Is It Time to Replace Your Front Door?

The front door is more than just the entrance to your home. Not only should your front door complement the rest of your home, but it should be strong enough to withstand the elements and ensure security. Your front door is a worthwhile investment, but how much should a front door replacement cost?

There are a variety of choices when it comes to the appearance of your front door, and the material you choose makes all the difference when it comes to your replacement cost. Here’s what you should know:

— How to know if your front door needs to be replaced.

— How much does a front door replacement cost?

— Where to buy a front door.

— How to replace a front door.

[See: 10 Ways to Save Energy and Lower Utility Bills]

How to Know if Your Front Door Needs to Be Replaced

A well-maintained front door can last for decades, but there will come a time when it needs to be replaced with a new one. Replacing the front door can offer a variety of benefits, like better security, improved energy efficiency and a boost in your home’s curb appeal — but how do you know when it’s time to have it replaced?

First, ask yourself these questions:

— Is the door cracked, rusted or falling apart?

— Is there any damage from moisture?

— Is it difficult to open or close?

— Do you notice any drafts around your entryway?

— Is your door loose on its hinges?

— Could replacing the front door increase curb appeal?

If you answered yes to any of the questions, then it may be time to consider a replacement. While it’s possible to repair your door, a full replacement is oftentimes more cost-effective.

“Your front door needs to be replaced when it starts to rot or rust due to the damage from moisture and sunlight,” says Seth Hamby, owner of Scout Home Services, a handyman service in Hoover, Alabama. “Another reason for replacing the front door is to give your home a fresh new look. If you choose the right door, you can easily add style and quickly bring your home up to date.”

[Read: How Much Does It Cost to Add a Screened-In Deck or Porch to Your House?]

How Much Does a Front Door Replacement Cost?

“The cost to replace a front door varies depending on the type and size of the door,” Hamby says. At Scout Home Services, the average price to replace a front door is $800; however, this does not include the cost of the door itself.

According to HomeAdvisor, exterior doors cost a little more than $1,100, but Hamby says that the price of the door depends on the size and material.

Depending on the material, door prices can range from around $150 to $6,000 or more. If you’re purchasing a frame separately, the price can range from $115 to $400 each. However, security steel frames or specialty frames can cost $850 to $1,500, according to HomeAdvisor.

“Another factor of door cost is whether or not the door comes prefinished with paint or stain,” Hamby says. “You can save money by buying an unfinished door if you don’t mind a little DIY. It all depends on your budget.”

Steel doors are on the cheaper end of the spectrum, but they have the tendency to rust, Hamby says. Wood is on the higher end, but it can rot if not maintained as the exterior is constantly exposed to the elements. Fiberglass is another popular, maintenance-free material.

Front doors can also combine several materials. For example, fiberglass and steel doors oftentimes have wooden frames. However, the surface material of the door is what affects the price as well as the durability, security and appearance.

Where to Buy a Front Door

You can purchase a front door at big box stores like Lowe’s, Home Depot or Menards. If you want something a little more high-end or a specialty door, Hamby suggests visiting a local window and door shop. Or, if you’d like something custom-made, then a local woodworking shop may be the best option.

“If you are thinking retro, try an antique store or resale shop like Habitat For Humanity’s ReStore. Facebook Marketplace is also a good place to find something unique,” Hamby says.

[READ: What to Consider Before Getting Your Roof Repaired.]

How to Replace a Front Door

While it is possible to DIY a front door replacement, it can get a little more complicated than popping out your old door and replacing it with a new one. Replacing exterior doors requires every measurement to be exact, as well as some standard carpentry knowledge for the door to function properly and be weather resistant.

One method of front door replacement is to swap one door for another without removing the frame. These are sold as “slab” doors. “This method can often present problems if the house is not plumb and square,” Hamby says. “While you can trim a wood door to make it fit, you can’t do the same thing with steel or fiberglass.”

Instead, Hamby suggests buying a pre-hung door, which consists of a door and a frame. “Once you remove the old frame, you can pop in the new frame, shim it out and hang the door for a perfect fit.”

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Is It Time to Replace Your Front Door? originally appeared on usnews.com

Update 10/03/22: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.

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