Saving Money on Exterior Doors

  • Intermediate

Door options are as diverse as the customers that buy them. Unfortunately, these options are not explained well by retailers - so you need to investigate before purchasing them. The keys to buying the right door, at the right price, are understanding the pros and cons of each style.

Door pricing varies greatly based on design and material selection. Retailers will be more than happy to design a beautiful door for you! However, they do not take into account cost-effectiveness. Pricing is based on two factors: the type of material and the design. Wood doors are the most expensive, followed by fiberglass and steel. Doors can be extremely elaborate with textures, hinges, handles, transoms, and sidelights.

Each option adds to the overall price. For example, a wood door with custom hinges and glass can often cost more than $4,000 - for one door! If you add in the cost of side and patio doors, the price could jump to more than $20,000. Fiberglass offers an alternative to classic wood- with the benefit of moisture resistance and textures. You can order them with woodgrain patterns, prefinished in various colors, and with a host of hinge choices. Steel doors tend to be used as side doors or as an entry-level door. They hold paint well but can dent easily which makes them less appealing than wood or fiberglass. The key to selecting the right door is analyzing your budget and the home's architecture.

Door design plays a crucial role in pricing. A standard entry door - in wood or fiberglass - will generally cost less than $1,000. However, if you add two sidelights and a large transom with custom glass, the price jumps considerably. If your budget cannot sustain this expense, it does not mean you have to downgrade to a lesser material. Changing the design can make all the difference in the world!

Consider getting it with one sidelight only (which will in turn make the transom smaller) and using clear glass. To take it one step further, removing the transom entirely can save even more money! The money you save on the overall price can be used to pre-finish the door or upgrade the hardware – such as satin nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, etc. Also, there is no rule which states that if the entry door is wood all the other have to be as well. Consider using fiberglass doors on side entry and patio areas. You could even use steel doors and vinyl patio doors to save even more money.

If you are building or remodeling a home, there may be a door schedule listed on the plans. It is important to remember that you are not bound by this schedule. Architects specify certain products for various reasons. Sometimes, it is because they are influenced by certain manufacturers to specify their products. If fancy wood doors are listed by the architect, you can change them to a more affordable material. More cost-saving tips are listed below:

Use fiberglass or steel doors as opposed to natural wood

Use clear glass instead of designer glass

Remove transoms and sidelights if possible

Stick with standard hardware colors to avoid extra charges

Consider single doors as opposed to double doors

Having the door pre-finished from the factory will add to the overall cost (whereas you could paint or stain the door much cheaper)

Try to find door sizes and styles “in stock” at your local retailer

Another way to save money on doors is to shop, shop, shop! Many retailers will offer discounts on discontinued door styles. You can find these bargains at most large home improvement stores. If the door is a stocked item, it will often be much cheaper than a custom-made door. Doors are a focal point of your home, and by using these cost-saving techniques, you can maximize your door budget!