be sure that you feel comfortable with this process.
If you don’t complete this correctly for some reason, your door won’t be protected in the way it needs to be.
Remember that paints and stains don’t just make the door look better, but they also add to the overall protection of the door.
Paint is another layer that makes the door more capable of handling extreme weather conditions and temperature changes.
Another way to save money is to choose a pre-finished door in a color that you can live with.
This helps you budget and estimate your total costs, more so than having to add in painting and other finishes after the fact.
8. Brand Name
If you thought that brand name was not a thing on front doors, think again.
The brand name is always going to be part of the equation.
Some people won’t feel comfortable with their door decision until they know that the door is a brand name door.
There are some great things about choosing a brand name door.
Most of these are going to come with a great warranty and very good customer service.
However, you will also pay a bit more for a door like this because of the brand name and reputation.
This higher pricing could be worth it for some people who insist on brand names.
Just because a front door is not a brand name door does not mean that it won’t hold up.
With the way our world is with online reviews and company information, it is very easy to tell if a door is going to be good or not.
Read some reviews, ask around, and even ask a door installer what they think.
Gather some outside information before you decide that you will only use a brand name door on your home.
Sometimes the additional costs associated with this decision will not be worth it.
A door is not something that we expect to replace all that often.
Front doors especially should be built to last a lifetime.
Interior doors may be expected to last just as long as well.
Part of how long the door lasts will be related to how well it is taken care of, but the door is not a frequent purchase.
Even if doors are not well taken care of, they still tend to last about 30 years.
Since you won’t be purchasing a door all that often, manufacturers need to make sure that they get their profit at the time of purchase.
Although a company like Pella or Anderson appreciates your purchase, chances are you won’t make another one.
Since you won’t be back next year to purchase another front door, they need to make sure there is a good profit from the start.
There is no recurring income on a door purchase for a company, and this is reflected in the high overall price of a door.
For homeowners struggling with the total cost of the door, try to consider how this cost will even out over the next forty or fifty years.
When you look at the per-year cost, it will be much more feasible to afford the front door and justify the expense.
Last but not least is the fact that a front door is a necessity.
There is no denying the fact that your home will need a front door.
You will have options when it comes to style and design, but in the end, you must have this door in place.
Anytime you find an item for a home that needs to be there, you will pay a bit more.
Since you have no choice, the installers and manufacturers are going to know this and charge a bit more for the services.
Of course, your alternative is going to be building and installing your own front door.
This process is a big undertaking and one that not all people will be able to handle on their own.
The good news about paying a bit more for a front door is that it is going to make a big impact on your home.
You will notice the door every day, and you will appreciate its functionality.
In the end, the money you pay for your front door will be well worth it.
Most people don’t look back and regret that they invested in the security and curb appeal of their home.
The front door is a large investment but one that typically makes sense for homeowners to make.