Replacing Exterior Doors What You Must Know | SmartGuy

Replacing Exterior Doors What You Must Know

Remodeling

When preparing home for resale, there is a high premium placed on replacing exterior doors - what you must know, however, is that exterior doors are valued for more than just their curb appeal.  The front door is the most important point of egress into the home, and exterior doors also can offer both illumination and ventilation.  If your exterior doors are in poor condition, however, they can contribute to higher energy costs by allowing air to leak into and out of the home.

Modern technology is producing doors that both fit better and offer better insulation.  Although front doors with windows are attractive and add natural light to the entryway, glass is a very poor insulator.  Doors with glass as their primary component lose heat much faster than doors made from other materials.  Doors with windows can be a worthwhile alternative because they will let in natural light but do a better job insulating the home because they are not made entirely of glass.  Special coatings and multiple layers of glass can improve the insulation of doors with glass by two to three times. 

For replacing exterior doors - what you need to know is that there is a variety of alternatives that are both attractive and energy efficient.  The front entry door is very visible, and contributes substantially to a home's curb appeal.  When replacing your front entry door, you can consider a fiberglass or insulated metal door.  They are much more energy efficient than traditional wooden doors, bear the elements better, require less maintenance, and provide a better seal which improves insulation.  They are also a deterrent to potential burglars. 

If you have an existing door that is old but still in good shape, you should consider adding a storm door.  For less than $200, you can add a storm door that will improve the energy efficiency of your front entryway for less cost than replacing the entire door.  However, storm doors are not a good idea if your door receives several hours of direct sunlight every day.  The resulting heat will get trapped between the glass and the wooden door, doing substantial damage.

As a home improvement project, the cost of door replacement varies more widely than most.  Even the same brands of doors can vary greatly in price from one retailer to the other, so it is important to take the time to shop around.  Here is an idea of what you can expect in terms of cost when replacing your exterior doors.

  • Plain wood front door - depending on size and materials, the prices range from $50 to $200.  With installation, the cost range increases to $200 to $700. 
  • Decorative mid-range door - These doors are more durable than the cheaper models, and range in price from $200 to $2000.  With installation, the cost is $300 to $3000.
  • Deluxe front doors - These are sturdy and decorative front doors that are designed for both efficiency and aesthetics.  Prices can range from $2000 to $8000 just for materials, or from $3000 to $12000 with installation.

Additional costs can raise the price of this project even higher.  You might find that the house as settled and the entryway has become damaged.  Or, there might be dry rot or weather damage to the surrounding trim, siding, or the flooring that must be repaired. 

One last thing about replacing exterior doors - what you need to know is that any gain in curb appeal will likely not cover the entire cost of the door replacement.  If your exterior doors are so worn that they are a deal breaker, then you should definitely get them replaced.  Otherwise, it might be best to sell the home with the doors as-is and let the home buyer make the desired changes.